Liverpool 5-1 Oldham Atheltic
FA Cup Third Round, Friday 6th January 2012
Liverpool brushed aside League One Oldham Athletic at Anfield in the FA Cup third round on Friday night.
Goals from Craig Bellamy, Steven Gerrard (pen), Jonjo Shelvey, Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing gave Kenny Dalglish’s side a rather flattering result.
The Reds actually went behind in the 28th minute when Robbie Simpson hit a stunning volley past Pepe Reina at the Kop end.
But their lead only lasted 66 seconds, with Shelvey’s shot being deflected in off Bellamy.
The Reds then took the lead shortly before half time when Steven Gerrard did what Liverpool have failed to do on four previous occasions this season and scored a penalty. The Reds’ skipper, starting his first game since October, dispatched the ball confidently into the top corner in off the post.
In all honesty, the first half was far from convincing and The Latics had the better of the clear cut chances.
Liverpool were much better in the second half, with Bellamy in particular causing problems down the right wing. He created several opportunities but Maxi and Kuyt couldn’t convert.
Finally though one was converted with Shelvey claiming his first goal for the club from close range, finishing well from Bellamy’s low cross.
Andy Carroll replaced Dirk Kuyt with three minutes to play, and the birthday boy hit a hammer strike from the edge of the box to break his goalscoring drought and to a visible relief all around.
In the closing seconds Stewart Downing then grabbed his first goal for the club to cap a good night for LFC.
The only sour note on the night was a worrying exchange from a fan in the Kop towards Oldham’s Adeyemi who was visibly upset on 80 minutes and the fourth official was seen in discussion with a steward. It has been reported that a fan threw a coin at the Oldham defender and was ejected.
Liverpool fans left the ground unsure of what was more miraculous; Carroll scoring, Downing scoring, or Fabio Aurelio playing 70 minutes without getting injured!
The draw for the fourth round is on Sunday – the first time Liverpool have been in the hat for three seasons.
Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Coates, Aurelio (Flanagan 70), Gerrard, Spearing, Shelvey, Maxi, Kuyt (Carroll 87), Bellamy (Downing 74).
Subs not used: Doni, Skrtel, Henderson, Adam.