FA Cup 3rd Round Replay
Tuesday 15th January 2008 @ 8pm
Liverpool ended their mediocre start to the year with a five goal hammering of Luton Town, as Steven Gerrard scored a hat-trick to ease the reds in to the next round of the FA Cup.
After a horrific week for Benitez, Rafa will have been pleased that the players put in a professional performance and handed Luton the kind of result that should have been given 10 days ago.
Steven Gerrard handed the captaincy armband to Jamie Carragher tonight – to celebrate his 500th club appearance – but Gerrard stole the show from his Scouse teammate.
The reds dominated the first half but it was heading towards the half-time interval as 0-0 until a quick break enabled Ryan Babel to fire a slide-rule shot past the Luton keeper – somewhat ironically named ‘Brill’.
The half time whistle went and the reds trooped off the pitch with what must have been a huge weight lifted off their shoulders.
Second half and the reds tore Luton apart.
A Steven Gerrard header after some strong build up player doubled the reds advantage.
From a cross from a corner, from Stevie G, Sami Hyypia scored another of his infamous headers from a dead ball – moving in to the near post to smash the ball home.
Steven Gerrard completed his hat-trick with two cracking shots. His third, and the reds 5th was the pick of the bunch. His swerving shot from outside the box, reminiscent of his FA Cup Final equaliser against West Ham, will live in the memory a long time.
Liverpool progress to the next round.
Post Match Reaction
Reds boss, Rafa Benitez:
(after being asked about the Jurgen Klinsmann story during the post match interview)
“We weren’t really thinking about it because we know it’s important to progress in the FA Cup.
“I was not thinking too much about this, I was thinking about the game. I’m really happy because we won 5-0 and progressed in the competition.
“It wasn’t a bad week because we were training normally. We knew everyone was talking but we were trying to concentrate on the game against Luton. I know people must ask but I want to talk about the game.”
Liverpool: Itandje, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Pennant, Alonso, Gerrard (Lucas 73), Babel, Crouch (Kuyt 65), Torres (Aurelio 73).
Subs Not Used: Martin, Kewell.
Goals: Babel 45, Gerrard 52, Hyypia 57, Gerrard 64, 72.
Luton: Brill, Jackson, Hutchison, Keane, Goodall, Bell (McVeigh 73), Robinson (O’Leary 68), Spring, Currie, Andrew (Furlong 68), Talbot.
Subs Not Used: Parkin, Emanuel.
Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).
Updated LFC Stats