MK Dons v Liverpool: Live matchday blog
Liverpool reached the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 victory over the League One side. James Milner opened the scoring in the first half before Ki-Jana Hoever headed in his first goal for the club with 69 minutes on the clock.
Klopp's post-match press conference
The boss is here to look back on the game and says: "Very good moments. 75 minutes we controlled the game really perfectly. We started well as a team.
"The team tonight was a little bit with lack of a rhythm and lack of experience. It was so important that we do these games and we are brave enough to use the boys."
Ki-Jana Hoever (17 years 250 days) is the 4th youngest known @LFC scorer in history after Ben Woodburn, Michael Owe… https://t.co/vJPJdjGav2— ged0407 (Ged Rea) 25th Sep 20:17
MK Dons 0-2 Liverpool
The referee calls a halt to proceedings as Liverpool reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
James Milner's late first-half strike put the visitors in front before Ki-Jana Hoever's first goal for the Reds secured their place in tonight's draw.
Another debut for the Reds as Van den Berg comes on for goalscorer Hoever.
The bar denies Elliott again!
A twisting and turning run gives Elliott a sighting of goal. But like the first half, his shot cannons off the crossbar and bounces clear.
Brittain goes for a run on the right-hand side and his shot at the end of it goes just over.
Liverpool's second sub of the evening sees Kane replace Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Milner performs a terrific block inside the penalty area to divert Bowery's effort for a corner. Lovren then clears off the line as the hosts ramp up the pressure.
Kelleher makes a superb reactionary stop with his legs to keep out Bowery's header from close range.
The woodwork again!
This time Oxlade-Chamberlain's piledriver hits the post and bounces clear.
GOAL!!! Ki-Jana Hoever makes it 2-0!
What a leap from the defender! Lallana feeds Milner, who sends a chipped ball into the box. And meeting the cross with a brilliant jump at the back post is Hoever to score his first goal for the club. Yes!
Elliott hits an impulse effort from way out that sails well over Moore's goal.
First change for the Reds as Chirivella comes on for Keita.
MK Dons hit the post.
In the aftermath of a corner, Bowery is first to the ball and his header trickles onto the post and bounces clear.
Before that there was a great recovery tackle from Lovren to deny Nombe a shot towards goal.
A loose header falls kindly to Elliott in the box, but the 16-year-old's shot hits the wrong side of the net.
Joe Gomez unleashes a shot from well outside the area and it sails over the crossbar.
Back to it
MK Dons get the second half started. The hosts have also made a change with Martin replacing Dickenson.
Here's how Opta saw that first half...
MK Dons 0-1 Liverpool
An entertaining first half comes to a close with Liverpool in front after James Milner's 41st-minute strike.
MK Dons had the first real chance of the match, but the Reds responded well with Milner and Harvey Elliott then going extremely close.
GOALLL!!!! James Milner makes it 1-0!
Milner sends an effort towards goal from the edge of the penalty area. Moore attempts to catch the shot, but the ball hits the goalkeeper and goes over the line. Get in!
Keita tries his luck at goal from long range, but sees the ball go well wide.
Brewster can't believe he hasn't scored. Milner puts an in-swinging cross into the box and it's just begging to be put in the back of the net. Brewster is outstretched, but is unable to poke home.
Gilbey now fires wide after a drilled cross fell to him inside the penalty area.
Milner heads agonisingly wide after some neat footwork and a fine lofted ball into the box from Elliott.
Brewster on debut...
Jones then tests Moore's alertness with a drilled effort. It's been an encouraging response after the MK Dons warning shot.
Off the bar!
Great work from Milner on the left sees him put a threatening pass across goal. Elliott is there at the far post but hits the crossbar from close range. So close...
A big chance for MK Dons goes begging. Nombe latches onto a long ball over the top and holds up play well in the penalty area. He finds McGrandles but he ends up blazing over. A let off for Liverpool.
Liverpool are enjoying lots of the ball in the opening stages, but are yet to test Moore in the MK Dons goal.
The Reds are backed by over 6,000 away fans, who are currently making themselves heard over the home crowd.
Here we go...
Elliott gets the action underway here at the Stadium MK.
Come on Reds!
AXA - LFC principal partner and official training kit partner
We've arrived 💪🔴 #CarabaoCup https://t.co/3q87DlOZeV— LFC (Liverpool FC) 25th Sep 18:06
Klopp on team selection
The boss is looking forward to seeing debutants Brewster, Elliott and Kelleher in action this evening.
He told Sky Sports: “Not at all nervous. [They are] really excited and really looking forward to it.
“The boys did brilliant. We had to decide things like this long ago. Of course, Divock Origi would have been involved, Xherdan Shaqiri would have been involved, Nathaniel Clyne would have been involved.
“But when you don’t have these guys available, it was always clear and always the plan to do it with the young boys. These are our prospects, our talents.
“We have come here to win the game and for nothing else – but we have to do it this way, with this line-up. I’m really excited, the boys did really good in training and looked good. But, of course, it will be [a] difficult [game] tonight.”
On how long Keita will feature on his return, Klopp added: “Not decided yet. He looked outstandingly good in training, so hopefully we have not to make [a decision].
“We have the boys there; we have Pedro Chirivella who can play in midfield, Herbie Kane, Luis Longstaff can play in midfield. We will see how long Naby is able to play. But it’s more important how we start and continue, not how we finish.”
📽️🔴 Our @Carabao_Cup third round clash is approaching 💪 https://t.co/Yqr4t8qNOv— LFC (Liverpool FC) 25th Sep 17:48
TEAM NEWS! Here is your #MKDons starting XI to face Liverpool this evening 👇 #MKDvLIV https://t.co/ZXutQ7crEJ— MKDonsFC (Milton Keynes Dons) 25th Sep 17:36
Behind closed doors...
Liverpool's teamsheet is in for tonight's game and confirms three senior debuts, with Caoimhin Kelleher, Harvey Elliott and Rhian Brewster named in the Reds' XI.
There are also places for senior players Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana, while Naby Keita returns after injury.
Liverpool: Kelleher, Hoever, Lovren, Gomez, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Jones, Elliott, Brewster.
Subs: Lonergan, Lewis, Kane, Chirivella, Van den Berg, Longstaff, Clarkson.
#MKDvLIV sold out quickly, inevitably. Could break stadium record for football, Brazil v Cameroon (29,669). 2015 Ru… https://t.co/nmO5ludIxH— henrywinter (Henry Winter) 25th Sep 16:58
MATCHDAY! Our @Carabao_Cup campaign starts tonight! 👊🏾 https://t.co/Vi9d59rjmK— GWijnaldum (Gini Wijnaldum) 25th Sep 15:19
*** STADIUM MK WEATHER LATEST ***
It might be a change of competition for Liverpool FC tonight as our Carabao Cup campaign begins, but that doesn't mean no official weather update for all of our loyal readers.
Of course, not. What do you take us for?
So, here we go.
It's a very mild evening in Milton Keynes, with the temperature around the 18-degree mark - and we're not expecting it to dip too much over the course of the night.
There's some light rain at the moment, but our sources tell us that will disperse ahead of kick-off.
"A fine evening for football," is how Liverpoolfc.com scribe Glenn Price has described the conditions.
Tonight’s venue. https://t.co/5dF9nFbtOw— James_Carroll84 (James Carroll) 25th Sep 16:02
It's our first ever visit to Stadium MK tonight.
Paul Tisdale's column in the matchday programme sees the MK Dons boss outline his excitement for tonight's game.
He writes: "I would like to congratulate Jürgen Klopp and his colleagues and players for their UEFA Champions League success and wonderful Premier League form last season.
"Not content on that terrific achievement, Liverpool certainly seem to be a contender for the Premier League title once again. With a squad of world-class players, I'm sure our opponents will make this tie a special occasion – one which our stadium was built for. High-class football in a high-class facility.
"Tonight is a welcome distraction from League One football, which has been relentless with the frequency of fixtures.
"I'm hoping the players can enjoy this evening's game without any of the normal pressures of league football."
Tonight's venue 📍 #CarabaoCup https://t.co/2Bo4KYk4Bj— LFC (Liverpool FC) 25th Sep 15:53
We mentioned Liverpool's top scorers in the League Cup earlier and Steve McManaman is among them with his 10-goal haul.
Two stand out in particular, though - his trophy-winning double against Bolton Wanderers in the 1995 final...
Matchday Live begins at 18:45 BST tonight, as the Reds face @MKDonsFC 🔴 Enjoy the build-up, live audio commentar… https://t.co/lSwHvz0nF5— LFCTV (LFCTV) 25th Sep 15:24
Liverpool have already lifted one cup this season, of course, having won the UEFA Super Cup in August.
MK Dons reached round three via two away ties.
They eliminated AFC Wimbledon on penalties after a 2-2 draw, then claimed a 4-1 win at Southend United to set up the meeting with the Reds.
In League One, they sit 15th with four wins and five defeats from their nine outings so far.
Rhian Brewster is among those hoping for an opportunity at Stadium MK tonight, for what would be his first senior Liverpool appearance.
"Rhian is in contention. He's waiting already for the time!" said Pep Lijnders of the striker, who featured regularly during pre-season, ahead of the tie.
"We look forward to seeing him and play like he likes to play. If he is just himself then everything will be fine."
The stage is set! #MKDvLIV https://t.co/bq3KMmABsB— MKDonsFC (Milton Keynes Dons) 25th Sep 14:52
And here are the other games happening in the competition this evening...
Here are the scores from last night's Carabao Cup third-round ties...
'Let's enjoy it'
That's the message from MK Dons manager Paul Tisdale.
"I'm very relaxed," Tisdale said at his pre-match press conference.
"It's an occasion and an opportunity to play in front of 29,000 fans, in your stadium against the European champions - let’s just enjoy it. I feel excited.
"This is not win at all costs. It would be marvellous if we did, but we're not planning or expecting it to happen. We'd like it to, and who knows, but let's just go and give it our best shot. We've got nothing to lose."
On this day: Torres terrorises Reading
Liverpool were also in League Cup third-round action on this day back in 2007 - and Fernando Torres scored the first of his four Reds hat-tricks in a 4-2 victory at Reading.
The Spaniard's clinical second-half treble came after another new signing, Yossi Benayoun, had opened his account for the club.
Can't wait to take the boy to his first Liverpool game tonight. He's so excited and so am I, been a very long time… https://t.co/Bt6ykN69sH— LaurenPrior12 (Lauren Prior) 25th Sep 13:13
Bobby Firmino has been presented with a milestone award by the Premier League after reaching 50 goals in the division.
Why not watch our No.9's first top-flight half-century again below?
Rush, Fowler, Dalglish...
Those three legends take the top three spots in the list of Liverpool's leading League Cup goalscorers.
Rush netted an incredible 48 times for the Reds in a competition they have won a record eight times, while Fowler's total of 29 is two more than Dalglish plundered.
Ronnie Whelan (14) and Steve McMahon (13) complete the top five.
Alisson on Kelleher: 'I'll be watching and supporting him'
So, with Caoimhin Kelleher in line to make his senior debut for the Reds tonight, who better to discuss the 20-year-old's potential step up than Alisson Becker?
We sat down for a chat with Liverpool's No.1 at Melwood on Tuesday - and he is confident that his young teammate will perform well if selected.
"I will be watching the game, supporting him,” Alisson told us.
“He is a great guy - he’s not a boy anymore, he is becoming a man making I think his first official game for Liverpool. I hope he can just do what he does every day here in training."
Hear more from Alisson on Kelleher and Adrian in the clip below...
The last time Liverpool played non-Premier League opponents in the third round of the League Cup, Philippe Coutinho had a hand in each goal of a 3-0 win at Derby County.
The Brazilian, Ragnar Klavan and Divock Origi were all on the mark at Pride Park back in September 2016 - but can you remember the rest of the Reds' starting XI from that tie?
Fill in the blanks in the quiz below...
Did you know?
MK Dons will be the 68th different opponent eight-time League Cup winners Liverpool have faced in the competition.
Last time out
The Reds made it six wins from six Premier League games this season with a 2-1 victory at Chelsea on Sunday...
We can expect changes for Liverpool tonight, with Lijnders saying: "It's a chance for a few players who didn’t play [in] the last weeks 90 minutes who can start the game."
Naby Keita is ready to return after a six-week injury lay-off, while Rhian Brewster and Caoimhin Kelleher are in contention to make their competitive first-team debuts for the Reds.
However, Xherdan Shaqiri (calf), Sadio Mane (knock/dead leg), Divock Origi (ankle) and Alisson Becker (calf) will not feature at Stadium MK.
Pep Lijnders stood in for Jürgen Klopp at Tuesday's pre-match press conference at Melwood.
Catch up with everything the assistant manager had to say below...
Welcome to Liverpoolfc.com's live blog, which will keep you bang up to date with all the build-up, action and reaction as the Reds visit MK Dons in the third round of the Carabao Cup.