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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021


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Good evening, and welcome to our live coverage of Liverpool versus Oldham.

Here are the teams:

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Coates, Aurelio, Gerrard, Spearing, Maxi, Shelvey, Bellamy, Kuyt. Subs: Doni, Carroll, Henderson, Downing, Adam, Skrtel, Flanagan.

Oldham: Cisak, Lee, Mvoto, Diamond, Taylor, Adeyemi, Wesolowski, Furman, Scapuzzi, Robbie Simpson, Kuqi. Subs: Bouzanis, Black, Morais, Smith, Tarkowski, Parker, Mancini.

And we’re underway here…

For those that don’t know much about Oldham, they’re currently sit 14th in League One i.e. they haven’t a hope, or so you’d think anyway.

You’ll notice two interesting points from the teamsheet: firstly, a certain Andreas Mancini, son of Roberto, on the Oldham bench. He is currently on loan from, you guessed it, Man City. And secondly, contrary to more or less everyone’s prediction, Andy Carroll only starts on the bench.

The veteran striker Shefki Kuqi will be kicking himself. He burst through the Liverpool defence and needed only to square it to Robbie Simpson, however he went for glory and only found the side-netting. Often, you’d put such wastefulness down to inexperience, but the 35-year-old striker doesn’t have that excuse obviously.

Another good chance as Adeyemi found himself completely unmarked from a corner and headed narrowly wide. Liverpool changed their whole back four prior to this game and and it’s showing so far.

Oldham are, of course, coached by ex-Blackburn and Arsenal player Paul Dickov. Fun fact: I once spent a whole weekend living next door to him.

Despite being 52 places below them in the league, Oldham are really holding their own at the moment and have had the two best chances of the match so far.

Oldham’s Taylor plays a one-two with his teammate before toe-poking wide from close-range. As the cliché goes, a visiting alien from Mars would struggle to guess which of these two teams plays in the Premier League, based on the action so far.



Two goals in the space of a minute!

Firstly, Robbie Simpson produces an absolute screamer, taking one touch before powering it past Reina and into the top corner.

Then, less than a minute later, Shelvey’s shot takes a wicked deflection off Craig Bellamy and deflects past the Oldham keeper.

The old cliché about teams being at their most vulnerable when they’ve just scored – though generally not backed up by statistics – proved to be the case just there.

The Oldham goalkeeper Cisak breathes a massive sigh of relief, after his kick is charged down by Bellamy and falls to Kuyt, whose weak header he then saves gratefully.



The decision seemed slightly innocuous as the defender was adjudged to have pushed an onrushing Bellamy, who is seemingly prevented from meeting the cross from Gerrard. Steven G (who else?) steps up and confidently strikes an unstoppable shot into the top corner.


The half-time scoreline is slightly harsh on Oldham, it must be said. They have more than matched Liverpool for long periods of this first half, and were it not for an unfortunate deflection and a questionable penalty decision, they might even be leading this game.

Robbie Simpson’s first-half effort was hardly a one-off fluke, as this clip proves:

The second half has kicked off…

Oldham continue their impressive attacking first-half performance, as Mvoto gets on the end of a free kick but can’t direct it on target. Meanwhile, at the other end, Bellamy scuffs a good opportunity wide.

Despite scoring, Gerrard still doesn’t look entirely back to his best yet – as emphasised by a pass he has just overhit.

Brilliant cross from Bellamy across the face of the goal, which Maxi Rodriguez somehow fails to convert. Will they end up ruing that miss?

I think I may have just witnessed the save of the season from Cisak. A brilliantly-taken corner from Gerrard is met with a powerful downward header by Kelly, which is kept out only by the keeper’s Gordon Banks-esque acrobatics.

Deary me! Josh Parker shows no composure whatsoever as he skies a good opportunity well over, after he is picked out on the edge of the box from a pinpoint cross. Oldham aren’t out of this game yet.


JonJo Shelvey crisply connects with another excellent Bellamy cross, leaving the keeper with no chance. Game over?

Bellamy – who has arguably been the man of the match – is replaced by Downing.

For those who are interested, in tonight’s League One match Huddersfield are beating Wycombe 6-0, with Everton target Jordan Rhodes scoring five.

Something seems to have really unsettled Oldham’s Tom Adeyemi. Not sure what, but he is seemingly unhappy with something that’s been said by one of the Liverpool fans.

Kuyt almost scored a spectacular first goal of the season there, as he finds the side-netting from about 30 yards. And it proves to be his last action of the game, as he is replaced by Andy Carroll.


With literally his first touch of the game, Andy Carroll has scored his fourth goal of the season. And it’s a very impressive effort, as the keeper can only help his long distance first-time shot into the net, such is its power.

GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Downing scores his first Liverpool goal as a Gerrard shot is parried into his path, just after Andy Carroll heads a sitter over the bar.


Oldham will feel hard done by on the basis of their first-half performance. However, they patently ran out of steam in that second period, with Liverpool’s superior fitness and extra class eventually telling.

Kenny Dalglish will be pleased with what was ultimately a convincing display from his largely second-string side. Moreover, while Andy Carroll has a long way to before he justifies that price tag, he at least scored tonight.

Meanwhile, Liverpool officials will anxiously wait to see if there are any repercussions from the Tom Adeyemi incident. He certainly appeared upset at something that was said.

Right, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to join us tomorrow for more FA Cup liveblogs.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy