Highlights: AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Liverpool; Gerrard puts the Reds in the fourth round of the FA Cup
Steven Gerrard reminded Liverpool supporters exactly what they’ll miss once the mercurial captain departs for America with a brilliant brace to fix a date with Bolton at Anfield in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Adebayo Akinfenwa had cast doubts in Liverpool minds when he equalized, but Gerrard’s inch-perfect free-kick put a dagger in the Wimbledon hearts.
In the first half, Liverpool started extremely well and played some exquisite football. They were duly rewarded when Gerrard headed past James Shea in the Wimbledon goal.
However, after the goal, the home side started getting into the game and were constantly threatening Simon Mignolet’s goal. They equalized through a scramble in the box following a corner and the big striker, Akinfenwa, who is a boyhood Liverpool supporter, slid in to put the ball into the empty net.
There were cries of foul in the build-up as it seemed like the goal-scorer had pushed the Belgian out of the way before scoring, but referee Jonathan Moss was having none of it.
After the half-time break, the away side threatened time and again while Wimbledon played on the counter and could have snatched an unlikely lead through Sean Rigg, but the Wimbledon player shot it wide off target.
They were punished soon after as the Liverpool captain stepped up to take a free kick after Philippe Coutinho was fouled on the edge of the penalty area. They say, ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ and it is appropriate for Steven Gerrard as he hit a perfect free-kick beyond the goalkeeper.
Gerrard had a golden chance to get his hat-trick, but his unselfish play played in substitute Mario Balotelli, but Wimbledon cleared their lines for a Liverpool corner.
Liverpool easily held on but, Wimbledon gave a good account of themselves as they almost matched the side 72 places above them in the league positions throughout the game. If not for Steven Gerrard, they might have even earned a valuable replay at Anfield.
Here are the highlights from the match:
AFC Wimbledon 0-1 Liverpool: Steven Gerrard (12’)
Steven Gerrard opened the scoring in this 3rd round FA Cup tie at Wimbledon with a powerful header. Gerrard started the move as he found Javi Manquillo on the right side.
The Spaniard controlled the ball and looped the cross in and an on-rushing Gerrard steamed past the Wimbledon midfield and met the cross with his head to score his 181st Liverpool goal.
AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Liverpool: Adebayo Akinfenwa (36’)
The Liverpool fan, Akinfenwa scored the equalizer that could have resulted in an emotional trip to Anfield for the bulky striker.
Wimbledon were awarded a corner and the man named as the strongest professional footballer extended his left leg to bring the scores level. When the corner was hit in, the Wimbledon striker looked like fouling Mignolet who came out of his line to gather the ball, but the resulting goalmouth scramble saw the home side level the scores.
AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Liverpool: Steven Gerrard (62’)
Gerrard passed the ball to Coutinho, but the Brazilian was hacked down at the edge of the box.
The Liverpool captain stood over the ball and within a few moments put Liverpool back in the lead with a precise free-kick that went over the wall and curled into the goal giving the goalkeeper no chance. This brilliant goal turned out to be the winner.