Monday, 7 January 2013

Mansfield v Liverpool (FA Cup 3rd Round)

The first weekend of the year means its time for the illustrious FA Cup third round and for Liverpool it was a trip down to Field Mill to face Conference side Mansfield Town.

Daniel Sturridge made his debut in an eleven with a mix of youth and experience and made the perfect start by opening the scoring in the seventh minute after running onto a superb through pass from Jonjo Shelvey.

Sturridge could have hit a quick second in the 14th minute after combining with Shelvey but dwelled on the chance to score and allowed Marriott to save.

Mansfield pushed for an equaliser and Matt Green tested Brad Jones in the Liverpool goal before Sturridge swished through the home defence but failed to setup Shelvey and ended the half with a chance by latching onto a pass from Shelvey and forcing a save from Marriott.

The second half began with a Mansfield onslaught with Howell forcing Jones into a punch at the near post before Carragher made a crucial block and Briscoe tested Jones further. Their attacking intensified as Carragher performed an excellent slide to deny Green and a goalmouth scramble led to two goal line clearances from Liverpool.
The home side's threat led to Suarez coming on in place of Sturridge denying fans the chance to see them play together for the first time but the Uruguayan made a quick impact by connecting to a pass from Downing to put Liverpool 2-0 up just on the hour mark.

The second goal caused uproar as replays showed that Suarez's hand knocked the ball towards goal but none of the officials ruled it as deliberate and the goal stood however the commentary eluded that it was 'the act of a cheat'. So much for impartial commentary and it proved to be the headline following the game.

The home side did secure some consolation though as Matt Green smashed home in the 79th minute but no further threat meant Liverpool secured a win and next will travel to Oldham in the fourth round. Next up is the massive task of Man United on Sunday and the news that Howard Webb will referee makes the task harder as Webb has been criticised in the past and many call him the 12th man for United.