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Mansfield Town 1-2 Liverpool

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Sturridge: Scored on Reds debut

Sturridge: Scored on Reds debut

Liverpool will travel to Oldham in the fourth round of the FA Cup after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town on Sunday evening.

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Debutant Daniel Sturridge wasted no time in opening his Reds account as he scored in the seventh minute to put Brendan Rodgers' side on course for what they hoped would be a comfortable afternoon against their non-league opponents.

However, it didn't quite work out like that and the visitors can count themselves very fortunate to now be looking forward to a trip to Boundary Park in the next round, as the goal which ultimately decided this contest was contentious to say the least.

Luis Suarez will again make the headlines for all the wrong reasons as he clearly used his hand to control the ball when scoring in the 59th minute, before Matt Green came up with a deserved consolation for the Stags 11 minutes from time.

Paul Cox's charges were certainly outclassed for large periods of the first half by their Premier League opponents, who threatened to run riot with Sturridge and Jonjo Shelvey in particular causing them endless problems.

Home goalkeeper Alan Marriott turned in a man-of-the-match performance with a string of saves to frustrate the Merseysiders, after being powerless to keep out Sturridge's opener following a delightful through-ball by Shelvey.

The hosts did improve as the first half wore on, and Green offered a timely reminder just past the half-hour mark that they were still in the tie with a long-range shot that Brad Jones had to beat away.

The Stags began the second half in a similar vein forcing a series of corners, but their hopes of a comeback were effectively dashed by Liverpool's controversial second, which arrived just four minutes after Suarez's introduction as a 55th-minute substitute.

The Uruguayan had seen his initial effort from Jordan Henderson's cross blocked by Marriott, but when the ball dropped back into his path, he stuck out his hand to set himself up for a simple tap-in which he couldn't miss.

Mansfield tried to rally from that setback and Green, who had been lively throughout, capped off a good move by reacting to a header down at the back to force the ball over the line, even if it did take a couple of deflections on it's way in.

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Posted: 06/01/13 19:05

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