By Ritchie Slack (@Slack_9)
On 5th January 2020, Liverpool fielded a team mostly of exciting young talents and fringe players to take on The Toffees at Anfield, with Jones starting in a three-man midfield.
As it turned out, he dominated that midfield and deservedly picked up the MOTM award as a result. Oh, and scored the match-winning goal; a mazy strike of, well, real quality and seamless technique.
In a game where nothing could separate the two sides, the then 18-year-old cemented himself into Liverpool folklore by becoming the youngest goalscorer in the Merseyside derby – surpassing Robbie Fowler’s record in 1994.
It came in the 71st minute. The ball was delicately chipped into Divock Origi’s path just outside the Everton penalty area; Origi easily fended off a half-hearted press from Everton’s Djibril Sidibé and rolled the ball back to the right foot of the Liverpool youngster. What cannot be overlooked is Jones’ first touch – the deftest of strokes – which set up an even better second: an arrowed strike into the top right-hand corner of the Annie Road net.
Jones opens up his body perfectly to bend the ball into a portion of the net which even two Jordan Pickfords would struggle to save. The sensational curling effort left Pickford flailing, a goal worthy of winning any game. And the fact it was against Everton made it all the more sweeter.
A recent Twitter poll pitted Jones against Peterborough United’s Ivan Toney goal in the final of the ‘goal of the season’ campaign, a sensational volley from a man who hit 26 goals in 39 games for The Posh last season. But even this wonder strike wasn’t enough to deny Curtis Jones this accolade – winning with a whopping 77% of the 85,037 votes.
This astonishing effort was Jones’ first senior goal for Liverpool. The 19-year-old would end up totalling three goals for Liverpool in twelve games in his first full season in Liverpool red. Whilst he may never score another goal quite as good as this one, his future is bright.
In all honestly, with the likes of Neco Williams and Harvey Elliot also emerging, we can be sure in asserting the team’s future is brighter than ever before.
Anyway, congratulations Curtis Jones, FA Cup goal of the season winner.