I used to fear playing Liverpool as we never got a good result against them. I am still bitter and wounded over the 2006 FA Cup final – 90 seconds from victory. Ten years later, it is a different story.
Having met Liverpool for the fourth time this season the odds were for once stacked against them. We did the league double over them this year, our first win at Anfield since 1963, but this is also the FA Cup and anything can happen.
Much to my surprise, it was a full strength side which Slaven Bili put out with a relatively young bench. And the first half was not for the faint hearted. Both sides hitting the post, with O’Brien and Payet from our side, Coutinho from Liverpool. You could not guess what way the match would swing. However, the deadlock was broken on half time with a superb hit by Antonio who is now producing the form we bought him for. Great cross in from Valencia and a great hit from Antonio – 1-0.
Second half saw us mugged really. You have to say it was a clever free kick from Coutinho, Everyone was expecting him to chip it over the wall, but smart thinking to just whack it hard and low. 1-1. And caught us by surprise. 1-1, game on.
We should have had a penalty with Valencia being tugged in the area by Ilori, but you also had a feeling that justice was to be served. Randolph was on superb form to stop Benteke in extra time – a hearty cover for Adrian if ever he got injured. Actually, Benteke had the goal at his mercy numerous times but fluffed his lines. It was almost heart in mouth time.
And then when you thought it was just about to go to the dreaded penalties, Ogbonna meets a quality free kick from No 27 in the 121st minute.
2-1, game over.
Slaven cites that this was ‘one of West Ham’s greatest’ wins……for me this was payback.
No need to fear the Scoucers anymore – 7-1 on aggregate this season.
Blackburn away next in the 5th Round. Upton Park could still yet see Cup glory………fortunes always hiding.
Liverpool must be sick of the sight of us now. But if anything this was a form of revenge for 2006…….and we know how that one ended.