Liverpool 5-1 Oldham: Steven Gerrard & Andy Carroll On Target As Reds Romp Home After Early Scare To Progress In FA Cup
A dominant performance saw the Reds comfortably progress to the next round, with five different playing getting on the scoresheet on a successful night at Anfield
By Sam Bisby at Anfield
Goals from five different players saw the hosts through to the next round of the competition, with Paul Dickov's side unable to build on a good start which saw them take the lead.
Robbie Simpson’s long-range stunner saw the Latics surprise the home side, before Craig Bellamy replied immediately and Steven Gerrard converted a penalty just before the break.
A dominant second period saw the Reds put another three past Oldham. Jonjo Shelvey netted the first with a short-range effort, with Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing adding two more - the former doing so in sensational fashion.
The hosts sent out a strong starting XI for the League One minnows to contend with, as captain Gerrard began his first match since late October and there were also starts for Dirk Kuyt, Jamie Carragher, Fabio Aurelio and youngsters Sebastian Coates and Jonjo Shelvey.
Oldham started brightly enough to cause some mayhem in Liverpool’s third and won an early corner that almost threatened the hosts’ goal. Maxi Rodriguez was almost put through on goal moments later, but an incisive interception from Tom Adeyemi cleared the danger.
The first 10 minutes saw the visitors get the best chance of the game, with Shefki Kuqi bursting through on goal and out-muscling Coates in the process, but his close-range effort lacked accuracy and was blasted against the side-netting.
The Latics kept pushing and made it known that they would not be shy in attacking Liverpool’s goal, with their hard work paying off just before the half-hour mark as Simpson collected the ball from five yards outside the box and blasted it at Pepe Reina’s goal on the half-volley, surprising everyone inside Anfield and putting the visitors in the lead.
It did not last long, however, as Bellamy did well to get his head on a powerful shot from Shelvey that put Liverpool back on equal terms within just a few minutes. The hosts nearly went in the lead shortly after, as Maxi was given a clear sight of goal following a frenzied few seconds in the Oldham box, but the Argentine could not convert thanks to a good save from keeper Alex Cisak and Martin Kelly failed to deliver the rebound.
As the first half came to a close, it was evident that the home crowd were after a little more from their side and as the 45th minute approached they were lifted by a penalty awarded in the Reds’ favour.
A clumsy moment of madness for Adeyemi saw the defender launch himself on top of the waiting Maxi in the Oldham box and the spot-kick duty was handed straight to Gerrard, who did not disappoint, slotting the ball in to the top-corner in front of the away fans.
In on the act | Shelvey added Liverpool's third of the night
After the break it was much of the same with both sides attacking from the off, but Liverpool came the closest in the first 15 minutes with Martin Kelly having a great header from a corner pushed onto the post by Cisak.
Chances at goal became scarce as Liverpool looked to push on, but were often caught in possession by the ambitious visitors who looked to try and claw their way back into the game.
Liverpool, however, had other ideas and an easy goal was let in by the visitors as Shelvey took advantage of Bellamy’s cross into the area and some free space made by the absent defenders to power home the Reds’ third.
Both sides used all of their substitutions, but it was the hosts that found that theirs worked more effectively, with Carroll silencing his critics with a fantastic long-range effort that smashed against the back of Cisak’s net.
Downing followed suit with a goal - his first for the club - at the death following a rebound, rounding off the tie perfectly for the hosts who did well to avoid a potential upset with the clinical football Dalglish has been after for a while now.
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