Morgan Schneiderlin side-footed home from close range to open the scoring in only the 6th minute and boyhood Liverpool fan Rickie Lambert scored his thirteenth goal of the campaign with a deflected free kick to double it up. Philippe Coutinho would pull one back for the Reds on the stroke of halftime, but Jay Rodriguez would produce a run any player in the world would be glad to call their own and wrap up the points for Southampton on a slick St. Mary’s pitch.
Last season, Reds legend Jan Molby expressed concerns that his old side were becoming a “Cup team” after stuttering in the league, but reaching both the League Cup and FA Cup finals. It’s safe to say the Danish midfielder can throw those concerns by the wayside; a Matt Smith double and towering header from on-loan Manchester City midfielder Reece Wabara sent Liverpool back to Merseyside with their heads hung low. Luis Suarez and Joe Allen both found the back of the net for Brendan Rodgers side, but even an surprisingly strong, attacking line-up couldn’t stifle a resolute Oldham side that never stopped running.
Kenny Dalglish lead us to Wembley last season where we narrowly missed out on lifting that shiny piece of history for an eighth time and if we want to give it another serious shot, the next stop is Boundry Park and a date with Paul Dickov’s Oldham Athletic. We met the Latics in the third round last season and they were hardly a bother as we romped to a 5-1 victory, but with a number of high profile upsets playing themselves out over the last few weeks, you never quite know who’s coming out on top — that is, if the match is even going to go on.
A fight back from the Stags eleven minutes from full time stirred up the romantics as dreams of a lucrative replay at Anfield danced around the Field Mill stadium, but no giant would be killed today — though it wasn’t for a lack of trying through both the energy of the Stags and the lethargic second half display of the Reds. No scalp claimed, no equalizer in the dying seconds to give the purists the fairy tale ending they craved; still, Suarez would provide a fair bit of drama for those that live for nothing else.
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