Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed he had to introduce Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez to the Reds’ FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic after the poor performances of the players who started left the game in danger of going to a replay, the
Rodgers’ side eventually triumphed 2-0, with Iago Aspas opening the scoring before a James Tarkowski own goal sealed the victory, but the game was goalless at half-time when Rodgers brought on Coutinho and Lucas, and in the balance at 1-0 when Suarez was called for in the 76th minute.
Suarez replaced captain Steven Gerrard, who is making his way back to fitness after injury, but Lucas and Coutinho came on for squad players Luis Alberto and Victor Moses, with Rodgers suggesting that the game was bound for a draw before the changes. “I had to do it, We needed more speed and intensity to our game,” he said.
“You can either wait for it to happen or do something about it because the last thing we wanted was a replay,” Rodgers continued. “ Coutinho and Lucas added intensity and purpose to our game.
“It was a difficult game and you have to give Oldham a lot of credit for making it that way. We were nowhere near the speed of our game and in the second half we were a lot better.”
Oldham knocked Liverpool out of the competition at the same stage last year, the League One side vanquishing the Premier League outfit at Boundary Park, before falling to Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton in the next stage after taking the tie to a Goodison Park replay. Among the Oldham squad was Rodgers’ son Anton, who was brought on as a late substitute.
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