The visitors had to mostly play a junior team, together with a sprinkling of seniors such as Christian Benteke and Enrique, who made his first appearance of the season.
First Exeter’s homegrown striker Tom Nichols horribly exposed Spaniard Tiago Ilori to turn home Jamie Reid’s low cross for the opening goal.
And then after Jerome Sinclair had grabbed a quick equaliser, worse embarrassment was to follow as Lee Holmes scored direct from a corner a few minutes before half time.
Somehow Holmes, a journeyman 28-year-old whose early promise at Derby was never fulfilled, curled the ball above and beyond goalkeeper Adam Bogdan – all 6ft 5ins of him.
Bogdan’s Premier League debut had been a nightmare when he dropped a corner within the first few minutes to set Watford on their way to a 3-0 win.
This was another night to forget for the Hungarian international.
Klopp put his faith in his youngsters, ignoring the likes of Lucas and Adam Lallana even when the going got tough. Enrique was unfit, therefore too slow and left Liverpool exposed. Ilori on the other hand had failed to earn a place in Aston Villa’s relegation threatened team. It was a makeshift team for sure.
At that point they just had Sinclair’s goal to boast about, a loose ball after Benteke was bundled over and the referee played advantage, as the youngster poked it home.
However the Reds were looking as if they were going to bow out.
Benteke was denied an equaliser early in the second half when Olejnik brilliantly turned over his close-range header from Cameron Brannagan’s cross.
However, it was against the run of play on 73 minutes when Sheyi Ojo, on for is debut from the bench, crossed from the left and Jordan Moore-Taylor’s clearance dropped for Smith to finish from eight yards.
Joao Teixeira was then denied by a decent Olejnik stop. For Liverpool, the FA Cup dream lives on. Just. With the replay set for Anfield.