Results and reports from both Domestic and European football.
Monday, 6 January 2014
Aspas Prevents Double Exit To Oldham
The second round replay between Oldham and Mansfield saw Liverpool fans eagerly await to find out their third round opponents in the FA Cup, knowing that either would be a repeat from 2013 when the Reds defeated Mansfield before exiting at Oldham. Oldham secured the win and fans prepared for a third season in a row where the teams would meet in the competition.
Liverpool made six changes with Gerrard, Alberto, Moses, Jones, Kelly and Moses all stepping up to the starting eleven and prior to kick-off the stadium paid tribute to Wayne Harrison who recently passed away at the age of 46 and was a former player of both clubs in a minute of silence followed by a well observed round of applause.
Liverpool's first chance came against the run of play as an Oldham corner paved the way, Jones found Moses who raced forward and picked out Aspas who attempted to return the cross but saw the Nigerian fail to connect as the move broke down. Alberto hit from 20 yards but found the wrong side of the post after being setup by his fellow Spaniard.
Henderson and Alberto combined to pick out Kelly who popped up at the back post but glanced his header across goal and failed to find the waiting Moses, the latter assisted Alberto in a nice passage of play as the Spaniard hit a powerful effort which drew a fine save from Oxley.
The Latics stopper was called on again to deny Kelly while collecting a Sterling cross but Oldham had a chance of their own as Clarke-Harris swept down the wing only to be halted by Henderson as he approached the area,Alberton hit a pinpoint ball to Aspas who hit across the area but found no fellow Reds as Oldham cleared.
A double change at the break saw Alberto and Moses depart for the Brazilian duo of Lucas and Coutinho with Liverpool opening the scoring nine minutes into the half as Sterling posted a ball to the back post where the unmarked Aspas volleyed into the far corner for his first goal in Liverpool red. He could have hit a quick second after Sterling again found him in space but his header cannoned off the post.
Oldham fought back and forced Jones to be on guard when Philliskirk tested him with a header, Sterling and Aspas combined again and the former picked out Gerrard who hit towards the near post to be denied by Oxley. Oldham had another go and Jones had to be flexible in denying Petrasso who evaded Agger and hit a strong effort at the Liverpool stopper.
Suarez came on in place of Gerrard hoping to extend his good record in the competition but within minutes Liverpool had a problem, Agger went off and straight down the tunnel leaving them a man short for the final ten minutes with the game still in the balance.
The balance swung firmly towards Liverpool as Sterling hit towards goal in hope but saw his effort deflect off Tarkowski and past Oxley for a 2-0 lead and secured a safe passage to round four where Liverpool will travel to face either Bournemouth of Burton who will meet in a rearrange game after they fell foul of the weather on Saturday.