In a clash at Deepdale, a Minamino goal and a second from Divock Origi, one of invention, ensured Liverpool’s progression to the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup.
Minamino gave Liverpool the lead from a Neco Williams cross, a demonstration of their Premier League quality.
Divock Origi flicked it over Declan Rudd and celebrated in front of the vociferous travelling support from Merseyside, still on a high from the Old Trafford trouncing.
Minamino’s goal sparked Liverpool into action and meant they demonstrated their Premier League nous at long last after a half of performing in an under-par manner.
Preston faded in the second half particularly after Liverpool’s goal despite their creation of the better chances in the first half especially given that one was saved by Adrian, the other blocked on the line and the other wide.
The first half was largely dominated by Liverpool who encountered stoicism from the Preston defence.
Preston preyed on the uncertainty of the changed Liverpool defence without the reliability of Van Dijk.
Despite their dominance of possession, Liverpool failed to create an actual chance, who in the first half, were not the same without their triumvirate of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
The game started as expected as Liverpool had a lot of the ball predominantly through Minamino but few actual chances for either side came about.
Brad Potts had his effort saved by Adrian on 25 minutes and Liam Lindsay from the following corner was offside as he headed towards goal.
Ledson also had a chance from a long throw but also shot over. This acted as a rare chance for Preston who at that point in the game, had had a small amount of possession and sat back.
This meant that Preston were subjected to the predicted killer blow of the opening goal, made even more hurtful by the gaping nature of the chances they missed in the first half.
After these chances however, Preston’s attacking threat was limited and meant that largely, the second half was smooth for the Liverpool defence as they contained Preston.
It was a night whereby the fringe players like Minamino, Origi, Adrian impressed and while not a regular pick in the usual line up, showed that they are adept and available.
As for Preston, they regretted their missed chanced and return to the grind of the Championship.