Liverpool have been disappointing this season, mostly because they were so great last season. Their dropoff without Luis Suarez has been a bit steeper than most expected, and Brendan Rodgers' baffling selections haven't helped anything.
They looked poor again on Wednesday, struggling in the second leg of an FA Cup tie against mediocre Championship side Bolton Wanderers. They shouldn't have failed to beat Bolton at Anfield in the first place, and they certainly had no business going behind in the replay. They probably wouldn't have come back to win 2-1 if Bolton didn't pick up a dumb red card either.
But who cares? Let's look at the two goals they scored and keep and mind who scored them. Here's the equalizer, with Emre Can assisting Raheem Sterling.
That's an absurd pass from Can, a 21-year-old defensive midfielder who has spent most of the last month playing as a central defender. Sterling, a 20-year-old who's been shifted all over the pitch and whose best position is still yet to be discovered, knows exactly what run to make and when to make it. Then he hits a really casual first-time volley. This is a disgusting goal.
The winner, from 22-year-old Philippe Coutinho, might be even better.
The goalkeeper had every reason to believe that shot was going over the crossbar. Shots usually don't dip like that.
So yes, Liverpool have all kinds of problems. Their manager picks weird teams and there are occasional games when Can, Sterling and Coutinho are disappointing. But they're all players in their early 20s capable of doing stuff like this, and they do it on a not totally irregular basis. And in addition to this young core, they've just recalled 19-year-old Jordan Ibe from a highly successful loan spell at Derby and they have 19-year-old Divock Origi getting regular playing time at Lille.
Even if Liverpool doesn't make the right short-term decisions tactically or in the transfer market, they have a young core that's pretty hard to screw up. Wednesday was a reminder that there's a lot to love about Liverpool, even when their results are disappointing.