Liverpool recovered from a wonderful opening strike for Oldham, to smash 5 goals past the visitors and seal progress to the 4th Round of the FA Cup.
Kenny Dalglish made a number of changes to the reds team including a brand new back four in the first of the FA Cup 3rd Round games – played on a Friday night due to Everton’s home game on Saturday.
Oldham had brought 6,000 fans to the cup clash, and their side saw the best of the early exchanges – Coates being outrun by Kuqi early on but the player fired in to the side netting.
Tom Adeyemi also went close but headed over the bar.
In the 28th minute Oldham got the goal that they deserved – Simpson firing a sweet shot from 30 yards that Reina had no chance of stopping.
Immediately Liverpool upped their football and a minute later, Jonjo Shelvey’s shot was deflected in to the goal by Craig Bellamy – who is having a purple patch for the reds.
As half time loomed, Maxi Rodriguez was pushed over in the area, and Steven Gerrard fired home the penalty. Liverpool have not had much luck from the penalty spot this season, but Gerrard’s shot smashed in off the crossbar.
Oldham started the second half well, but as the half wore on Bellamy’s pace continued to cause problems for the ‘Latics. Martin Kelly’s header from a Bellamy cross was well saved.
In the 68th minute, Bellamy again was tormentor in chief – this time setting up Jonjo Shelvey to fire in his first Liverpool goal.
Andy Carroll was sent on with 3 minutes left, and almost immediately he added the reds 4th, when he spun at the edge of the box and fired in a shot too hot for the Oldham keeper to handle.
Just before the final whistle, Jon Flanagan’s shot was saved but only placed in to the path of Stewart Downing – who grabbed himself Liverpool’s 5th of the night and his first goal for the reds.
Towards the end of the game Tom Adeyemi of Oldham appeared to react to a fan in the crowd which put a slight downer on a great game – however the police have indicated that they have made no arrests for abuse at the game.
Team: Reina, Aurelio (Flanagan 71), Coates, Carragher, Kelly, Gerrard, Rodriguez, Spearing, Shelvey, Kuyt (Carroll 87), Bellamy (Downing 74)
Unused subs: Doni, Skrtel, Henderson, Adam
Goals: Bellamy (30), Gerrard pen (45+1), Shelvey (68), Carroll (89), Downing (90+5)