The highly rated Curtis Jones, a jinking and technically gifted 18-year-old winger who joined the club at the age of 6, was one of a number of youth players selected by Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp rested his superstars. And Jones marked a rare start in the senior team by curling a 20-meter (yard) shot in off the underside of the crossbar in the 71st minute.
Anfield erupted, and Jones headed straight for Klopp as he celebrated a goal he might never top even at this early stage of his career. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti fielded a strong lineup, a rare move by a Premier League manager in the FA Cup these days, but wasn’t rewarded despite his team creating three great first-half chances that were hit straight at Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian.
Meanwhile, a Liverpudlian at the other end of his soccer life was the inspiration behind the biggest shock of the day in the third round. Wayne Rooney, 34 and now playing in a deep-lying midfield role in the twilight of his career, helped second-tier Derby eliminate Crystal Palace with a 1-0 away win.
Rooney, the former Manchester United and England captain, played the full 90 minutes in his second game for Derby since his return to English soccer after a spell in the United States with DC United. On Thursday, he had a hand both of Derby’s goals in a 2-1 win over Barnsley in England's second-tier League Championship and, three days on, the 34-year-old Rooney played with authority in center midfield in the victory over Palace that was secured by Chris Martin’s 32nd-minute goal.
Tottenham had to come back a goal down to draw 1-1 at second-tier Middlesbrough in the latest below-par display by Jose Mourinho’s side. Chelsea advanced to the fourth round by beating Nottingham Forest 2-0, while Sheffield United ended up only scraping to a 2-1 win over AFC Fylde, which was the last non-league team remaining in the competition.
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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80