Liverpool (2) AFC Wimbledon (1): Gerrard on the Double as Reds Cut it Close

The high end of the lowlights

It may have been through the narrowest of margins in the end, but Liverpool have set up an FA Cup fourth round meeting with Bolton after sneaking past dogged League Two side AFC Wimbledon.

The magic of the cup often relates more to the occasion than the football on display, and that was certainly the case, bar two moments of brilliance from the the Reds skipper, as the 7-time winners laboured for large swathes. A well timed run from Steven Gerrard got him on the end of a well worked cross from Javier Manquillo just over ten minutes into the first half, but the hosts struck back with ten minutes to play when Adebayo Akinfenwa scrambled in following a typically terribly defended set-piece. Liverpool regained a measure of control in the second half as their lower league opposition began to tire, and though the Dons would have their chances, a free-kick from the skipper midway through was enough to see the Reds progress.

In a lot of ways, the less I say about it the better — and considering the events that’ve unfolded this week, that’s saying a lot. The irony that Gerrard, who announced earlier this week that he’d be leaving Liverpoool for the MLS at the end of the season, scored both of our goals amid claims from former players and pundits that the club didn’t do quite enough to keep him will certainly give the 34-year old some smug satisfaction on the coach ride back to Merseyside.

That his brace came against League Two opposition is, with all due respect of course, not always the achievement it’s played up to be, but when you’re doing the Captain Fantastic routine and rescuing those players putting in positively mediocre performances around you, it’s almost a bit crass to point out who his goals came against. The fact of the matter is, and remains, that you can only score against who you’re up playing and Gerrard, in what can only be called Gerrardesque fashion, did just that and once again pulled a Reds side bogged down in their own special mix of indifference and indecisiveness seemingly against their will into the next round of a competition that by rights they shouldn’t still be in.

I’ve always been the first to trumpet the win is a win philosophy, but that doesn’t always jive. Wimbledon clearly wanted it more and we’re unlucky not to get it — and that’s that, really. You can call it an off-day, you can call it whatever you want, but we should be dispatching lower league teams with a bit more grace and far less heart in throat moments — especially when Brendan Rodgers plays a team packed full of Premier League regulars and doesn’t give the fringe players a look in.

Ok, I’m done.


Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

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