Glance at the front pages on any given day and it’s easy to surmise that the world is in a state of flux.
And yet some things never change.
As sure as spring follows winter, Wolves’ cup woes and Andre Marriner’s terrible officiating are something we can sadly all depend upon.
And while Liverpool can count themselves fortunate to have made it to a replay, they needed no such luck tonight.
This was undoubtedly our poorest showing since Lopetegui’s arrival, with Kelleher barely tested all evening.
As was the case in last week’s League Cup exit, the manager made plenty of changes and it was thus unsurprising to see us make a disjointed start to proceedings.
This was compounded by Elliott’s early strike, which Sa will surely be having nightmares about tonight. Why was he so far off his line?
Unsurprisingly, the goal seemed to rock our confidence, so credit ought to go to the players for not capitulating.
The ability to stay in games has been a welcome characteristic of Lopetegui’s tenure thus far, and served us in good stead in the second half.
Several tactical reshuffles and the introduction of Semedo, Cunha and Nunes gave us a stronger foothold on the game, with the visitors seemingly happy to play-act and waste time.
It was frustrating (but not surprising) to see us fail to make this count, and the watching Sarabia will be under no illusions as to what he’s been brought in to do. Just a modicum of his goalscoring record at Sporting will serve us right.
Ultimately, an already flat cup tie ended with a whimper and eyes will now solely be focused on the league. And perhaps, with our Premier League future far from being secure, that’s no bad thing.
Rotten performances such as this can also help to temper expectations, with tonight providing a reminder that there is still plenty of deadwood in this squad.
If Lopetegui can deliver on the early promise of his reign and keep us up, then he will hopefully be allowed to undertake the serious rebuilding job that is required.
Until that has been done, dreams of a return to Wembley will have to continue to be consigned.