FA Cup: Jurgen Klopp's Young Guns Keep Liverpool's Quadruple Hopes Alive

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp fielded a team with an average age of 23 years, 128 days for the FA Cup fifth-round clash against Southampton. Two 18-year-olds, Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas, led the charge as The Reds booked a quarter-final meeting with Manchester United


AP/Jon Super
Liverpool's Jayden Danns celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during their FA Cup fifth-round match against Southampton at Anfield Stadium on Thursday, February 29, 2024. Photo: AP/Jon Super

Winning the EFL Cup with a bunch of green youngsters was not enough for Jurgen Klopp. Three days on, the outgoing Liverpool manager went one step ahead in the FA Cup fifth-round clash against Southampton. He fielded a starting XI with six players aged 21 or younger in the key encounter. This included 16-year-old Trey Nyoni, who became the youngest ever to compete in the FA Cup in Liverpool history. The result? A resounding 3-0 victory. (More Football News)

The young guns came good once again, as Liverpool set up a quarter-final showdown with Manchester United. Two 18-year-olds architected The Reds' win - Jayden Danns, son of former Crystal Palace midfielder Neil, and debutant Lewis Koumas, son of former ­Wales playmaker Jason. Both are products of the Liverpool Academy, and were supposed to be playing Leeds in the FA Youth Cup semi-final before being summoned for an unforgettable big-stage showing.


Koumas slotted in a shot in the 44th minute to hand Liverpool the lead. Danns came off the bench, just like he did in the EFL final, and scored in the 73rd and 88th minutes - his first-ever senior goals - to make it comprehensive for Klopp's side, whose average age was 23 years, 128 days in the FA Cup game on February 29, 2024.

"I couldn't be happier today. Today is the best day of my life," an overjoyed Danns told BBC Sport after the win. "I've watched Liverpool since I was a young boy and to score at the Kop End is more than a dream. I couldn't be happier."


Klopp likened the triumph of the inexperienced players to that of Luke Littler, the 17-year-old who made headlines last month after storming into the final of the World Darts Championship. “It’s like the new darts sensation. Tonight it is fine [to praise them] but tomorrow leave them alone, they have a lot to learn. They are exceptional talents.

“Of course it is not natural that an 18-year-old [Danns], as calm as you like, comes into that situation and chips the ball in. The future doesn’t look that bad. Maybe people don’t forget that when the transfer window opens – don’t close the door on these boys. But Joe Gomez is the real story. Joe saved our lives and the kids kept us in the competition. I couldn’t respect him more,” the Liverpool manager gushed after the win.