6 Jan 2015

Gerrard brace saves Liverpool's blushes

11:25 am on 6 January 2015

Captain Steven Gerrard scored twice to save Liverpool from FA Cup football embarrassment in a tricky 2-1 win at fourth tier AFC Wimbledon in London.

English footballer Steven Gerrard.

English footballer Steven Gerrard. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Reds will play second tier Bolton Wanderers in the fourth round of the competition later this month.

In the day's other FA Cup match, Premier League strugglers Burnley fought back from a goal down at home to draw 1-1 with fellow top flight side Tottenham Hotspur and force a replay to decide who then takes on Leicester City.

Liverpool's departing captain Gerrard, who has announced his departure for the United States at the end of the season, headed the opener in the 12th minute.

But the match at Kingsmeadow, reviving memories of 1988 when the old Wimbledon 'Crazy Gang' beat Liverpool in a hard-tackling final, refused to follow the script.

Lifelong Liverpool fan Adebayo Akinfenwa, a stocky striker nicknamed 'The Beast', had the home fans dreaming when he poked in a 36th minute equaliser after some woeful defending by the Merseysiders.

With a major upset looking possible, and Wimbledon having missed several clear chances, Gerrard came to the rescue with a curling free kick into the top corner in the 62nd minute.

FA Cup fourth round draw:

Southampton or Ipswich v Crystal Palace

Cambridge United v Manchester United

Blackburn v Swansea

Chelsea v Millwall or Bradford

Derby v Scunthorpe or Chesterfield

Preston v Sheffield United

Birmingham v West Brom

Aston Villa v Bournemouth

Cardiff v Reading

Liverpool v Bolton

Burnley or Tottenham v Leicester

Brighton v Arsenal

Rochdale v Stoke

Sunderland v Fulham or Wolves

Doncaster or Bristol City v Everton or West Ham

Manchester City v Middlesbrough

(Ties to be played across the weekend beginning January 24)

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