Liverpool managed another game poorly which meant they only drew a game they should have won against Tottenham. Mo Salah gave Liverpool an early lead as Liverpool dominated the first half and should have been further ahead. Tottenahm began the second half the better and slowly got themselves into the game with a deserved equaliser through a superb strike from long range by Victor Wanyama on 80 minutes
From there a dramatic ending began to unfold. Tottenham were given a penalty but Harry Kane had his kick saved by Loris Karius. Liverpool then thought they had won the game as Salah scored in injury time with an incredible solo effort in which he left three Spurs defenders for dead. It was not over though, Eric Lamella got in front for Virgil Van Djik as the defender tried to clear but kicked Lamella instead. A second penalty was awarded and this time Kane made no mistake. Another two points thrown away for Liverpool who stay third but could have been in a much stronger position.
Injury time madness cost Notts County a second home defeat in three days as they lost 2-1 to Crawley Town. The visitors went into the break in front thanks to a goal from Jimmy Smith. The Magpies equalised after Josh Lelan was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area and Jon Stead with his fifth goal in five games put the penalty away.
Notts were down to 10 men with a minute of the ninety to go when Matty Virtue on loan from Liverpool was sent off. This enabled Crawley to push for the winner and were awarded a penalty themselves as Notts Keeper Ross Fitsimmon brought down Smith and was himself sent off leaving Notts with 9 men. Josh Payne stepped up to strike home the winning blow for Crawley. The Magpies remain 2nd in the table but the chasing pack now have games in hand.
Newport County warmed up for their FA Cup clash with Tottenham with a 1-1 draw against Morecambe. Ben Tozer converted a Robbie Wilmott cross to give the Exiles a half time lead. Newport were denied the win on 77 minutes. Keeper Joe Day brought down Garry Thompson to give away a penalty allowing Michael Rose to level the score. Newport would have gone into the play off places if they had won the game, the draw leaves them one point outside in 8th.
Chester had to come from behind to earn a draw against Hartlepool, though they dominated the first half at the Diva Stadium. Criag Mahon, James Jones and Kingsley James were all denied by Pool Keeper Scott Loach who had an excellent game. Against the run of play the visitors took the lead when Jake Cassidy squared the ball to Michael woods for a tap in. Chester’s equaliser came from the in form Harry White who finally found a way past Loach to score his fourth goal in four games. Chester are still four points from safety after the draw, White continuing to get goals will be a key to if Chester can survive.
Liverpool suffered a big set back with their first defeat in 19 games at bottom side Swansea. Despite almost total domination of the possession and the chances Liverpool could not find a way through. Sadio Mane and Mohammad Salah both wasted first half chances. The Swansea goal came after the ball fell to Alfie Mawson in a goalmouth scramble in one of Swansea’s few forages forward and Mawson was able to fire into the net.
The second half followed a similar pattern. Danny Ings forced a good save from Lukasz Fabianski, Salah also had the keeper at full stretch but Fabianski managed to keep the ball out. In one final chance at the end Roberto Firmino hit the post and Mawson made a last ditch tackle to block Adam Lallana from equalising right at the death. It was not to be for the Reds who remain fourth in the table. Swansea are still three points from safety but tonight’s win stops them falling further adrift.
Leicester City moved into round 4 after a comfortable home performance against Fleetwood a the King Power. Kelechi Iheanacho opened he scoring after being set up by Islam Slimani. The biggest talking point was less the game but a moment of history. Iheanacho added a second but was initially ruled offside, however in the first case of it’s kind, the video referee looked at it and decided he was actually onside meaning the goal was eventually given. VAR’s first used outing will be what this otherwise routine game will be actually remembered for.
After earning a replay it was not to be for Mansfield as Championship side Cardiff were too good in the replay at Field Mill. It was looking tight at half time as Danny Rose had scored for the Stags to cancel out Bruno Manga’s opener. However the Welsh side took control after the break. Juinor Hoilett put Cardiff ahead from close range and Anthony Pilkington put the tie away added a third. Hoilett put the icing on the cake for Cariff with a 25 yard strike for his second. 4-1 was harsh on Mansfield, but overall there is little dispute that in the end, the Welshmen deserve to go through. They face runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City in Round 4.
Liverpool (1) 4 (Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Mane, Salah)
Manchester City (1) 3 (Sane, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan)
AT ANFIELD, LIVERPOOL
Liverpool ended Manchester City’s unbeaten run in a sensational game at Anfield. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Liverpool a deserved lead and the Reds dominated most of the first half. However City reminded us why they are top as Leroy Sane leveled against the run of play before half time. Then Liverpool had a purple patch adding three more. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane & Mohammad Salah with an audacious chip from long range all scored to give Liverpool a 4-1 lead in a half hour spell of some the the best football any side has played all season.
City were not done however and Liverpool’s defensive frailties showed again in the last few minutes and the fact they were missing Virgil van Dijk with injury told. Bernardo Silva gave City a glimmer of hope on 84 minutes. The nerves were then jangling as Ilkay Gundogan got on the end of a cross beating three players around him to make it 4-3. Liverpool held off the final charge to get the victory. Manchester City will still very likely win the league, but for Liverpool this is a huge three points in the sides development under Jurgen Klopp.
Chester earned a point and are three unbeaten as they continued their improved form at Fylde. In an open first half both sides had chances, Sean Finley curled a shot narrowly wide for Fylde and Kingsley James hit the crossbar for the Seals. The breakthrough came when Danny Rowe headed Fylde ahead on 55 minutes.
In recent times Chester would have folded, but it is a sign of improvement that they kept battling and Harry White got a deserved equaliser reacting first to a rebound from Ross Hannah’s attempted shot. It was White’s second goal in as many games. The draw means Chester are still five points from the safety zone, but they have a game in hand and are looking much more capable of picking up points as of late.
Nottingham Forest won a classic FA Cup tie upsetting holders Arsenal at the City Ground. Eric Lechaj header Forest ahead from a free kick but within two minutes Per Mertesacker poked the ball home after a goalmouth scramble. Lechaj put Forts back ahead with a stunning volley just before half time.
In the second half Ben Brereton terrorized Arsenal’s defence and got a deserved goal from the penalty spot to add a third. A mistake from Forest keeper Jordan Smith allowed Danny Welbeck to pull one back Forest were not fazed though and kept pushing forward. The won another penalty which this time Kieran Dowell put away to seal Forest’s victory and see Arsenal knocked out in round 3 for the firsttime in 21 years.
Newport County pulled off a shock coming from behind to beat Championship Leeds United. Gaetano Berardi’s long range deflected shot gave Leeds the lead and the Yorkshire side looked well on their way at half time.
It turned around totally in the second half as Connor Shaughnessy put through his own net. From there Newport dominated peppering crosses into the box and Jos Labadie had two efforts on target blocked. The winner came from Shawn McCoulsky with a bullet header from a corner which saw Rodney Parade erupt as Newport had a huge scalp and with it, a place in Round 4.
Southport went down to defeat at FC United of Manchester. The winning goal came on 12 minutes as Joel Senior put through player manager Tom Greaves to score. The Sandgrounders had most of the second half but could not find a breakthrough ending a better recent run of form for Southport. Port are outside the relegation zone by a point and this was a missed opportunity to move away from the dropzone.