Don’t know where to start with this one. For the first time in a long time (Everton in the league cup last year 🙂 ), WHU delivered on a night under lights..
Coming off the back of a poor performance against Southampton, Mr Klopp must have fancied his chances and we put out a decent team with the exception of Joey O’Brien starting at right back for us. Our opponents put out a young team but with some quality. JO’B as expected (!) had the first decent shot and hit the post. The first half, like many in the Boelyn thus season was pretty poor. Coutinio hit the post for them just before the break and that was that for the first half. Honours even. Oh no, with literally seconds to go up popped the consistent Antonio to volley the Hammers in front with a well taken shot from a Valencia cross.
No surprise then that Liverpool upped their game in the second half, but without he getting their shots off. Personally I would have put Sturridge on at the break, but Jurgen knows best. 3 minutes into the half Liverpool got an innocuous free kick. Coutinio hit it along the ground, the wall jumped and it nestled to Randolph’s right and it was 1-1. After that it seemed.one way traffic and we started to suffer energy wise and then one by one we lost Kouyate, Reid and O’Brien to injuries to be replaced by Carroll, Moses and Collins (actually announced as the Ginger Pele by the Stadium Announcer).
We looked tired and Liverpool piled it on and brought Sturridge on for good measure. And he looked good and fresh.. By this time Valencia was on the wing and Antonio was right back..!
We held out for the draw and extra time beckoned. We played real backs to the wall stuff, and Ginge took a knock as wetland Ogbonna looked a little hobbled. Things were not going our way. Carroll got a knee in the back from Mignolet, which slowed him up as well. 1st 15 down. The second 15 went past in a blur, and people were eyeing the exits, as Liverpool came again and again, with Randolph making some great saves to keep us alive. Valencia I actually thought would have to go off after being scythed down, but he got back involved. We got a free kick with about a minute to go. Payet stood over it. However, he had been playing really poorly again, so we all held our breath, as he floated in a pearler for Ogbonna to get his nut on it and get the winner. The roof came off Upton Park (one less thing to demolish, I suppose), and the last trip Liverpool will ever make to Upton Park was over.
If this turns out to be the last ever cup match at UP, it had everything, and will live in the memory of anyone who was there that night (probably about 100,000 people by next year !). I include our Scouse friends as they filled the entire bottom tier and made themselves part of the party all night long. A real cup game, with real effort all over the pitch.
Another full night at UP
Out come the Gladiators
Corner to West Ham
The extra time plan is……Defend !
Blackburn next in the last 16, and Slaven’s quest for FA cup glory continues. But at what cost, the team line up for Norwich this weekend could be interesting. Reece Oxford surely has to be in the running for a game, and our new striker Emenike should get a run out as well.
The big question is around Payet, once again he was just not at the races. I think all these rumours about billion pound bids to go to China are playing a part, but him and club have come out to rubbish it, so maybe he just needs a rest. We just don’t understand !
MOTM: Anyone who was on the pitch at the end, and some that weren’t , but I’ll plump for Ogbonna.