Luis Suarez's hotly-contested goal ensured Liverpool avoided an FA Cup third-round shock as battling Blue Square Bet Premier side Mansfield Town were beaten at Field Mill.
Suarez emerged as a substitute after the break to again become the central character in controversy, as a clear handball preceded his scoring of Liverpool's crucial second goal.
Daniel Sturridge announced his arrival as a Liverpool player with an early debut goal following his move from Chelsea as Brendan Rodgers's team dominated the first half.
- Luis Suarez and Victor Moses are the only two players to score in all competitions this season
Mansfield, however, were subjecting Liverpool to a sustained assault in a second-half spell that persuaded Rodgers to introduce Suarez - and the Uruguayan obliged with the all-important goal, but with a helping hand that left the Stags and their fervent fans infuriated.
Referee Andre Marriner and his officials saw no offence and it left Mansfield with too much to do, despite Matt Green setting up a frantic closing phase by pulling a goal back 11 minutes from time.
Reds boss Rodgers will be delighted to have survived a hazardous assignment to set up a fourth-round visit to Oldham Athletic.
The pre-match build-up inevitably focused on the prospect of Mansfield claiming a Premier League scalp - but Liverpool wasted no time in reminding their hosts of the reality of that task.
Liverpool gave an immediate debut to Sturridge and left Suarez on the bench, and the former Chelsea man punctured the optimism around Field Mill within seven minutes, applying a composed finish to Jonjo Shelvey's precise pass.
"If you go to the Uruguayan looking for the romance of the cup you have come to the wrong place. He does not do romance when it comes to football and this was no different"
The same pair combined to cut Mansfield open once more but this time the striker took his time and allowed Stags' keeper Alan Marriott to make a one-handed save.
Mansfield's main danger in the opening 45 minutes was the colossal throws of defender Exodus Geohaghon. He had several opportunities in the first half but Liverpool dealt well with the threat.
The non-league side were not short on endeavour but Liverpool's pace and quality, understandably, was often simply too much for Mansfield to cope with. Stewart Downing saw a powerful drive blocked as he drove into the area, while Shelvey was a prominent figure.
While Mansfield remained only one goal in arrears there was always hope - and their spirits were lifted when Green's powerful shot drew a smart save from Liverpool keeper Brad Jones.
Sturridge was enjoying the space and service afforded to him in his first Liverpool appearance and he forced Marriott into another fine fingertip save with an angled effort.
The Stags gave Liverpool anxious moments early in the second half as Anthony Howell and Louis Briscoe brought blocks from Jones, the signal for a busy second half for the Australian.
- The last time Liverpool kept a clean sheet in the FA Cup was in the 2008-09 third round, a 2-0 win over Preston
As Mansfield grew in confidence, the visitors were placed under heavy pressure and Jones saved once more from Briscoe. Liverpool then survived an almighty scramble as Jones clawed away an effort from John Dempster who touched on Geohaghon's header.
Rodgers wasted no time in responding, removing Sturridge and Suso for Suarez and Jordan Henderson.
The introduction of the Uruguayan worked as Rodgers intended, the striker putting a stop to Mansfield's revival, but only after the ball clearly struck his hand before he put the ball away.
Once Mansfield's heads had cleared from Suarez's controversial goal, they came again and Green established the platform for a grandstand finish, in which he tested Jones once more, but Liverpool survived.
- 01 Marriott
- 03 Thompson
- 04 Dempster
- 17 Beevers Booked
- 33 Geohaghan
- 13 Howell
- 14 Clements (Rhead - 81' )
- 21 Murray
- 07 Meikle
- 10 Green
- 11 Briscoe (Daniel - 64' )
- 02 Sutton
- 26 Stevenson
- 31 Daniel
- 08 Speight
- 12 Wright
- 16 Rhead
- 25 Hutchinson
- 01 Jones
- 16 Coates
- 23 Carragher
- 47 Wisdom (Flanagan - 79' Booked )
- 49 Robinson
- 19 Downing
- 21 Lucas Booked
- 24 Allen
- 33 Shelvey
- 15 Sturridge Booked (Suarez - 55' )
- 30 Suso (Henderson - 55' )
- 42 Gulacsi
- 37 Skrtel
- 38 Flanagan
- 14 Henderson
- 31 Sterling
- 35 Coady
- 07 Suarez
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.90:00 +3:19
The ball is delivered by Lee Beevers, clearance by Jack Robinson.90:00 +2:12
Unfair challenge on Luis Suarez by Adam Murray results in a free kick. Leiva Lucas takes the direct free kick.90:00 +1:27
Centre by Exodus Geohaghon, save made by Brad Jones.90:00 +0:56
Matt Green takes a shot. Save made by Brad Jones.89:49
The official flags Matt Green offside. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Jones.88:46
Adam Murray crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Sebastian Coates manages to make a clearance.88:46 Booking
Booking Booking for Jon Flanagan.88:43
Jon Flanagan concedes a free kick for a foul on Matt Rhead.87:40
Anthony Howell concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Suarez. Jordan Henderson restarts play with the free kick.85:25
The referee blows for offside against Matt Green. Free kick taken by Brad Jones.85:05
Jordan Henderson challenges Anthony Howell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alan Marriott.82:41
Joe Allen challenges Anthony Howell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Adam Murray delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save made by Brad Jones.82:11
Shot by Jack Robinson from just outside the area goes over the net.80:28 Substitution
Substitution Matt Rhead comes on in place of Chris Clements.78:59
Lee Beevers provided the assist for the goal.78:59 Goal scored
Goal! - Matt Green - Mansfield 1 - 2 Liverpool Matt Green finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Mansfield 1-2 Liverpool.78:55
Centre by Colin Daniel.77:12
Free kick crossed right-footed by Chris Clements from left channel, clearance by Jordan Henderson.77:12 Substitution
Substitution Jon Flanagan comes on in place of Andre Wisdom.
Leiva Lucas challenges Anthony Howell unfairly and gives away a free kick.76:32
Centre by Stewart Downing, Jonjo Shelvey has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the goal.75:08
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Clements by Jordan Henderson. Chris Clements crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.73:20
Colin Daniel fouled by Andre Wisdom, the ref awards a free kick. Chris Clements crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.72:08
Unfair challenge on Stewart Downing by Colin Daniel results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Stewart Downing.71:28
Anthony Howell is caught offside. Brad Jones takes the free kick.70:13
Colin Daniel delivers the ball, comfortable save by Brad Jones.68:55
The assistant referee flags for offside against Stewart Downing. Alan Marriott restarts play with the free kick.68:28
Chris Clements takes a shot. Comfortable save by Brad Jones.67:35
Shot by Jonjo Shelvey from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.67:00
Corner from the left by-line taken by Chris Clements, Jonjo Shelvey makes a clearance.65:27
Jordan Henderson crosses the ball, clearance by Exodus Geohaghon.63:17 Substitution
Substitution Colin Daniel replaces Louis Briscoe.63:03
Shot from deep inside the area by Matt Green goes over the bar.61:17
Free kick awarded for a foul by Louis Briscoe on Jack Robinson. Direct free kick taken by Leiva Lucas.60:42
Jack Robinson fouled by Adam Murray, the ref awards a free kick. Jamie Carragher restarts play with the free kick.58:41 Goal scored
Goal! - Luis Suarez - Mansfield 0 - 2 Liverpool Luis Suarez finds the back of the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Mansfield 0-2 Liverpool.58:13
Luis Suarez takes a shot. Save by Alan Marriott.56:20
Centre by Matt Green, Brad Jones makes a comfortable save.55:37
Luis Suarez produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.54:28 Substitution
Substitution Jordan Henderson on for Jesus Fernandez Saez.54:28 Substitution
Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Luis Suarez coming on for Daniel Sturridge.52:36
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Chris Clements, Exodus Geohaghon takes a shot. Blocked by Sebastian Coates. Matt Green takes a shot. Brad Jones makes a save. Effort from inside the area by Daniel Sturridge misses to the right of the goal.52:23
Louis Briscoe takes a shot. Brad Jones makes a save.51:33
Matt Green takes a shot. Blocked by Jamie Carragher.49:05
Close range header by John Dempster goes wide of the left-hand post.48:28
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Chris Clements, Jamie Carragher makes a clearance. Lindon Meikle takes a shot. Save made by Brad Jones.48:08
A cross is delivered by Louis Briscoe, clearance by Jamie Carragher.47:45
Lindon Meikle produces a cross, Brad Jones makes a save. Louis Briscoe takes a shot. Save by Brad Jones.47:34
Outswinging corner taken by Chris Clements from the right by-line, Jamie Carragher manages to make a clearance.47:17
Anthony Howell takes a shot. Jamie Carragher gets a block in.46:44
Direct free kick taken by Alan Marriott.46:44 Booking
Booking Daniel Sturridge goes into the book.46:30
Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Sturridge on John Thompson.45:50
Chris Clements takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Andre Wisdom. The ball is sent over by Adam Murray, save made by Brad Jones.45:36
Anthony Howell takes a shot. Save by Brad Jones.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:00 +1:10 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.44:40
Corner taken by Stewart Downing from the left by-line, Effort from inside the area by Sebastian Coates misses to the left of the goal.44:28
Effort from 18 yards by Daniel Sturridge. Save made by Alan Marriott.42:07
The ball is swung over by Lindon Meikle.40:52
Unfair challenge on Leiva Lucas by Anthony Howell results in a free kick. Jamie Carragher takes the direct free kick.39:37
Corner taken right-footed by Chris Clements, Sebastian Coates fouled by John Dempster, the ref awards a free kick. Brad Jones takes the direct free kick.39:30
The ball is sent over by Louis Briscoe, Jonjo Shelvey gets a block in.37:44
Lee Beevers takes the free kick.37:44 Booking
Booking Booking for Leiva Lucas for unsporting behaviour.37:40
Matt Green fouled by Leiva Lucas, the ref awards a free kick.36:40
Jesus Fernandez Saez crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Alan Marriott.36:40 Booking
Booking Lee Beevers is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.36:37
Lee Beevers challenges Daniel Sturridge unfairly and gives away a free kick.36:07
Louis Briscoe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Allen. Joe Allen takes the free kick.35:08
The assistant referee flags for offside against Matt Green. Brad Jones takes the free kick.34:09
Centre by Daniel Sturridge, Exodus Geohaghon makes a clearance.32:54
Unfair challenge on Jesus Fernandez Saez by Adam Murray results in a free kick. Jonjo Shelvey delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance made by Adam Murray.32:19
Matt Green takes a shot. Save by Brad Jones.31:13
Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Beevers on Daniel Sturridge. Direct free kick taken by Stewart Downing.29:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonjo Shelvey on Lindon Meikle. Chris Clements crosses the ball in from the free kick, Jonjo Shelvey makes a clearance.28:07
Jonjo Shelvey takes a shot. Save by Alan Marriott.26:56
Adam Murray concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Robinson. Jack Robinson takes the free kick.24:48
Stewart Downing takes a shot. Chris Clements gets a block in.21:59
Adam Murray fouled by Leiva Lucas, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Chris Clements, Jamie Carragher manages to make a clearance.21:33
Matt Green challenges Sebastian Coates unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Brad Jones.20:08
Jack Robinson concedes a free kick for a foul on Louis Briscoe. Chris Clements delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.18:50
Matt Green gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Robinson. Jamie Carragher takes the direct free kick.16:56
The ball is crossed by Jonjo Shelvey, Lee Beevers manages to make a clearance.14:59
Foul by Lee Beevers on Jesus Fernandez Saez, free kick awarded. Strike comes in from Jesus Fernandez Saez from the free kick. Jonjo Shelvey has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.14:14
Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Alan Marriott makes a save.12:22
Joe Allen takes a shot. Alan Marriott makes a comfortable save.12:09
Stewart Downing takes a short corner.11:58
Stewart Downing delivers the ball, blocked by John Thompson.10:42
Lindon Meikle fouled by Andre Wisdom, the ref awards a free kick. Chris Clements produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.6:56
Assist on the goal came from Jonjo Shelvey.6:56 Goal scored
Goal! - Daniel Sturridge - Mansfield 0 - 1 Liverpool Daniel Sturridge gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Mansfield 0-1 Liverpool.5:47
Stewart Downing produces a cross, clearance made by John Dempster.4:14
Shot by Jesus Fernandez Saez from outside the box goes high over the target.3:59
Daniel Sturridge produces a cross, John Dempster makes a clearance.3:35
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, Anthony Howell makes a clearance.3:23
Stewart Downing takes a shot. John Thompson gets a block in.0:28
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Allen by Anthony Howell. Free kick taken by Joe Allen.0:00
The game begins.
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