Brendan Rodgers made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Fulham 3-2 in the Premier League on Wednesday night, with Brad Jones replacing Simon Mignolet, Daniel Agger in for Kolo Toure and Joe Allen replacing Jordan Henderson.
Before the match, there was a minute’s silence for Sir Tom Finney, which broke out into applause and song — both sets of supporters showing respect for the former Preston and England forward.
Mesut Ozil’s cross fell to Yaya Sanogo, who’s shot was bravely blocked by Steven Gerrard. The ball dropped to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in space, who slotted home from 10 yards out.
Both sides had good spells of possession before the half was out, and Luis Suarez forced a save from Lukasz Fabianski shortly before half-time.
Raheem Sterling had a ticking off from referee Howard Webb on the stroke of half-time when the 19-year-old reacted badly to a decision.
Suarez started the second-half with a superb turn and run into the area, which brought about another good save from Fabianski. It was Arsenal though that would strike next.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pace down the right left Agger chasing and his low cross to Lukas Podolski was expertly put away by the German for the Gunners’ second of the afternoon.
Suarez had a dangerous shot on 54 mintues, whipping the ball just over from the edge of the area, but he cast a frustrated figure as the game went on.
Sturridge forced a save from Fabianski minutes later as Liverpool responded to conceding the second goal brightly.
The Reds were rewarded for their pressure when Gerrard scored from the penalty spot just before the hour mark after Suarez was brought down by Podolski in the area.
Liverpool should have had a second penalty just minutes later when Suarez was brought down by Oxlade-Chamberlain inside the area following a Suarez free-kick that went into the wall. Webb was perfectly positioned for the incident, but bottled it, waving play on.
But whilst Liverpool may feel frustration at not being awarded a penalty, Gerrard was lucky to stay on the pitch with a possible second yellow card for his late foul on Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Rodgers’ side were left to rue missed chances in both halves, and it is Arsene Wenger’s men who will face Everton at home in the sixth round of the competition.
Team Line-ups and Substitutions
Liverpool: Jones, Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Cissokho (Henderson 62), Gerrard, Allen, Coutinho, Suarez, Sterling, Sturridge.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Toure, Moses, Kelly, Aspas, Teixeira.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Gibbs 75), Ozil, Podolski (Cazorla 69), Sanogo (Giroud 88).
Subs not used: Viviano, Sagna, Wilshere, Gnabry.
Referee: Howard Webb
Lucas Podolski 2-0 (47 mins)