Mansfield 1-2 Liverpool – Reds Through After Cutting It Close

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By Jonathan Carroll

Liverpool went to Filed Mill in good form ahead of their FA Cup 3rd round clash against Mansfield Town on Sunday. With many of Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven rested or on the bench ahead of their trip to Old Trafford next Sunday there was a youthful feel to the Liverpool starting eleven. With an average age of 22, and youngsters like Jack Robinson, Andre Wisdom, Sebastian Coates, Jonjo Shelvey and Suso all starting it was an opportunity to stake a claim for first team recognition.

The first half was more than comfortable for the reds with Daniel Sturridge finishing after being played in by Shelvey. The passing was crisp, the movement was intelligent and Mansfield were chasing shadows for long spells. The game should have been over as a contest by half time. Liverpool’s inability to finish chances once more hampered them seeing out a game. Sturridge and Shelvey were amongst those responsible for not taking their chances.

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The second half saw a more composed Mansfield take the game to Liverpool, pressuring higher up the pitch and using the long throws of their huge centre half Exodus Geoghaghan to pile bodies and pressure in and around Brad Jones’ goal. The Australian keeper had to be aware to claw away a goalmouth scramble when John Dempster got on the end of one of Geoghaghans throws.

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The Mansield pressure forced Brendan Rodgers’ hand and the manager duly introduced Luis Suarez in an attempt to kill off the game. Suarez had an immediate impact going close before being played in by Stewart Downing and stabbing the ball at goal. The Uruguayans initial shot was well saved by Marriott when the ball bounced up and hit Suarez’s arm. The striker done what all good goalscorers do and played to the whistle which never came. Much has been made about Suarez and this hand ball incident. A lot of journalists in the English media will have a field day running Suarez into the ground for tainting the glorious English gentleman’s tournament, the FA Cup. That’s the way Jon Champion spelled it out on ESPN UK on Sunday with what can only be described as an inflammatory commentary of the situation. The tainted glasses by which English journalists and football supporters outside of Liverpool view Luis Suarez are beyond football banter and hinge on the verge of hatred and or racism. Ironic given the circumstances by which Suarez came to national attention.

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Mansfield were enraged that the goal was given and fought back with Green bagging a goal after seventy-nine minutes to make the last eleven nail biting for Rodgers and his side. Liverpool would see out a frantic closing few minutes and it was a job done, if only just against a side well below them in the real scheme of things.

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So a fourth round game with Oldham Athletic awaits Liverpool. Before then a tough test in the league awaits with Manchester United, Norwich, Arsenal and Manchester City all up next in the coming weeks. There may be one more addition to the squad before the end of the transfer window but beyond that it looks like FSG will wait until the summer to avail or the transfer market.

Mansfield Town

  • 01 Marriott – 6
  • 03 Thompson – 5
  • 04 Dempster – 6
  • 17 Beevers – 6 (Booked)
  • 33 Geohaghan – 7
  • 13 Howell – 6
  • 14 Clements  – 5(Rhead – 81′ )
  • 21 Murray – 6
  • 07 Meikle – 6
  • 10 Green – 8
  • 11 Briscoe – 7 (Daniel – 64′ )


  • 02 Sutton
  • 26 Stevenson
  • 31 Daniel
  • 08 Speight
  • 12 Wright
  • 16 Rhead
  • 25 Hutchinson


  • 01 Jones – 7
  • 16 Coates – 6
  • 23 Carragher – 6
  • 47 Wisdom – 7 (Flanagan – 79′ Booked )
  • 49 Robinson – 7
  • 19 Downing – 7
  • 21 Lucas – 6 (Booked)
  • 24 Allen – 5
  • 33 Shelvey – 6
  • 15 Sturridge – 7 (Booked) (Suarez – 55′ ) – 7
  • 30 Suso – 5  (Henderson – 55′ ) – 6


  • 42 Gulacsi
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 14 Henderson
  • 31 Sterling
  • 35 Coady
  • 07 Suarez
Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 7,574

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