Lincoln City battled bravely against Liverpool in their third round Carabao Cup tie, but were outclassed by superior opposition in an entertaining match.
Liverpool made 10 changes to the side that won 2-0 at Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday, with imperious centre back Virgil Van Dijk the only one to keep his place in the team.
The Imps also made changes, with Max Melbourne and Alex Bradley coming in at full back and Anthony Scully starting up front in place of Tom Hopper.
Liverpool started the game on the front foot, as expected, and were rewarded with an early lead when Xherdan Shaqiri whipped a free kick into the top corner after just eight minutes.
The Premier League champions doubled their lead on 17 minutes after a loose pass by Lewis Montsma was pounced on by the high press, before Takumi Minamino curled an effort past Alex Palmer.
A couple of half chances fell Lincoln’s way after the second goal, with good work down the left by Max Melbourne setting up a header for TJ Eyoma, who missed the target from close range.
It went from bad to worse at the half hour mark, when a long diagonal ball from Liverpool debutant Rhys Williams was nodded down by Divock Origi to find Curtis Jones, who fired into the top corner to make it 3-0 to the Reds.
🎙 – "An absolute 𝙢𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨 in finishing from Liverpool!"
The Premier League champions are putting on a show at Lincoln City! 🔥
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 24, 2020
Jones, who absolutely ran the show, wasn’t finished there, a deflected shot from 25 yards hit the back of the net to make it 4-0 before half time.
Just before the break, a promising run from Tayo Edun got him into the box before testing Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian, coming the closest of all the Imps players to finding the net.
Liverpool weren’t in any mood to wait for more goals, with Takumi Minamino adding a fifth just 20 seconds in to the second half.
The Imps raced through a couple of minutes later, but both Harry Anderson and Edun were denied by some alert goalkeeping from Adrian.
Lincoln kept the pressure on and forced another save out of Adrian on 52 minutes, when he kept out an Anthony Scully effort from inside the area.
Eyoma again found space in the area but couldn’t find the target after a teasing Jorge Grant free kick at the hour mark.
The Imps’ second half efforts were met with a deserved goal, when Tayo Edun danced his way into space in the penalty area and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to make it 5-1.
Lincoln’s spirited fightback didn’t last long, as Marko Grujic’s low driven effort found its way past Alex Palmer for Liverpool’s sixth goal in 64 minutes.
The action continued just minutes later, when a Lincoln corner was met by Lewis Montsma who headed into the net off the crossbar, becoming the only player to score in all three rounds of this year’s Carabao Cup, 6-2.
Just when the game appeared to be dwindling and heading towards a finish, Divock Origi broke through the Lincoln defence and smashed the ball home to round off the performance and make it 7-2.
The Premier League side’s new £45m man Diogo Jota was given his first minutes at his new club, replacing teenager Harvey Elliott in the second half, but couldn’t score on his debut.
Lincoln never stopped pressing the ball and created plenty of chances in the second half, but Michael Appleton’s men were powerless to stop a vintage attacking display from Liverpool.
The focus now moves on to Sunday for Lincoln, as they look to continue their 100% winning start in League One at home to Charlton Athletic.
Lincoln: Palmer, Bradley, Eyoma, Montsma, Melbourne, Anderson (Archibald 66), Jones (McGrandles 59), Edun, Bridcutt (Hopper 59), Grant, Scully
Liverpool: Adrian, N. Williams, R. Williams, Van Dijk (Fabinho 45), Tsimikas, Grujic, Jones, Shaqiri (Keita 74), Elliott (Jota 56), Minamino, Origi