Liverpool youngster Curtis Jones was called an “exceptional talent” by boss Jurgen Klopp after his double in a 7-2 Carabao Cup win over Lincoln.
“We will have some fun with him I am pretty sure in the future,” said Klopp of the 19-year-old after his side set up a fourth-round tie with Arsenal.
Xherdan Shaqiri scored before Jones and Takumi Minamino’s doubles.
Marko Grujic struck between Lincoln goals for Tayo Edun and Lewis Montsma – Divock Origi getting the Reds’ seventh.
Liverpool handed debuts to defenders Rhys Williams and Kostas Tsimikas, with former Wolves forward Diogo Jota, a £41m signing, coming on in the second half.
Most of their goals were excellent. After Shaqiri’s brilliant ninth-minute free-kick into the top corner, Minamino curled home from outside the box and teenager Jones scored from Origi’s cushioned header.
Jones then scored via a slight deflection to give the Reds an unassailable 4-0 half-time lead.
That was the 19-year-old midfielder’s fifth goal for his hometown club.
“Both goals were difficult, for the second one the first touch was absolutely exceptional between two opponents and then he opens up and sees the opportunity and finishes it off,” said Klopp.
Lincoln boss Michael Appleton said he asked his players to “win the second half” and they gave it a good go – especially after Minamino scored a volley seconds after the restart.
The Imps had won their first five games this season (including a penalty shootout) and had several chances before Edun’s goal from Anthony Scully’s cross.
The scoring was not finished yet. Grujic drilled home from 20 yards, Montsma scored for the third EFL Cup tie in a row – with a header in via the crossbar – and Origi smashed home from a Minamino pass.
“I think in the first half there was a class of finishing from Liverpool, with one or two mistakes,” Appleton said.
“In the second half it was very difficult and a disappointing performance – I thought we should have scored four or five goals.
“If we had put some kind of bucket in the top corner or maybe a sheet to stop them [Liverpool’s goals] going in,” he said.
Klopp told BBC Radio 5 Live: “We played a really good football game tonight. It was easy on the eye.
“We passed the ball and finished situations off. The boys wanted to play football and showed an exceptional attitude.”
- 22EyomaBooked at 69mins
- 8JonesSubstituted forMcGrandlesat 60′minutes
- 23BridcuttSubstituted forHopperat 60′minutes
- 26AndersonSubstituted forArchibaldat 67′minutes
- 4van DijkSubstituted forFabinhoat 45′minutes
- 23ShaqiriSubstituted forKeitaat 75′minutes
- 67ElliottSubstituted forJotaat 57′minutes
- 59H Wilson
- 72van den Berg
Match ends, Lincoln City 2, Liverpool 7.
Second Half ends, Lincoln City 2, Liverpool 7.
Offside, Lincoln City. Alex Bradley tries a through ball, but Anthony Scully is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Alex Bradley (Lincoln City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Tayo Edun.
Corner, Lincoln City. Conceded by Fabinho.
Foul by Diogo Jota (Liverpool).
Anthony Scully (Lincoln City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).
Jorge Grant (Lincoln City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Lincoln City 2, Liverpool 7. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Takumi Minamino following a fast break.
Corner, Lincoln City. Conceded by Neco Williams.
Attempt blocked. Conor McGrandles (Lincoln City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Adrián (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tom Hopper (Lincoln City).
Neco Williams (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Theo Archibald (Lincoln City).
Takumi Minamino (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Conor McGrandles (Lincoln City).
Naby Keita (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Tayo Edun (Lincoln City).