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Oldham Athletic 3 Liverpool FC 2 - Match Report

by Richard Buxton @ Boundary Park. Published Sun 27 Jan 2013 22:01, last updated: 27/01/13

Should Brendan Rodgers look for a specific game to provide a synopsis of Liverpool's current state, this FA Cup fourth round defeat to Oldham Athletic may be the most appropriate example.

Boundary Park bore witness to both the elements and possibly the competition's biggest upset of the season by a League One side against one which lacked a sense of balance and quality.

Crashing out of the tournament they reached the final of last season to a side a mammoth 56 places below them in the English football pyramid would normally be ample indignation but their would-be reward of a home tie against Everton renders this a further missed opportunity.

And if the Kop boss still intends to add one or two new faces before the transfer window closes next week competent long-term defenders should be his first port of call following the abject nature of the performance by both Sebastian Coates and Jack Robinson.

If Coates was already teetering on the Anfield exit door heading into the final days of the transfer window, this account virtually ensured that he will push himself out of it come late next week.

He was often second best against a Latics team which would struggle to even make a dent in his £6 million price tag; a valuation which appears greatly reduced since his feted 2011 arrival.

It was his incapability to track Matt Smith that allowed him to open the scoring by heading home comfortably from Youssouf M'Changama's cross with barely two minutes on the clock.

Little over 18 months ago the striker was a university graduate plying his trade on non-league pitches, which has made his back story a perfect addition to the latest chapter in the magic of the cup.

Luis Suarez's wonderful individual effort that redressed the balance will not receive the recognition it should warrant given the manner of Liverpool's surrender but its brilliance typified the class the controversial Uruguayan exuded on his largely stagnant team mates.

Any attempts to eke out the first 45 minutes were undone when Smith placed the ball beyond Brad Jones to retake the lead after Liverpool's stand-in stopper had fumbled a cross from Reece Wabara to allow Lee Croft to square to the winger to double his side's advantage on the stroke of half time.

And it was the Manchester City loanee's looping header, as he rose above Robinson, just three minutes after the interval, after Carl Winchester had breezed past Raheem Sterling to angle the cross, that secured their passage into the fifth round.

A Joe Allen strike ultimately proved nothing more than a consolatory strike while Gerrard rattled the underside of Dean Bouzanis's crossbar with a stunning long-range effort that would almost certainly have salvaged a replay.

To his credit, Rodgers refused to make excuses for his under-performing players, who consigned Liverpool to their lowest away defeat in the FA Cup away from home since non-league Worcester City in 1959.

"I was disappointed with the young players today. We're trying to give them experience and let them see what it's like to play for Liverpool. It's not just about playing for Liverpool, you've got to be able to be competitive and be a part of a group that is going to challenge for trophies," he said.

"It's not enough to play for Liverpool and get up for the Arsenal and Manchester City games. If you're going to win trophies and go far in competitions, you need to be able to come to places like this and win. We weren't good enough for that."

OLDHAM (4-4-2): Bouzanis; Wabara, Mvoto, Byrne, Grounds; Simpson (Taylor), M'Changama (Winchester 11), Weslowski, Croft; Smith (Mellor 84); Baxter

Subs not used: Cisak, Brown, Tarkowski, Sutherland

Goals: Smith (3, 45), Wabara (48)

Booked: Simpson, Wabara, Smith

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Jones; Wisdom (Gerrard 55), Coates, Skrtel, Robinson; Henderson, Allen, Sterling (Shelvey 72); Borini (Downing 55), Sturridge, Suarez

Subs not used: Gulacsi, Carragher, Lucas, Suso

Goals: Suarez (16), Allen (80)

Booked: Sterling

Referee: L Probert (Lancashire)

Attendance: 10,295

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"We need to bring in a strong, reliable centre back for the long term. And if you're gonna play small teams,give our fans a show nd run riot!" Abelo, Zambia around 1 year, 2 months ago

"brenden rogers,wy u never field fist 11 u like asian estate manager very same" kevin, malaysia around 1 year, 2 months ago

"Rodgers is not the right manager of LFC. He promised to buy good players this month but he is still hanging with Coutihno with 2 days left" Yash, Mauritius around 1 year, 2 months ago

"Brendan Rogers is the one that has to go. Why does he not pick the strongest team. He always have excuses. Lets get a good manager in." Ricky Naidoo, South Africa around 1 year, 2 months ago

"F A cup always brings surprises,field your strongest side to start with,bag the goals & then bring on the youngters,very dissapointing." Harold Hampson, South Africa around 1 year, 2 months ago

"Rodgers has taken the club to a new low. The club has become an embarresment, Rodgers is a disgrace, he should new be a manager, let alone a" Vanne, South Africa around 1 year, 2 months ago

"Total waste of time and football from LFC. What the hell Borini, Robinson, Wisdom, Sterling and Coates were doing on the pitch?????? " Yash, Mauritius around 1 year, 2 months ago

"what a disaster the players must look at themselves and not blame the manager for their poor performance against second class opposition ." terry, thailand around 1 year, 2 months ago

"As ever Rodgers blames everybody but himself. He is not good enough!!!" fred, Liverpool around 1 year, 2 months ago

"OK the young ones need to play, but you have to pick your best team against all in the FA Cup, it's an important comp & a route into Europe" Jane, Cheshire around 1 year, 2 months ago

"What a waste of space Sterling has become. As for Robinson and Wisdom, words fail me. . . utter tripe!" Bubbles, Wellingborough around 1 year, 2 months ago

 
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