Liverpool commitment to academy underlined by impressive stat

Sunday afternoon proved a memorable one for Liverpool in the FA Cup.

The Reds beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in the third round of the competition, a result that showcased their quality and, perhaps most importantly, determination.

Having withstood a first-half barrage, Jurgen Klopp's side grew into the game in north London, booking their place in the next round of the FA Cup thanks to a Jakub Kiwior own goal and a stoppage-time Luis Diaz strike.

Klopp's in-game management once again proved decisive, the German shifting Darwin Nunez to the left-hand side and playing Cody Gakpo through the middle after the break.

Not only this, but Klopp's substitutions were perfectly-timed. Diogo Jota, who set up Liverpool's second, and Ryan Gravenberch came on just before the hour mark, while young Conor Bradley and Bobby Clark were thrust into action with 15 minutes left despite the game being goalless.

Both Bradley and Clark were surprise subs, but dealt with the occasion remarkably well. The pair made some important contributions down Liverpool's right-hand side in what was another win for the Reds' academy.

In fact, one impressive statistic from Sunday's encounter highlights just how committed Liverpool are to their youth setup.

Of the 20 Liverpool players in the squad at the Emirates, exactly half were academy graduates - including the likes of Trent-Alexander Arnold and Curtis Jones.

There was even a place on the bench for 16-year-old midfielder Trey Nyoni against the Gunners, while the likes of Kaide Gordon, Luke Chambers and James McConnell were unused subs.

The fact that Bradley and Clark were able to thrive having been flung into a high-pressure environment on the big stage speaks volumes about the work being done in Kirkby.

Liverpool have used ten players that are 20 or under in all competitions this season, said youngsters making a combined 63 appearances for the club - albeit the bulk of those minutes have been played by Harvey Elliott and Jarell Quansah.

A few more academy graduates may see minutes against Fulham in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday, including recently recalled Owen Beck at left-back.

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