Liverpool’s quest for their eighth FA Cup triumph got off to a good start with a 4-1 win against Aston Villa.
They booked their place in the fourth round on Friday night, thanks to Sadio Mané’s double with Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohammed Salah chipping in with a goal.
The depleted hosts put on a resilient performance and against the odds found the back of the net through 17-year-old Louie Barry.
With the round of fixtures drawing to a close, the Reds can set their sights on their next opponents as the draw is made on Monday night.
We take a look at Liverpool’s possible opponents.
Reigniting the Rivalry
Across Stanley Park, Everton needed extra-time to overcome Championship strugglers, Rotherham.
Cenk Tosun’s strike in the opening stages of the first half was cancelled out by American Matthew Olosunde’s well-taken right-footed strike.
The Toffees and Tosun thought they won it with five minutes left to play, but the Turkish international was ruled offside. Summer signing, Abdoulaye Doucoure sealed the Blues place in the next round, with his second goal for the club, latching on to James Rodriguez’s pass.
Both Manchester clubs will be in the hat for the next round as they saw off Championship opposition.
Manchester City made light work of Birmingham City, on Sunday thanks to goals from Phil Foden, and a first half double from Bernardo Silva ensured their name was in the hat for the next round.
Scott McTominay repaid Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s decision to hand the Scotsman the armband, as the midfielder found the net in United’s 1-0 win over Watford.
In the draw for the next round are as many as four London clubs.
A brilliant goal from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s tap-in sealed a hard-fought victory over Newcastle.
The Gunners needed extra-time to see off Steve Bruce’s men, but it could’ve been a different story but former Liverpool striker, Andy Carroll, missed two guilt-edged chances in normal time.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur were in Merseyside for a tie dubbed ‘David vs Golaith’ by many as they eased past eight tier Marine. Carlos Vinicius’ hat-trick helped Spurs to a 5-0 win.
Timo Werner ended his 800-minute goal drought in a resounding 4-0 home win over Morecambe.
Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Kai Havertz were also on the scoresheet.
Fulham reigned victorious over Queens Park Rangers in the West London derby thanks to two extra-time goals at Loftus Road.
Potential Banana Skin?
League Two outfit Crawley Town provided arguably the biggest scalp of the weekend as they easily dispatched Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United with three unanswered goals.
Jurgen Klopp may be keeping an eye out for Liverpool’s former under-23 manager Neil Critchley.
The ex-academy coach famously took charge of Liverpool’s FA Cup win over Shrewsbury last season.
These days, the 42-year-old plies his trade at Bloomfield Road with Blackpool.
Chris Maxwell was the saviour for the Tangerines. His three saves in the shoot-out secured an upset for the League One outfit over West Brom after the match finished 2-2 after 120 minutes of action.
National League North side Chorley created FA Cup history of their own, reaching the fourth round for the first time in their 138-year history and also the first non-league side to reach the fourth round since Havant & Waterlooville managed a similar feat in 2008.
Coincidentally, they faced Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool, that year.
The Magpies saw off Wayne Rooney’s Derby County with a 2-0 win after a COVID outbreak at the Championship club forced their first team squad to self-isolate.
Also In The Draw
Wolves (5), Leicester City (17), Burnley (20), AFC Bournemouth (7). and Swansea City (9) are just some of the clubs in the hat for the draw.
The FA Cup may not be a top priority but what a trophy it would be to add to Klopp’s Liverpool cabinet as he enters his sixth year in charge.Author Stephen Killen on FA Cup hopes
Liverpool will want to avoid the so-called big guns as the fourth and fifth round draws are due to be made on Monday.
Jurgen Klopp has yet to see the Reds advance past the fifth round during his tenure at Anfield.
As the Reds go into another calendar year, they will want to put an end the 15-year wait for the biggest domestic cup competition in England.
It’d be nice to go on a domestic cup run, should Liverpool seek success, it would be their first domestic cup final since 2016.
With talk of fixture congestion, as well as growing injury concerns, the FA Cup may not be a top priority but what a trophy it would be to add to Klopp’s Liverpool cabinet as he enters his sixth year in charge.
Liverpool will be ball 23 in Monday’s draw for the 4th and 5th Round of the FA Cup, which is due to take place prior to West Ham United’s visit Stockport County.
Written by Stephen Killen (@SteKillenBL)