Current Sports News: Liverpool’s kids win FA Cup replay with Klopp absent

Current Sports News: Liverpool reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time under Jurgen Klopp.

He wasn’t at Anfield to see it.

With Klopp determined that he and his senior players had the week off during English soccer’s new midseason break, Liverpool fielded its youngest ever team – at an average age of 19 years, 102 days – for the fourth-round replay against third-tier Shrewsbury on Tuesday.

The kids, led for the game by under-23 coach Neil Critchley, came through, winning 1-0 to set up a last-16 match they probably won’t be playing in. It will be at Chelsea in early March.

An own-goal in the 75th minute settled the match and it was scored by Ro-Shaun Williams, a former youth-team player for Liverpool’s fierce rival, Manchester United. Williams stretched to head away a long ball forward from Liverpool, and only succeeded in nodding it past Shrewsbury’s stranded goalkeeper who had come out to clear.

Shrewsbury had few chances at Anfield but did have a goal ruled out by VAR for offside in the 58th minute.

The win keeps alive Liverpool’s chances of a treble. The Reds are closing in on winning the English league title for the first time in 30 years, and are through to the last 16 in their defense of the Champions League.

ROONEY TO FACE UNITED

Wayne Rooney is set for a reunion with Manchester United.

The former England captain scored for his new team, Derby County, in its 4-2 win over Northampton in a replay.

Second-tier Derby advanced to a home game against Man United, where Rooney spent 13 years and became the club’s all-time top scorer while winning five Premier League titles, the Champions League in 2008 and the FA Cup in 2016.

NEWCASTLE SURVIVES SCARE

Newcastle reached the last 16 for the first time since 2006, but was given a scare in its replay at third-tier Oxford.

Unlike previous Newcastle managers, Steve Bruce is taking the competition seriously and picked another team featuring mostly first-team regulars.

Newcastle was 2-0 ahead through Sean Longstaff and Joelinton, but conceded goals in the 84th and then the fourth minute of stoppage time as Oxford took the game to extra time.

A brilliant solo goal by Allan Saint-Maximin in the 116th minute won it 3-2 for Newcastle.

OWNERS ADVANCE

The owners beat their tenants.

Second-tier Birmingham won 4-1 in a penalty shootout against third-tier Coventry, the club with whom it is groundsharing this season at its St. Andrew’s home.

Coventry, the 1987 FA Cup winner which now plays in the third tier after years of financial problems, failed to conclude a deal to stay at the club’s recent home, Ricoh Arena, with the stadium’s operators. So its long-suffering fans, who six seasons ago saw the team forced to play at the home of Northampton, have to travel 22 miles (35 kilometers) to watch their side play in Birmingham.

Coventry was the “away” team on Tuesday, having drawn 0-0 with Birmingham when it was the “home” team in the first match.

Birmingham scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time to send the game to extra time at 1-1, and then equalized again in the last minute of the 30 extra minutes to force a shootout at 2-2.

Birmingham will play another central English team, Leicester, in the fifth round.

Reading beat Cardiff 4-1 in a penalty shootout after they drew 3-3 after extra time.

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