With the tie locked at 0-0 at half-time against Oldham on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers had to do something to avoid what would have been an embarrassing result in the FA Cup. Anything but a victory was needed in this game and I must say that after 45 minutes, I was getting nervous listening to the live audio stream of this game (as no TV channel was showing it live).
Brendan Rodgers had decided to start the Oldham tie with some of the fringe players and give them a chance to prove themselves but some of them let him down and thus the Liverpool manager had to make some changes at the break and take off Moses and Alberto and bring on Coutinho and Lucas.
It was not only the change in personnel that Rodgers made at half time that lead to the victory but Raheem Sterling has also revealed that the Liverpool boss issued a frank half-time team talk that got the lads playing much better in the second half.
“The manager told us to get our mentality right for this game because we knew what defeated us last time [against Oldham],” Sterling told Liverpoolfc.com.
“His message at half-time was that we needed to move the ball a lot faster and get them working and chasing the ball. That’s what we did second half, and we got the two goals which gave us the win.
“Stevie gave me the ball and I knew I had to take the guy on. I got half a yard on him and crossed it in. It was a great finish, the ball was behind him a bit, but he found the bottom corner and it was a great goal.”
Rodgers’ words certainly worked as we went on to win the game 2-0 and progress to the fourth round. Sunday was the first time since the 1996 / 97 that I listened to a Liverpool game live on radio; it certainly brought back some old memories but it was difficult to gauge how well we played if you based it purely on the radio commentary. Thank goodness for technology, I was able to watch extended highlights of the game on Monday.
It was clear to hear (then see) that after we went one nil up, Oldham got their opportunities and could have equalised but thankfully we held on and clinched the second to seal the win. This is not the first time this season that the Reds have been vulnerable after taking a one nil lead. We need to start killing off games as soon as we get a lead and not give the opposition a sniff of getting back into the game.