With another window providing another pair of defeats to reflect on, interim Reggae Girlz Head coach Xavier Gilbert is hopeful that the rift between the World Cup players and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will be resolved soon, so the programme can regain its competitive edge before the start of any other major women’s competition.

This, as he bemoans the fact that the impasse had a hand in Jamaica’s failure to qualify for the ongoing inaugural Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, and the possibility of the country’s current ranking taking a hit by virtue of the recent results, which could discourage potential opponents.  

Gilbert’s sentiments follow the new-look Reggae Girlz 0-1 defeat to Chile in the second of their two-match international friendly series in Santiago on Tuesday. Yessenia Lopez scored the lone goal in the 34th minute.

The Girlz lost the first game 1-5 on Friday.

While he welcomed the improved performance from the new-look team, coupled with the exposure to high level competition for most players in a now widened pool, Gilbert believes a mixture of the World Cup players and their younger counterparts is the best way to build going forward.

“Both games served us well because like I said a number of players were exposed to high level competition and it was good. So, I hope we can continue to use the FIFA windows, to not only widen the pool and look at as many players as possible, but also to ensure that we are in competitive mode ahead of the other competitions including the World Cup qualifiers,” Gilbert said.

“So, I am optimistic that the World Cup Girlz will be up for selection (for the April window), so hopefully all things can be sorted out by then because we want to continue to build,” he told SportsMax.TV.

Reflecting on the overall trip to Chile, pointed out that the improved performance speaks volumes of what can be achieved when players spend more time together, as he believes additional training sessions contributed to a more energetic and cohesive display.

“It was a way better performance and I honestly thought that we should have taken something out of the game. We created a few scoring opportunities and should have converted at least one, but overall, everything about the performance was much better in terms of our energy and all that,” Gilbert shared.

“I think we applied ourselves much better than the first, and I think having a few training sessions contributed to that because we sorted a few things out. So, we were better and more aggressive in terms of how we defend and applied pressure to the Chileans,” he added.

 Despite the low of dealing with numerous player injuries, Gilbert rated the overall trip a success where player development is concerned.

“We made six changes from the first game, and some were forced changes, so that was a major low for us. But the high point is the exposure that the younger players got and the way they performed, I think they acquitted themselves well which augurs well for the programme going forward,” he ended.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp likened the instant impact of his academy players to that of darts player Luke Littler last month – but then asked for the youngsters to be given time to find their feet.

Jayden Danns scored his first two goals in only his third appearance after fellow 18-year-old Lewis Koumas had opened the scoring on debut as Southampton were beaten 3-0 to set up an FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United.

As sons of former Premier League players Neil Danns, the ex-Crystal Palace midfielder, and Jason Koumas, who played for West Brom, the pair will have a lot of experience to call on but Klopp said they should be allowed to do that out of the spotlight.

Referencing Littler, who reached the World Darts Championship final at the age of 16, the German asked for perspective despite the youngsters’ key roles in a depleted side.

“It is little bit like the new darts sensation, it is fine for tonight. Tomorrow, leave the boys in the corner,” Klopp said.

“Everyone who is with us, we should have our moments, they will have more moments than we expect.

“All of it was obviously incredibly important. Against a Southampton team we would have had problems with anyway but in our situation we tried to give as much information as possible to them and we had to improve during the game.

“The first 15 minutes we were all over the place; we tried to press but the timing was horrendous and Southampton used that.

“We found a way into the game and the goal we scored was in a nearly perfect moment, it felt like a momentum change and then an exceptional finish from Lewis.

“We now had the momentum rather than Southampton and won a lot of high balls and scored, the play was special, the way we won the balls was special and something like that, as impossible as it seems, can happen.

“Maybe the people (fans) don’t forget it when the transfer window opens, don’t close the door (on young players) with 12 signings.”

On Danns, who came off the bench to score twice in 15 minutes to earn the man-of-the-match award, Klopp added: “Exceptional talent. Of course it is not natural that a boy 18, is as calm as you like. The second goal calm as you like.”

Saints boss Russell Martin was left to rue several missed chances in the opening 30 minutes in particular.

“I don’t think 3-0 is a fair reflection of the game as we should have been one or two up before they got close to a goal,” he said.

“The difference in the game is the quality of the finishing and their goalkeeper making some brilliant saves.

“If we are ever going to lose, then let’s do it being the team we want to be and I can’t ask any more from them tonight.

“I really enjoyed watching my team but I am really hurt for them and the result as I didn’t think we deserved that.”

Steven Naismith condemned the “idiots” who threw objects at Lawrence Shankland as he waited to take Hearts’ penalty in their 1-1 draw at home to Hibernian.

The Jambos top scorer had to hold his nerve before he equalised from the spot just before half-time after a range of items rained down on him from the stand behind the goal housing Hibs fans.

Shankland was struck by more objects when defending a corner later in the game, while Hibs goal-scorer Emiliano Marcondes was also hit by something thrown from the Hearts end.

Hearts boss Naismith said: “I think it was everything that was in everyone’s pockets, whether it be coins, vapes or whatever. All the stuff getting launched on, it’s just not acceptable.

“If that then gets looked at, what’s going to happen is they are just going to reduce the amount of fans that can go into that stand and that’s going to impact what I think is a good atmosphere, a good derby which has a fierce rivalry.

“It’s just idiots that are going to spoil the party for everybody. It’s just not good enough, end of.”

Shankland’s penalty – contentiously awarded after Hearts forward Kenneth Vargas went down while trying to get away from Will Fish – just before the break cancelled out Marcondes’ 27th-minute opener for Hibs.

“It was end to end at times, both teams had chances and, ultimately, that bit of quality was the thing that was missing in the game,” added Naismith.

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery was adamant his team deserved to win the game and felt referee Kevin Clancy made an error by sticking with his decision to award the penalty to Hearts even though he was advised by VAR to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.

“The VAR is there to call the referee over so he doesn’t make a mistake and when he called him over, I looked at it on the monitor and my opinion is no way it’s a penalty – and I don’t think anybody else probably thought it was,” said Montgomery.

“And then, lo and behold, he’s got a clear view of it, he can slow it down, he can watch it. Yeah, he gives a penalty. I’m just really disappointed that we don’t take three points. It cost us two points.

“Maybe we’ll get another apology this week like we did after Aberdeen. Maybe we won’t. But at the end of the day, what we won’t get back is any points.”

Asked about the objects being thrown from the stands, Montgomery said: “I don’t condone it, Steven doesn’t condone it. Neither do the clubs. Unfortunately there were a few things.

“Emi Marcondes had it in the first half as well when we had serious pressure on them.”

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell was thrilled his players responded to his half-time criticism after watching them come from behind to beat Livingston.

The visitors trailed at the break to Tete Yengi’s third-minute strike but improved in the second 45 minutes after scoring through Sam Nicholson, Blair Spittal and substitute Jack Vale.

The win moves the Steelmen to within three points of the cinch Premiership top six, while Livingston are now seven points adrift at the bottom.

Kettlewell said: “It showed great character coming here. You can see their team was up after the first goal, which was really poor and I was really annoyed at half-time.

“It wasn’t how we passed the ball, it was the fact we all had eyes for the ball. It was a great reaction, the guys got some stick at half-time and the goals were of sheer quality.

“But once we get that organisation behind the ball it worked for us.”

Asked if his team now had their sights on top six, Kettlewell, whose team face Rangers at the weekend, added: “We have to, we won’t get carried away because it’s one victory, one win but we have to set the bar high.

“Simply from my side it’s about the performance, especially the second half. If we can piece together that first half against Celtic then we can put on a real show.

“It needs to be bigger picture. We’ve had so many strong performances since the turn of the year and games we should have won.

“We’ve conceded cheap and soft goals which happened tonight but play like we did in the second half then I think we can compete with most teams.

“That creative flair we have, the ruthless edge to score.

“We’re maybe third or fourth top scorers in the division and that speaks volumes for replacing someone like Kevin van Veen.

“We’ll need that to continue and that can set the bar for where we want to be and where we want to go.”

Livingston made the perfect start but ended the game looking like a team that were heading for relegation.

Manager Davie Martindale admits his side looked vulnerable after Motherwell equalised in the 49th minute through Nicholson.

He said: “Of course it’s confidence. That group at the start went to Easter Road (against Hibs), good value, shape and discipline.

“Now we look a million miles away from that and it’s down to belief.

“First half we gave up a wee bit of territory but that was part of the game plan.

“It probably gave them a wee bit more than I’d hoped. I thought we looked a threat on the counter.

“Shamal George didn’t have a lot to do then we go out and lose an early goal, a cheap goal.

“The game became very difficult for the players, position, form, eats into that.”

Gary O’Neil revealed Wolves’ FA Cup dream after they reached the quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory over Brighton.

Mario Lemina’s goal after just 77 seconds booked a home tie with Coventry next month, just the second time Wolves have reached the last eight since 2003.

Brighton, though, bossed the game and Facundo Buonanotte missed a fine chance before goalkeeper Jason Steele sliced a good opening wide in stoppage time.

O’Neil has underlined his desire for success in the competition and admitted he told his players the goal was to lift the trophy ahead of their third-round tie at Brentford in January.

“When we set off to travel to Brentford I remember delivering the pre-match meeting and spoke about our aim, at that moment, was to win the FA Cup,” he said.

“I know how farfetched that sounds but every win you get a step closer. We have had to give a lot to get here.

“Coventry will be a massive test, they are a good side, play good football and we will be expected to roll them over by everyone outside and that can create problems.

“Whoever we played in the quarter-final we would see it as a great chance. We’ve beat Chelsea twice and Tottenham and Man City here. We love playing here, I’m sure they (fans) will be dreaming of a semi final and I’ll be analysing Coventry.”

Wolves snatched a second-minute winner when Lemina fired in at the second attempt after Steele flapped at Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s cross.

But the hosts never built on their lead and Brighton pushed them – without forcing Jose Sa into a meaningful save.

Wayward efforts from Simon Adingra and Jakub Moder never troubled Sa but Buonanotte should have levelled instead of heading wide just before the break.

Lewis Dunk also nodded wide before Wolves lost Hwang Hee-Chan to a hamstring injury.

O’Neil added: “Someone has to play for us and we needed to get through to the next round. I’m hopeful it’s not too serious. I’d be amazed if he plays at the weekend (at Newcastle).”

Brighton pressed for a leveller which never came but they should have taken the tie to extra time in the final minute of stoppage time.

Steele raced up for a corner and when the ball was nodded down he was left unmarked six yards out but fired wide.

Boss Roberto De Zerbi said: “We played well, we made too many mistakes – especially in the first half – to score. We created a lot of chances and we played well enough to score.

“I’m happy with the performance, the style we played, the attitude, the personality. It was very tough playing without nine injured players.

“The future of Brighton was on the pitch, a lot of young players. Maybe they are not all ready for this level but we are working well and doing great things as we are keeping the same level of last season – with a lot of problems.

“The game against Fulham is on Saturday and we have to be ready to fight.”

Brendan Rodgers was transported back to his first spell in charge of Celtic as his side struck six first-half goals against Dundee.

Celtic have lost top spot in the cinch Premiership since the winter break, drawing twice and winning narrowly in their other three league games.

But they rediscovered their groove with their biggest victory of the season as they thrashed Tony Docherty’s side 7-1 at Celtic Park.

There were seven different scorers for Rodgers’ side as Cameron Carter-Vickers, Adam Idah, Matt O’Riley, Daizen Maeda, Greg Taylor and Callum McGregor struck before half-time substitute Daniel Kelly curled home his first goal for the club.

Rodgers said: “It was a top performance. We had players coming back, connecting the game, speed in the game, creativity and a real ruthless mentality.

“I have said about the pitch a few times but a big congratulations to the staff who have been working hard over the past few weeks to get it to a level that allows us to play at that speed. And you can see the difference it makes.

“So I thought all round, from the stands to the pitch, it was a great night for us.”

Rodgers, whose side remain two points behind Rangers, added: “It felt more like when I was here the first time – that ruthless mentality of the team, simplicity of the game and the football we played. And that’s why we are here, to entertain the supporters.”

Rodgers had called for positivity in the stands before the game and the noise at the half-time whistle was more akin to a Champions League night, helped by the fact that Kilmarnock were beating Rangers before a second-half fightback from the leaders.

Rodgers said: “There was a really nice moment at half-time when they were coming in. The fans could see then how the level of performance had jumped up. We had everything we wanted from the game – the runs, the movement, the ambition.”

Dundee’s second-half performance offered some comfort for Docherty, whose side got a consolation through substitute Michael Mellon despite having Finlay Robertson sent off.

But Docherty was still reeling from their first-half collapse during the post-match media conference.

“It’s something I have not seen in the group so I am actually a bit shocked to see the level of goal we have conceded,” he said.

“We need to take ownership and responsibility for that, for not defending crosses, not defending our box properly, getting done by cutbacks, getting done on the insides.

“I have to say I thought Celtic were outstanding but we can do more and we need to take responsibility for that.

“But I have to defend those players, they have been brilliant for me this season and there has to be a wee bit of reality in terms of us being a newly-promoted team. I am not taking away the accountability from myself and the players and I would like to apologise to the support.

“But I will always back that group of players because I don’t think we have been lower than seventh in the league.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag accused Nottingham Forest of targeting Bruno Fernandes in his side’s FA Cup win at the City Ground and branded criticism of his captain “pathetic”.

The Portugal midfielder overcame a “serious injury” to play his part in United’s 1-0 victory at Forest, setting up Casemiro’s 89th-minute winner from a free-kick.

He was on the receiving end of plenty of robust challenges from Forest throughout the 90 minutes while also being the butt of social media jokes after Saturday’s loss against Fulham where he suffered the problem.

Fulham’s official TikTok account poked fun at him for appearing to feign injury and it got Ten Hag’s back up.

Asked about the severity of Fernandes’ injury, he said: “I don’t want to go into that because you saw that Forest was targeting him, so I don’t tell what he has but it was a serious injury.

“There were many fouls on him. Maybe I am a little bit too tough but when he has the ball they were really tight on him.

“Then I see that serious media criticise him and social media is pathetic and it can’t be.

“He has a serious injury but he continued to play on Saturday and today he also fought to be part of the game and he has a very high pain threshold.

“Last year he did also something similar against Spurs and in the semi-final and it shows his leadership because that expresses his character and that is very good when you are a leader.”

This was far from a classic performance by United, who face Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday, but they got the job done and kept hopes of finishing the season with a trophy in tact.

That is not going to be easy, though, as they were handed quarter-final draw against Liverpool at Old Trafford in two and a half weeks.

“There are many good teams in the Premier League, Liverpool at this moment is top but it is a great challenge and we are really looking forward and we like the challenges, it is a great game for us to play.

“But first of all we are now looking forward to Sunday.”

Extra time was looming when Casemiro glanced Fernandes’ delivery past Matt Turner to send United’s travelling contingent wild.

The goal survived a lengthy VAR check as Raphael Varane, who was in an offside possession, blocked a couple of Forest players, but he was ruled not to be interfering in play.

Such has been Forest’s frustration at refereeing decisions in recent weeks, they have appointed Mark Clattenburg to act as a conduit to the PGMOL and he was spotted sat next to Howard Webb.

And this was another decision that went against them but boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who swatted away Ten Hag’s suggestions of targeting Fernandes, did not want to dwell on it.

Nuno said: “I didn’t see clearly the images but speaking with the players they say it is a block and a possible offside. They checked it.

“We have had so many issues in this period with VAR and referees that we try to forget about it and move forward.

“I think it was a good performance, we played good, much better than the previous game, so improvement from that.

“It is frustrating to lose it in the end but I think we played good, football is cruel sometimes and today we are on that side.”

Mauricio Pochettino hailed a “needed” victory as Chelsea bounced back from Sunday’s Carabao Cup final extra-time heartbreak to edge past Leeds and reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Conor Gallagher, who missed two glorious chances in the closing stages of normal time in the Wembley loss to Liverpool, came off the bench to hit the winner at Stamford Bridge as the Championship side were dispatched 3-2 to set up a last-eight meeting with Leicester.

Axel Disasi and Moises Caicedo combined to gift Mateo Joseph an eighth-minute opener but the Blues turned it around before half-time as Nicolas Jackson equalised and Raheem Sterling set up Mykhailo Mudryk to make it 2-1.

Leeds levelled just before the hour mark when Joseph headed home his second but Enzo Fernandez set up Gallagher to avoid extra-time and put Chelsea through.

“We needed this result,” said Pochettino. “It wasn’t a great performance. (Leeds) were a team full of confidence, a very strong team, they are doing fantastic in the Championship.

“It was tough for us, when you concede after a few minutes. But the character we showed after in this situation, it’s a thing to learn from the team. I’m so happy. We avoided extra-time. We’re in the quarter-final which was our objective.

“It’s always tough when you lose a final in extra-time. We had 72 hours or less to recover, it’s always difficult. The effort was massive and I say thank you to the players because they made a fantastic effort.”

Pochettino reiterated his rejection of Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville’s jibe that Chelsea had “bottled” the Carabao Cup final against a Liverpool side bested by injuries.

“I cannot be angry about (Neville),” he said. “With all my love to Gary, it’s not fair to use this type of word for a team that is so brave, a club that always fights for big things.

“What can we do? Only with this type of performance show that we are brave and that we can win games. Nothing to say, only to keep moving.

“It’s not important for us. Because we know how we are and who we are, and how we behave. We know why we lost the game against Liverpool. It’s nothing to do with this.

“We know that we are brave and that we are working really hard, For us, it’s not an important comment.”

Leeds boss Daniel Farke reflected on a game that slipped away at the hands of clinical finishing from Chelsea.

“That second goal (from Mudryk), class finish,” he said. “The third goal, really good action of Gallagher.

“I’m disappointed because wherever we go, we want to win. I know it’s not realistic we will win the FA Cup, but I wanted to win this and go in the next round. We are a young side, without several key players.”

Manchester United will host Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals after the two sides advanced with fifth-round victories on Wednesday night.

The Reds remain in contention for three more trophies after their rousing 1-0 extra-time victory over Chelsea in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, and booked their place in the last eight with a 3-0 win over Southampton.

United left it late to ensure they would be next to try spoiling Jurgen Klopp’s extended leaving do, with Casemiro’s 89th-minute header sending his side through with a 1-0 win to eliminate Nottingham Forest and ensure the 12-time FA Cup winners took one step closer to reaching what would be a record 22nd final.

Holders Manchester City, in search of their eighth FA Cup trophy, will host Newcastle in an all-Premier League clash.

The quarter-final draw took place before kick-off of Chelsea’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Leeds, one of just four Championship sides who had survived past the fourth round.

Former Arsenal and Manchester City keeper David Seaman drew the balls, but it was not an entirely joyous night for the childhood Leeds fan and four-time FA Cup champion after substitute Conor Gallagher netted a dramatic late winner to send the Blues through on the stroke of full-time.

Chelsea will now host Championship leaders Leicester, who booked their quarter-final place with a 1-0 fifth-round victory over Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Joining them in the last eight are Coventry, who, sitting ninth in the Championship, are the lowest-ranked side remaining in contention for the cup, progressing to the quarter-finals for the first time since the 2008/09 season.

They will travel to Molineux to meet Wolves, who on Wednesday night beat Brighton to reach the last eight for the first time since 2019.

Quarter-final ties will be played on the weekend of March 16.

Philippe Clement claims Rangers were like “Bambi on ice” on the artificial surface at Rugby Park before they held on to top spot in the cinch Premiership with a 2-1 comeback win over Kilmarnock.

On a rain-soaked night, Killie wide-man Danny Armstrong scored from the spot in the 11th minute after a John Lundstram handball.

Gers keeper Jack Butland made a great save from Matty Kennedy early in the second half before a trademark free-kick from Gers captain James Tavernier and a Tom Lawrence strike kept the visitors two points clear of Celtic.

Clement referenced Disney’s animated feature film about Bambi the deer in his post-match analysis.

“Resilience, mentality, solidarity and the quality to adapt,” said Clement, who revealed wide-man Oscar Cortes will be assessed after going off with what looked like a hamstring injury.

“We started the game well with a good set-piece from which we could have scored – but they saved it on the line.

“Had we gone in front it’s a totally different game. But then after 10 minutes you get this penalty against you, which was a frustrating moment.

“You then have an opponent who sits back and waits for your mistakes to make counter attacks and to be dangerous.

“And our tempo was too slow in the first half. We needed some time to adapt because it was a totally different kind of football.

“At moments I felt my players were like Bambi on ice. They had to adapt to that and we spoke about it at half-time.

“After that they were great. We were massive in every sense, the resilience, the tempo, the fighting spirit. This is a major win.”

Clement also believes Rangers should have had a penalty late in the game for a Lewis Mayo hand ball.

He said: “One thing to add, we had a penalty given against us but we could have had an easier last five minutes if we’d also been given a penalty.

“I want to hear the reason why they give the first penalty and the second not. That’s really not clear for me.

“So we go back to the story about handballs. I hope you guys can explain something about that because it was a really weird situation again for me.”

Killie boss Derek McInnes believes individual moments in Rangers’ favour was the difference between the teams.

He said: “Disappointed we never took anything from it.

“But the games comes down to moments. In terms of performance there was nothing between us and Rangers tonight.

“But Jack Butland’s save at 1-0 just confirms how good he is. That’s why he is probably going to the Euros. That was a huge moment for Rangers in the context of the game.

“Tavernier’s free kick at first I thought had gone around the wall and was blaming my goalie and shouting at my goalie coach but the height he got to get it up and over the wall was top class.

“He does that time and time again for Rangers. And for their second goal the ball breaks to Tom Lawrence and it was an unbelievable strike.”

Aberdeen interim boss Neil Warnock admits he cannot be confident his side will avoid being drawn into a cinch Premiership relegation battle if they continue to concede “stupid” goals.

Warnock is still without a win in five league matches in charge – with Aberdeen winless in nine in total – and the Dons fell behind to a first-half Nicky Clark penalty after Richard Jensen’s handball.

Benjamin Kimpioka added a second late in the game and the Dons fans turned on their side and the clubs’ board.

Warnock confessed he understands their anger, saying: “You can understand that. They see the goals we’re conceding. We’ve had some good opportunities tonight, couldn’t score and we lose sloppy goals.

“It’s disheartening. The lads have to stop feeling sorry for themselves and we’ve got to get on with it. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

“Looking at the goals we’re conceding, do you see us winning another game? I can’t remember having a team concede goals like we are.

“You can’t legislate for the goals we’re conceding. We have quality but we still concede stupid goals.

“When you look at those goals, I don’t think anybody could be confident [of escaping a relegation battle]. It needs some experience here to look at what we’ve got and find a way to get something out of the games we have coming up”.

Saints boss Craig Levein hailed the character his side showed in bouncing back from a poor performance at St Mirren at the weekend, to add to Aberdeen’s misery.

He said: “On Saturday we didn’t turn up ready to fight which gave the opposition the advantage.

“The big question today was whether we could go out and deliver what we didn’t last week and I’m so proud of the performance today. We stood up to be counted in every single area of the pitch. It was a real team performance and a real fillip for us.

“We recognised that at Aberdeen the expectations are high and if the players and team don’t achieve what the supporters are looking for it can be quite tough.

“I’m only focusing on Saturday now and we’ll need to bring that type of performance. If we do, we’ll have a chance of taking something from the game”.

Manchester United and Liverpool set up an FA quarter-final showdown after they claimed narrow wins over Nottingham Forest and Southampton respectively.

United were heading for extra-time at the City Ground before Casemiro secured a precious victory for Erik ten Hag’s team in the 89th minute.

A free kick by Bruno Fernandes was flicked home by the Brazilian to break the deadlock with the goal eventually given after a lengthy VAR check, which deemed the offside Raphael Varane had not interfered with play.

It was Casemiro’s first goal since September and helped United bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Fulham to clinch a home tie in the last-eight against rivals Liverpool.

The FA Cup draw had been made prior to the evening’s four kick-offs and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool youngsters again made the most of their opportunity with an excellent 3-0 triumph over Southampton.

Liverpool, fresh from their Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea, boasted a number of academy graduates in their starting line-up and Lewis Koumas, son of former Wales international Jason, opened the scoring with a deflected effort in the 44th minute.

It was Koumas’ full debut and he marked it with a goal after he collected a pass from fellow youngster Bobby Clark before his low effort was deflected in off Jack Stephens.

Southampton had squandered a number of promising openings before that point and Klopp turned to his bench to seal the victory.

With no Mohamad Salah or Darwin Nunez, Jayden Danns got the nod and produced a superb two-goal cameo.

 

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Danns’ first was a sumptuous chip after Harvey Elliott’s through ball with 17 minutes left before he wrapped up the victory when he tapped home after Conor Bradley had been denied.

Chelsea were desperate for a response after their Wembley disappointment and Pochettino’s team selection raised eyebrows with Cole Palmer and Gallagher dropped to the bench, but the latter was able to fire his team into the last eight with a last-gasp winner.

The night started disastrously for the hosts when Moises Caicedo lost possession inside his own area after Axel Disasi’s risky pass and young forward Mateo Joseph fired beyond Robert Sanchez with eight minutes played at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino’s men were not behind for long with Caicedo releasing Nicolas Jackson, who fired into the bottom corner for his 10th goal of the season after quarter of an hour.

Mykhailo Mudryk completed the first-half turnaround with a smart finish after Raheem Sterling’s cut-back in the 37th minute but Leeds levelled soon after half-time.

Jaidon Anthony cut inside and his floated cross was headed home by Joseph prior to the hour mark to spark jubilant scenes in the away end.

It set up a grandstand finish with chances missed by both sides before Chelsea booked their place in the next round where they will host Leicester.

Wolves set up another all-Midlands tie in the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Brighton.

Mario Lemina slid home with only two minutes played after Jason Steele fumbled Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s cross to book Gary O’Neil’s side a quarter-final tie at home to Coventry.

Jurgen Klopp’s kids did him proud again as Lewis Koumas scored on debut and fellow 18-year-old Jayden Danns registered his first two goals as a depleted Liverpool side beat Southampton 3-0 at Anfield.

Victory, just three days after an exhausting 120-minute Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea, set up an FA Cup quarter-final at arch rivals Manchester United.

Whether the academy players will be required for that will depend on how fast the club can rehabilitate the 13 players currently injured in the next fortnight but regardless they have done their job.

Koumas, son of former Tranmere and West Brom midfielder Jason, was one of six players 21 or under in the team.

And it was one of his fellow academy colleagues Bobby Clark, one year his senior and making his 10th appearance, who supplied the assist just before half-time.

Danns, the son of former Crystal Palace midfielder Neil and who only made his debut at Wembley, came off the bench to score the second in the 73rd minute which allowed Anfield to breathe a sigh of relief.

That allowed Klopp the luxury of sending on Trey Nyoni, who at 16 years and 243 days became the club’s youngest player in the competition and third youngest in the club’s history.

That was the signal for the party atmosphere to kick in with the Kop singing “we haven’t won a trophy – since Sunday afternoon” – just before Danns fired home his second in the 88th minute after goalkeeper Joe Lumley parried Conor Bradley’s drive.

Southampton, however, were left ruing a missed opportunity against under-strength opponents having created enough chances in the opening half-hour to have made life difficult for their hosts.

Five of Liverpool’s Sunday starting XI – Caoimhin Kelleher, Virgil van Dijk, Harvey Elliott, Cody Gakpo and Bradley – were retained with three others – Ibrahim Konate, Alexis Mac Allister and Luis Diaz – dropped to the bench.

However, it was not all routine with defender Joe Gomez, who has been deployed all across the back four this season, asked to play the holding role in midfield alongside youngsters James McConnell and Clark.

But being asked to play a late cameo in a cup final and delivering from the off in a somewhat experimental team are two different things and the disjointed nature of the first 40 minutes were understandable.

Southampton, fourth in the Championship and with eyes on a bigger prize than cup success to the extent they made eight changes from Saturday’s defeat to Millwall, took advantage but not enough to open the scoring, which was largely due to their decision-making in the final third.

Sekou Mara had the ball in the net after just 38 seconds but had gone too early and was flagged offside.

Kamaldeen Sulemana hit a post and Mara forced Kelleher into two saves, with Sulemana then opting to shoot at the goalkeeper with Mara and Samuel Edozie waiting for a pass.

There was a point late in the half when Kostas Tsimikas was shouting instructions to Gakpo only for Klopp to tell the left-back to do something different when he had the ball.

It summed up the confusion and lack of cohesion – until a moment of clarity fashioned on the training fields of Kirkby broke the deadlock.

Lumley had waited 40 minutes to make a save, from Elliott’s 25-yarder, but he was undone by the quick feet of Koumas and a deflection off Jack Stephens.

Koumas started the move out on the left wing and when Clark picked out the winger’s run he cut onto his right foot and hit a shot which flicked off Stephens on its way past Lumley.

In a pre-planned move, Konate replaced Van Dijk for the second half to present Liverpool with a different challenge without the leadership of their inspirational captain.

The substitute assumed the mantle immediately, doing just enough to put off Mara as he tried to reach Sulemana’s cross, while at that same far post the unmarked Shea Charles fired into the side-netting with only Kelleher to beat after a corner dropped to him.

Danns showed a composure belying his age by clipping a shot over Lumley after Will Smallbone’s errant pass went straight to Elliott, before adding a late second.

Motherwell came from behind to beat bottom side Livingston 3-1 and enhance their cinch Premiership top six hopes.

Livingston had taken the lead after only three minutes through Tete Yengi but Sam Nicholson levelled minutes into the second half before Blair Spittal notched a sublime goal.

Substitute Jack Vale compounded Livingston’s woes with a third in the 87th minute.

Motherwell climbed to within three points off the top six, while Livingston sit seven points adrift at the foot of the table with only 10 games left.

The home team made a fast start and Yengi gave them the lead following a flowing move.

The Australian was involved at the start with a lay-off to Bruce Anderson and the striker’s reverse pass set Daniel MacKay clear. His shot was blocked by Liam Kelly but the ball broke to Yengi and he swept a shot into the empty net.

It was the just the start Livingston needed after losing to an agonising stoppage-time goal in the weekend’s relegation battle at Ross County.

Motherwell could have levelled five minutes later but Bevis Mugabi headed a Spittal free-kick wide from 10 yards.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession but were struggling to create any clear-cut chances in the final third.

Their next opening did not come until the 28th minute when Spittal got on the end of Adam Devine’s pass inside the box but his miscued effort drifted wide.

MacKay had a shot saved by Kelly at the other end before the visitors finished the half strongly.

Spittal was again involved as he got on the end of a Stephen O’Donnell cross and his first-time shot was deflected just over.

From Spittal’s resulting free-kick Livingston goalkeeper Shamal George pushed Mugabi’s header behind.

Motherwell brought on Vale at the break and Stuart Kettlewell’s side drew level just four minutes later.

O’Donnell again delivered a cross from the right and this time Nicholson glanced a header beyond George from close range.

Livingston were dealt another blow after injured goalkeeper George had to be replaced by Michael McGovern in the 57th minute.

Motherwell grew in confidence after fighting back and Kettlewell’s team went ahead in the 71st minute with a sublime effort from Spittal.

Paul McGinn’s cross fell to the playmaker on the edge of the box and he smashed an unstoppable left-footed half-volley into the top corner.

Vale then made sure of the points when he nodded home three minutes from time.

Celtic hit form with a 7-1 victory over Dundee following a first-half goal spree at Parkhead.

Cameron Carter-Vickers started the rout in the seventh minute and goals from Adam Idah, Matt O’Riley and Daizen Maeda had Celtic four up before the half-hour mark.

Greg Taylor and Callum McGregor made it six before the break and Daniel Kelly marked his league debut with a brilliantly-taken goal.

Dundee were down to 10 men through Finlay Robertson’s red card when they pulled a goal back from Michael Mellon, although the atmosphere had already lost a bit of an edge following Rangers’ comeback at Kilmarnock.

The Light Blues’ 2-1 victory keeps them two points ahead of Celtic at the top of the cinch Premiership.

However, Celtic have moved back to one behind on goal difference and secured a morale boost with their biggest win of the season after struggling to find their groove since the winter break. They had drawn twice in their previous four league matches and needed stoppage-time winners in the other two.

Manager Brendan Rodgers had called for positivity from the stands on the eve of the game after referencing the dissent that greeted one of his substitutions during the champions’ late win at Motherwell on Sunday.

His players ensured there was no opportunity for any negativity to emerge, although Dundee twice came close in the first two minutes through Curtis Main and Owen Beck.

Beck had kept Maeda quiet at Dens Park on Boxing Day but Yang Hyun-jun got an early edge when he got past him and drew a foul which earned the on-loan Liverpool left-back a booking.

There was further punishment from O’Riley’s free-kick as Carter-Vickers rose above Amadou Bakoyoko to head home his first goal of an injury-disrupted season.

Beck was fortunate not to receive another booking from referee Matthew MacDermid for a reckless tackle on Yang and Celtic continued to put the visitors under pressure as O’Riley was twice denied.

The home support were given another boost when news emerged of Kilmarnock’s opener and Idah had them celebrating in the 18th minute with a brilliant header from Alistair Johnston’s cross to net his fifth goal since joining four weeks ago.

O’Riley ran on to Taylor’s perfect cross to head home four minutes later and the midfielder turned provider as his pass found Maeda’s run across the box. The Japan international had plenty to do but a brilliant touch fooled Joe Shaughnessy and he curled into the far corner.

O’Riley sent a brilliant volley off the bar from 22 yards and Taylor’s run into the box was rewarded when Johnston’s cross ultimately fell for him as the left-back stroked home from eight yards in the 36th minute.

Main had a goal disallowed for offside following a VAR check before McGregor drilled home in stoppage time after an exchange of passes with Taylor with Yang once again involved.

Celtic went off at half-time amid noise akin to a Champions League night but the atmosphere dampened down as news of two quickfire goals from Rangers filtered through early in the second half.

Dundee manager Tony Docherty had made three half-time changes and his side looked more compact but half-time substitute Kelly showed composure beyond his 18 years to curl into the top corner after Yang’s low cross came to him on the edge of the box.

The Celtic Park DJ dug out the Magnificent Seven theme tune that used to follow Henrik Larsson’s many Parkhead goals and more fanfares looked on the cards.

Luis Palma curled off the Dundee bar and Robertson received a second yellow card for a late challenge on Johnston in the 76th minute.

However, it was Dundee who added to the scoring eight minutes later when Mellon volleyed home a cross from fellow substitute Aaron Donnelly.

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