League Two Carlisle United took a full strength Liverpool side all the way to penalty as the reds resorted to 30 yard shots, unable to consistently beat Carlisle's defence.
Under pressure Brendan Rodgers picked a surprisingly strong side for the competition, highlighting his desperation to get back to winning ways, but the reds required all 5 of their penalties after 120 minutes of football to slither through to the next round.
The reds started well, with Danny Ings starting up front. There were plenty of half-chances early on for the reds, but it wasn't until mid-way through the half that Ings despatched a Lallana cross with a header.
The lead didn't last long as Derek Asamoah shot while slipping over to beat debutant Adam Bogdan at the near post in front of the Kop.
The reds sent on Lallana and Coutinho but there was still no way through and both of those players saw their penalties saved after extra-time. Milner, Can and Ings all scored their spot-kicks in front of the Carlisle fans,. Adam Bogdan saved 3 of Carlisle's penalties to take Liverpool through to the 4th Round and a home tie against Bournemouth.
The game is likely to only increase the pressure on Brendan Rodgers who faced ripples of boos at 90 minutes, 105 minutes and the final whistle - and was taunted with 'Sacked in the morning' chants by the Carlisle fans. At one point a selection of the home crowd joined in before they were quickly hushed by fellow supporters. Not since the Roy Hodgson reign has such audible displeasure been heard by reds fans.
Dejan Lovren was stretchered off moments before penalties with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury, and Roberto Firmino was replaced in the first half after an awkward fall.
Liverpool face Aston Villa on Sunday - back at the bear-pit that is Anfield but there has to be considerable doubt about whether Brendan Rodgers can make it to his 164th game in charge of the club.