Oldham gave Liverpool a fright, but the Reds fought back to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Robbie Simpson struck from 30 yards to evoke hopes of a giantkilling act.

Liverpool were level within two minutes when Craig Bellamy deflected in Jonjo Shelvey's shot and Steven Gerrard put the Reds into the lead from the spot.

Shelvey stroked home a third, Andy Carroll's long-range effort made it four and Stewart Downing fired in a rebound in the final minute.

However, the evening was marred by an incident towards the end of the match when a verbal insult was seemingly aimed at Oldham's Tom Adeyemi by a spectator - which ended with the 20-year-old breaking down in tears.

It was a sad end to an enthralling evening.

The scoreline suggests a fairly comfortable run-out for Kenny Dalglish's side, but Oldham played their part in an absorbing contest.

With more composed finishing, and a touch of luck, they might even have added Liverpool to their list of FA Cup scalps in recent years.

A night of firsts

  • Andy Carroll's goal was his first at Anfield this season, at the ninth attempt
  • It was Stewart Downing's first Liverpool goal since his move from Aston Villa
  • Jonjo Shelvey netted his maiden strike for the Reds

Everton and Manchester City have suffered at the hands of the Latics in previous seasons, and Paul Dickov's side showed all the battling qualities that helped their manager unnerve plenty of top-flight defenders in his playing days.

They raced out of the blocks and could have been 3-0 up inside the first 20 minutes.

Luca Scapuzzi, on loan from Manchester City, should have done better when well-placed, while Shefki Kuqi went on a powerful run that ended with a shot into the side netting.

And after Adeyemi was left unmarked to head over the bar, it came as no surprise when the visitors went into the lead.

Simpson was the Latics hero, striking a left-footed shot into the back of the net from 30 yards out.

It was a special goal which was no more than Dickov's side deserved for their positive approach to the tie.

Liverpool were stunned, but it did not take them long to wake from their slumber.

First, Bellamy deflected Shelvey's shot into the net - a strike with an element of fortune attached to it - and then Gerrard slotted home from the spot after Maxi Rodriguez was pushed in the area.

Oldham's spirit was not broken, however, and they started the second half brightly with Jean-Yves M'voto shooting wide before Zander Diamond summed up his side's spirit with a fine defensive challenge on Dirk Kuyt.

Bellamy was becoming more influential with his pace down the flanks, and Martin Kelly could have extended Liverpool's lead but his header was superbly saved by Alex Cisak.

Oldham refused to lie down and they threatened to bite back when Adeyemi, who was particularly impressive, skied over after being picked out by substitute Josh Parker.

But the dream was put to bed in the 69th minute when Shelvey stroked home from 10 yards after more good work from Bellamy.

Following the Adeyemi incident, Oldham lost their way and under-fire striker Carroll hit an instinctive 25-yard shot to boost his flagging confidence before Downing wrapped up victory with his first goal in a Liverpool shirt, reacting quickest after Cisak had saved Jon Flanagan's effort.

The two late goals added an unfair gloss to the scoreline, but the Latics will go home with their heads held high. Their performance was a credit to lower league football.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 06 Aurelio (Flanagan - 71' )
  • 16 Coates
  • 23 Carragher
  • 34 Kelly
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 11 Maxi
  • 20 Spearing
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 18 Kuyt (Carroll - 87' )
  • 39 Bellamy (Downing - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 14 Henderson
  • 19 Downing
  • 26 Adam
  • 09 Carroll

Oldham

  • 01 Cisak
  • 02 Mvoto
  • 05 Diamond
  • 04 Wesolowski (Morais - 74' )
  • 08 Furman
  • 11 Adeyemi Booked
  • 18 Taylor
  • 19 Lee
  • 10 Simpson (Smith - 74' )
  • 20 Scapuzzi (Parker - 54' )
  • 32 Kuqi

Substitutes

  • 13 Bouzanis
  • 03 Black
  • 16 Tarkowski
  • 07 Morais
  • 17 Parker
  • 14 Smith
  • 30 Mancini
Ref: Swarbrick
Att: 44,556

Match Stats

Shots

19 10

On target

10 4

Corners

3 7

Fouls

8 3

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:30 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +4:15

Jon Flanagan provided the assist for the goal.

90:00 +4:15 Goal scored

Goal! - Stewart Downing - Liverpool 5 - 1 Oldham A goal is scored by Stewart Downing from deep inside the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Liverpool 5-1 Oldham.

90:00 +4:02

Jon Flanagan takes a shot. Alex Cisak makes a save.

90:00 +3:16

Close range header by Andy Carroll goes over the bar.

90:00 +2:38

Andy Carroll gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Adeyemi. Dean Furman takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +1:39

The referee blows for offside against Andy Carroll. Dean Furman restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +1:02

The referee blows for offside against Rodriguez Maxi. Alex Cisak takes the free kick.

89:23

Filipe Morais takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.

88:27

The assist for the goal came from Jon Flanagan.

88:27 Goal scored

Goal! - Andy Carroll - Liverpool 4 - 1 Oldham Andy Carroll grabs a goal from outside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 4-1 Oldham.

87:26

Andy Carroll gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Furman. Free kick crossed right-footed by Filipe Morais from left wing.

86:53

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Filipe Morais, Jay Spearing manages to make a clearance.

86:46 Substitution

Substitution Andy Carroll on for Dirk Kuyt.

86:02

Dirk Kuyt has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.

84:46

Martin Kelly has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.

83:30

Jon Flanagan takes the direct free kick.

83:30 Booking

Booking Tom Adeyemi is booked.

83:25

Tom Adeyemi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jon Flanagan.

78:13

Jonjo Shelvey sends in a cross, clearance by Kieran Lee.

76:22

Chris Taylor takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.

75:38

The offside flag is raised against Dirk Kuyt. Kieran Lee takes the free kick.

73:05 Substitution

Substitution Stewart Downing comes on in place of Craig Bellamy.

73:05 Substitution

Substitution Filipe Morais is brought on as a substitute for James Wesolowski.

73:05 Substitution

Substitution Matt Smith joins the action as a substitute, replacing Robbie Simpson.

71:46

Craig Bellamy takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.

70:15 Substitution

Substitution Jon Flanagan comes on in place of Fabio Aurelio.

69:16

Robbie Simpson takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Steven Gerrard makes a clearance.

68:19

Fabio Aurelio challenges Robbie Simpson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Robbie Simpson, clearance by Steven Gerrard.

67:25

Assist by Craig Bellamy.

67:25 Goal scored

Goal! - Jonjo Shelvey - Liverpool 3 - 1 Oldham A goal is scored by Jonjo Shelvey from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 3-1 Oldham.

63:41

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Robbie Simpson.

63:37

The ball is swung over by Tom Adeyemi, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.

61:27

Effort on goal by Tom Adeyemi from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

57:16

A cross is delivered by Craig Bellamy, Header on goal by Sebastian Coates from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

56:26

Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line to the near post, Martin Kelly takes a shot. Brilliant save by Alex Cisak.

56:18

Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Save made by Alex Cisak.

55:28

Outswinging corner taken by Robbie Simpson, Sebastian Coates makes a clearance.

54:47

The offside flag is raised against Craig Bellamy. Alex Cisak takes the free kick.

54:34

Craig Bellamy crosses the ball, clearance by Kieran Lee.

53:01 Substitution

Substitution Luca Scapuzzi leaves the field to be replaced by Josh Parker.

52:34

Shefki Kuqi is caught offside. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.

49:42

Craig Bellamy sends in a cross, Tom Adeyemi manages to make a clearance.

48:01

Craig Bellamy takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Shefki Kuqi.

47:53

Centre by Craig Bellamy, Zander Diamond makes a clearance.

47:05

Craig Bellamy produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

46:02

Craig Bellamy challenges Dean Furman unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is swung over by Robbie Simpson, Jean Yves Mvoto produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.

45:36

Inswinging corner taken by Robbie Simpson from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Steven Gerrard.

45:24

Robbie Simpson takes a shot. Blocked by Sebastian Coates.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +1:54 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

45:00 +0:01

Rodriguez Maxi provided the assist for the goal.

45:00 +0:01 Goal scored

Goal! - Steven Gerrard - Liverpool 2 - 1 Oldham Placed penalty scored by Steven Gerrard. Liverpool 2-1 Oldham.

43:38

The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard, Tom Adeyemi challenges Rodriguez Maxi unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

42:49

Craig Bellamy is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Alex Cisak.

41:48

Fabio Aurelio challenges Robbie Simpson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Robbie Simpson from right wing.

40:53

The ball is sent over by Fabio Aurelio, Zander Diamond manages to make a clearance.

38:45

Craig Bellamy takes a shot. Save by Alex Cisak.

37:16

The ball is sent over by Martin Kelly, clearance made by Kieran Lee.

33:21

Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard to the near post, clearance made by Dean Furman.

32:52

Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Save by Alex Cisak.

31:01

Effort from a long way out by Tom Adeyemi goes wide right of the goal.

29:38

Assist by Jonjo Shelvey.

29:38 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Bellamy - Liverpool 1 - 1 Oldham Craig Bellamy finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Liverpool 1-1 Oldham.

29:09

Jonjo Shelvey takes a shot. Blocked by Craig Bellamy.

28:49

Steven Gerrard crosses the ball, clearance made by Tom Adeyemi.

28:45

Fabio Aurelio crosses the ball.

27:36

Assist by James Wesolowski.

27:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Robbie Simpson - Liverpool 0 - 1 Oldham Robbie Simpson grabs a goal from long range to the top right corner of the goal. Liverpool 0-1 Oldham.

25:14

Chris Taylor concedes a free kick for a foul on Rodriguez Maxi. Craig Bellamy delivers the ball, Close range header by Dirk Kuyt goes wide of the left-hand upright.

22:16

Effort from deep inside the area by Chris Taylor misses to the left of the target.

19:38

Dirk Kuyt produces a cross, Jean Yves Mvoto makes a clearance.

14:38

Rodriguez Maxi challenges James Wesolowski unfairly and gives away a free kick. Zander Diamond takes the free kick.

13:01

Corner taken by Robbie Simpson, Header by Tom Adeyemi from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

11:32

Shot from just outside the box by Craig Bellamy goes over the bar.

9:37

The ball is sent over by Dirk Kuyt, Alex Cisak makes a save.

8:58

Shefki Kuqi has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

7:15

Free kick awarded for a foul by Sebastian Coates on Robbie Simpson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Robbie Simpson.

4:35

Craig Bellamy delivers the ball, Dirk Kuyt has a header from inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.

4:01

The ball is crossed by Robbie Simpson, save by Jose Reina.

1:42

Corner taken by Robbie Simpson from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Steven Gerrard.

1:04

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Taylor by Fabio Aurelio. Free kick taken by Tom Adeyemi.

0:00

The game begins.

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