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January 6, 2013
• One Call Stadium, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 7574
M. Green 80'
D. Sturridge 7'
L. Suárez 59'
A commendable effort from Mansfield in the second half, but they just left themselves too much to do. Thanks for joining me, and have a good evening.
Daniel Sturridge enjoyed a successful debut, scoring the opening goal early in the first half, and Jonjo Shelvey also stood out for Liverpool as their creator-in-chief and the architect of the first strike.
In the end, a controversial goal from Luis Suarez, who clearly handballed before doubling Liverpool's lead, has made the difference at Field Mill and I'm sure Mansfield will have a few grievances to air. Liverpool always looked relatively in control here, though, a strong 10-minute spell from the hosts after the break aside.
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME: Mansfield 1-2 Liverpool
90' + 5'
There's almost a dramatic last chance as Howell latches on to a flick-on, but Coates gets across with a vital tackle and the referee blows up. Liverpool are through - just.
90' + 3'
Another long ball is sent forward but Coates hooks clear and Downing and Suarez break. The latter is fouled, and that will kill much of the remaining time on the clock.
90' + 1'
Superb save by Jones! Murray charges through the middle and sets up Green, who shoots from distance, and the goalkeeper needs to palm the shot away. Mansfield are not down and out by any means now.
90' + 1'
Green is offside again after Howell does well to bring down a high ball before turning and passing through to the striker. Four added minutes to be played.
Flanagan is booked for a sliding challenge on the Mansfield left and Murray has a chance to put a free kick in from a good position. The delivery is headed clear, though, and Daniel's follow-up is booted back upfield.
Yellow Card Jon Flanagan
Suarez, in all kinds of space, tries to pick out the advancing Henderson with a through ball, but it's just cut out. Mansfield are frantically trying for a second goal but they're not getting on the ball as much as they would like this late in the game.
Green comes close again, but the linesman's flag is up for offside. A free kick is launched forward from the Mansfield half and two flick-ons later, the forward is through on Jones to the goalkeeper's right. The linesman calls a halt to his progress, though, and Jones saved anyway.
Chance for Mansfield! Geohaghon hurls a throw into the box and it seems to bounce off the shoulder of a Liverpool defender before flying across the goalmouth and behind. That just needed a touch, but Mansfield are angry that the referee has awarded a goal kick rather than a corner.
Mansfield are pouring forward in search of an equaliser but they've left themselves very exposed at the back. Suarez links up with Robinson, who attacks from the left, but the youngster's volley is poor and well over the bar. He had a lot of time and space there.
Goal Matthew James Green
GOAL! Mansfield pull one back! What might that have meant if not for Suarez's controversial goal? Green scores and he utterly deserves it for a display full of heart and endeavour. Clements' delivery from a free kick is again disappointing but Daniel makes something of the loose ball on the left. His cross to the back post is cut back to Green, who volleys through a crowd of bodies past Jones. It took a couple of deflections, and may even be awarded to Howell, but it was very much Green's strike.
Dempster deals with a long ball unconvincingly under pressure from Suarez, and then sends an awful clearance straight to Henderson. It's worked out to Downing on the right, but Shelvey's volley from his cross to the back post is wide.
Daniel wins a free kick off Wisdom on the left and Clements sends a delivery towards the near post, but Henderson makes a simple clearance.
Some nice interplay in midfield leads to Green laying the ball off for Clements, but the midfielder's attempted through pass is too long. Green is sent wide and fires in a cross instead, but Howell is offside.
This has petered out a bit now. Liverpool are well in control, having seen off an excellent 10 minutes or so from Mansfield at the start of this half. A comeback looks beyond the Stags at the moment.
Liverpool are looking highly dangerous on the counter and one such rush upfield nearly ends in a third goal. Downing leads the way from the right and his pass across looks to be intended for Shelvey, but is brought down by Suarez. He rolls the ball on for Shelvey anyway, but the midfielder's low shot flies just wide of the far post.
Green has run tirelessly up front and again brings the ball down to lay it off to Murray. His pass is hopeful at best, though, and an isolated Thompson can't keep hold of possession. Mansfield have got to do more with their striker's hard work.
Meikle releases Green with a pass over the top of the Liverpool defence, but the striker's shot from a tight angle is curled over the crossbar. Colin Daniel is replacing Briscoe.
Mansfield have been punished in cruel fashion - that goal shouldn't have been allowed to stand. But their early pressure in the second half had started to fade and they will look back and rue the near misses that so nearly brought an equaliser.
Goal Luis Suárez
GOAL! Huge controversy at Field Mill as Suarez scores to double the Reds' lead! The Uruguayan exchanged passes with Downing and after his first shot was well saved by Marriott, he seemed to clearly control the rebound with his hand. Both the referee and linesman failed to spot the offence, though, and Suarez tapped into an empty net with Marriott still down.
Great endeavour from Green. He brings down a long ball superbly and holds off Coates long enough to win a throw-in as his team-mates arrive in support. Mansfield need to keep this early flurry of enthusiasm going.
Rodgers has reacted by bringing on Suarez and Henderson to ease the pressure. The Uruguay striker almost makes an instant impact, shooting just wide with the outside of his boot.
Mansfield are nearly sucker-punched by a Liverpool counterattack, but Sturridge drills wide of the target after being released by Downing. That was close.
Mansfield have created far more in these opening minutes than they did in the entirety of the first half. Briscoe takes advantage of Robinson's slip to shoot from the right, but Jones palms it round the post. Geohaghon meets the subsequent corner, but Green's back heel from close range is blocked by Jones - or was it Allen's arm? There's appeals from the home fans again but it all happened very quickly.
Just as Liverpool look to have settled, Mansfield carve out another opportunity. Green gets in down the left-side of the penalty area and his half-volley is well blocked by Carragher. There's an appeal for handball, but the referee is unconvinced.
This is much better from Mansfield, who are putting some very dangerous crosses in the box. Meikle is the provider from the left this time, but again Green is just too late when he arrives at the near post.
More good play from Mansfield! Briscoe fires in a powerful cross from the right that just evades Green at the near post. Jones could only throw himself across instinctively to block.
Sturridge is very harshly booked for backing into his man as he tried to bring a pass down.
Yellow Card Daniel Sturridge
Good start for Mansfield, as Howell forces Jones into a good save, but they can't make anything of the subsequent corner.
The teams are back out at Field Mill, and we're ready for the second half.
Sturridge and Shelvey have linked up to great effect and the pass that released the new arrival for the goal that separates these two teams was superb. Mansfield will need to keep a lid on the 20-year-old more effectively than they have done thus far.
Liverpool looked like they might put Mansfield to bed fairly early after starting well at Field Mill and scoring after seven minutes, but Mansfield have dug in and recovered, admittedly thanks to some good goalkeeping by Marriott. They are still very much in this tie at the break.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME: Mansfield 0-1 Liverpool
45' + 1'
Coates meets Downing's corner on the volley but the effort flies wide of the post.
Fine save by Marriott! Shelvey picks another pass to Sturridge, whose stepover completely fools Beevers. Sturridge shoots across goal but Marriott gets the faintest of touches to turn it around the post for a corner.
Important bit of defending by Geohaghon. Sturridge did well to hold the ball up and lay it off for Shelvey, who found Suso. The Spaniard was close to returning the ball into Sturridge's pass but Geohaghon intercepted.
Meikle tricks his way past Wisdom but his cross from the corner of the penalty area flies across goal untouched and out for a throw-in.
This is descending into more of a physical battle now as the pitch continues to deteriorate, and a promising Mansfield attack is ended when Howell barges into Lucas in an attempt to bring the ball down. Four minutes to play and Mansfield would probably take this at the break.
Another Geohaghon throw is punched away by Jones. Briscoe, after some tremendous hard work down the right, finds enough space to get a cross away but Shelvey blocks, and Mansfield can't make anything of the corner.
Yellow Card Lucas Leiva
Sturridge is tripped by Beevers on the Liverpool right, and the left-back is booked. Lucas suffers the same fate when he holds back Green near the touchline after the No.10 had turned smartly.
Yellow Card Lee Beevers
Better again from Mansfield, as Briscoe passes in to Green to the left of Jones' goal, but the striker is flagged for offside. He'd sent a dangerous low ball across towards Meikle with his first touch.
Sturridge rushes at great speed down the right, holding off two defenders without losing his balance, but his cut-back is blocked before it reaches Shelvey in the centre of the box.
Much better from Mansfield! Geohaghon does well to shrug off his man on the right and passes into the feet of Green. From 25 yards, the striker fires a powerful shot across goal that Jones does well to palm away. Easily the closest the hosts have come, and that might renew their optimism before half-time.
Mansfield win a free kick on the left but Shelvey does well to head Clements' delivery away. Green chases another long pass, this time from Geohaghon, but again he's very isolated and does well to win a throw-in off Carragher. Mansfield haven't supported their lone striker well enough so far.
The link between Shelvey and Sturridge has been highly promising for Liverpool and this time the latter sets up his team-mate. He's always under pressure from Dempster, though, and is off-balance as he pokes a shot towards goal that Marriott saves.
Great battle between Coates and Green, who both go down as they tussle for a long ball aimed towards the Liverpool box. Coates finally comes out on top and marches forward on the left.
Robinson smartly knocks the ball past Briscoe on the Liverpool left but Murray is penalised for a sliding tackle that appeared to be clean.
Sturridge beats the Mansfield offside trap again to get behind the defence, but Marriott, once more, is off his line quickly to nip in and steal the ball. Liverpool are isolating the Mansfield defenders in one-on-one situations with too much regularity and again a last-ditch challenge by Dempster is needed to block Downing's goal-bound shot.
Murray knocks the ball past Lucas and is tripped by the midfielder's late challenge. Carragher heads the delivery clear, but that gives Geohaghon the chance to hurl a huge throw into the box. Liverpool deal with it well, though, and clear their lines again.
Vital tackle by Meikle to deny Sturridge! Some intricate play on the right leads to Shelvey laying the ball in for the former Chelsea player, but Meikle slides in at exactly the right time to allow Marriott to dive on the ball.
Robinson advances forward from left-back for the first time, but Downing's pass ahead to the youngster is too long. The pitch is making things quite difficult for both sides, but Liverpool are well on top.
Shelvey has been influential in the middle and stretches to reach a ball and free Sturridge again. Dempster reacts quickly to tackle, though, and Downing can't find the striker with a cross when he picks up the loose ball.
Sturridge should have a second! Another excellent pass from Shelvey releases the striker but instead of shooting early, he tries to wait for Marriott to make the first move. The goalkeeper stays big, and makes a good save when Sturridge finally pulls the trigger.
Here's a good break for Mansfield, as Howell, a tall and imposing midfielder, strides into space in the centre. His through ball is too long for Green, though, and Jones collects.
After a short corner routine, Downing rolls a pass back to Allen and his shot from the edge of the box is deflected, but Marriott is able to hold a spinning ball.
Meikle fires the free kick straight into the wall and Liverpool quickly proceed upfield. Downing wins a corner on the left.
Liverpool have got men behind the ball well when Mansfield are in possession and both Meikle and Clements struggle to find a way through as the home side pour forward. Meikle does manage to win a free kick 30 yards out, though, and here's a chance for the non-league side.
Another chance for Sturridge, as Dempster's back pass gets caught in the mud. The new signing tries to poke the ball past Marriott but the goalkeeper had reacted quickly enough to come off his line and block.
Goal Daniel Sturridge
GOAL! Sturridge scores on his debut and Liverpool have an early lead! Mansfield are struggling to get anything going in midfield - the pitch is like sludge around the centre circle - but Shelvey manages to produce a superb through ball to release Sturridge behind centre-back Geohaghon. The striker fires a first-time shot beyond the advancing goalkeeper with his right foot.
First sniff of goal for Mansfield, as a long ball drops behind Carragher. Green dashes forward but not quickly enough to prevent Jones from coming off his line to collect. At the other end, a long pass from Allen releases Downing, but his cross is cleared.
Sturridge turns down the right and fires a threatening low pass across goal, but it's blocked. Liverpool work it back out to Suso, but he shoots a long way over the crossbar from 25 yards.
Downing's shot from the edge of the box is blocked for a corner but the winger's delivery is cleared.
Thompson gets in possession for the first time for the Stags, but promptly loses it to Shelvey. Mansfield are doing a good job of forcing Liverpool to go backwards, though.
Mansfield have not yet touched the ball but they are pressing Liverpool enthusiastically. The pitch is muddy and bobbly and will not be ideal for the Reds' preferred possession-based style of play.
Sturridge and Shelvey kick-off.
Carragher and Adam Murray, the Mansfield captain and assistant manager, shake hands and Liverpool will get us underway in a few seconds' time.
Jamie Carragher, captain today in the absence of Steven Gerrard, leads Liverpool out on to the pitch. There's construction work going on on one side of the stadium and the residents in the houses behind it have got a nice view over their garden fences today.
Five minutes until kick-off at Field Mill. As you would expect, it should be full to the tune of 7,500 supporters today, and that backing often proves of tremendous value to the home side. Liverpool will need to do a professional job.
Daniel Sturridge will make his first Liverpool appearance in his preferred central striking role today, with Stewart Downing and Suso providing support from the flanks. It will be interesting to see how Brendan Rodgers balances Sturridge's wishes with the form of Luis Suarez when the Uruguayan returns to the team. He's rested and on the bench today.
Mansfield have played only two matches against Liverpool in their history, and they came within the space of a fortnight in 1970. The Stags, in the third tier at the time, valiantly held the Reds to a 0-0 draw at home in the League Cup before falling 3-2 in extra time in the replay. Might they repeat that feat today?
We've had a few nice shocks in the third round so far - Luton saw off Wolves at Kenilworth Road yesterday, while Macclesfield grabbed a dramatic victory against Championship leaders Cardiff. This, though, would top those two results by a distance.
Liverpool: Jones; Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Robinson; Lucas, Allen, Shelvey; Suso, Sturridge, Downing. Subs: Gulacsi, Suarez, Henderson, Sterling, Coady, Skrtel, Flanagan.
Mansfield: Marriott, Thompson, Geohaghon, Dempster, Beevers, Clements, Murray, Howell, Briscoe, Green, Meikle. Subs: Speight, Rhead, Hutchinson, Stevenson, Sutton, Wright, Daniel.
So, with a match at Boundary Park awaiting the winners at Field Mill today, let's look at the team news. Liverpool have handed a start to new signing Daniel Sturridge...
The draw for the fourth round is going on as we speak and the winners of this tie will face a trip to Oldham Athletic of League One.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of today's FA Cup third round tie between Mansfield Town and Liverpool.
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