After a frustrating 0-0 draw at Anfield, Liverpool are set to square off with Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium, in a potential banana skin of an FA Cup fourth round replay on Wednesday night. We take a look back at the Reds’ rotten replay luck in recent times.
Since 2000 Liverpool have participated in five FA Cup replays only winning one, and yet more discomfort for fans is that the Reds have been unsuccessful in every away replay they have faced since a 2-0 win against Wimbledon back in 1995, after goals from John Barnes and Ian Rush saw the Redmen ease through into the sixth round.
Liverpool last faced an FA Cup replay back in 2010, after a 1-1 draw with Reading at the Madejski Stadium, Reading won the replay 2-1 after a late Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty saw them take it to extra time, and Shane Long sealed the deal in the 100th minute.
The year prior to that was the last time the Redmen faced a fourth round replay, and it was against bitter rivals Everton, after a Steven Gerrard goal had earned them a draw at Anfield, they lost the replay courtesy of a late extra time goal from youngster Dan Gosling.
The last time the Reds faced Bolton in the FA Cup dates back to 1993, after a 2-2 draw at Burnden Park, courtesy of a late Ian Rush equalizer, the Reds lost the replay at Anfield, as goals from John McGinlay and Andy Walker fired the men in white into the fourth round.
You’d have to go back to 1965 to find the last time the Reds beat Bolton in the FA Cup, with a side that featured the likes of Ian St John, Roger Hunt, and Ian Callaghan, and it was a late Callaghan goal that set Liverpool on their way, as they went on to lift the trophy that year.
More cause for concern for those praying for an eighth FA Cup winners medal is that the last three times Liverpool have reached an FA Cup final they haven’t had to face a replay, with the last time being a 3-0 replay win over Leeds United in 1996, the year in which they narrowly lost the final to Manchester United.
The Reds may also be cursing their luck at the timing of the replay, with it coming just three days before the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. However, they will be lifted by the recent return to fitness of Daniel Sturridge and captain Steven Gerrard, who returns from a hamstring injury to make his 700th appearance for the club.
Brendan Rodgers will also be hoping their recent league form can translate to a positive result against Neil Lennon’s side, to break their replay curse, with the Redmen unbeaten in seven in the league and with clean sheets in their last three games in the league, the defensive wounds may have finally been treated.
Bolton are currently sitting 14th in the Championship, and have only lost two of their last 13 games in the league, former Celtic manager Lennon was appointed back in October and made an instant impact lifting his side off the bottom of the league with a few positive displays.
However, Liverpool players needn’t look far for motivation with the FA Cup final being played on 30th May, the birthday of outward-bound captain Steven Gerrard, who is determined to win one final winners’ medal for the club, and if the Reds continue with the way they have played recently then they should get through this tie, and on their way to Steven’s target.