League one side Oldham Athletic claimed a historic victory over Liverpool yesterday to go through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
56 league places separate the sides, although it was hard to tell which side were the Premier League outfit.
Despite fielding a strong side, Liverpool were out-muscled from the start, with Oldham rising to the occasion to claim a memorable win.
Matt Smith put the home side ahead in just the third minute before Luis Suarez equalised for Liverpool. However a mistake from Brad Jones, gifted Smith and Oldham a second goal on the stroke of half time.
Reece Wabara, on loan from Manchester City, got the third when his header found the corner.
Joe Allen scored his first goal for Liverpool late on to set up a nervy finish, but the home side frustrated a disappointing Liverpool side.
Before anybody could get comfortable, the upset began to take shape. M’changama found space on the left and delivered a ball into the path of Matt Smith. The striker climbed above Sebastian Coates to give the home side an early lead.
However, it didn’t take long before Liverpool were back on level terms. Suarez, Liverpool captain for the day, played an unintentional one-two off a defender before slotting calmly past Dean Bouzanis.
Liverpool seemed to take the initiative, and when Suarez headed in Jordan Henderson’s free-kick, they would have been ahead was it not for the offside flag.
Despite Liverpool growing into the game, they never managed to handle the physical presence of striker Smith, and on the stroke of half time put Oldham ahead again.
Jones, deputising for the injured Pepe Reina, spilt a seemingly easy cross from Wabara, before Smith tapped in.
Any plans Liverpool made at half time were soon undone. Just two minutes into the second half, early substitute Winchester crossed for the full back Wabara to loop a delightful header over Brad Jones and double the home sides lead.
Liverpool looked stunned and reacted by bringing on inspirational captain Steven Gerrard, however they struggled to break down a well organised and disciplined outfit.
Joe Allen did manage to pull a goal back for Liverpool. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box before Allen claimed his first goal for the reds via a deflection.
It set up a tense finish, and when Gerrard’s speculative effort crashed against the bar, Liverpool started fearing it wasn’t to be their day.
In a week of upsets, Oldham were determined not to disappoint and Paul Dickov’s side shown the heart and desire the FA Cup has been famously known for.
Oldham have beaten progressively higher opponents in each round before today in Kidderminster, Doncaster and Nottingham Forest and continued that run with victory over Premier League side Liverpool.