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Liverpool 3, Exeter City 0: First Thoughts

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A comfortable win for the Reds, and Liverpool are on to the next round. Come at us, West Ham.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Liverpool 3: Allen 10', Ojo 74', Teixeira 82'
Exeter City 0:

  • Pre-match: CAPTAIN JOSE ENRIQUE, y'all. So, more or less the same line-up as the last time out. Allen comes in to help babysit the lil' Reds. Mignolet comes in for Bogdan (whose Liverpool career seems to be kaput), and Ibe comes in to help Benteke on the other end of the pitch. So, hopefully Liverpool don't have to come from behind at any point tonight. Also, goals would be nice. Like, really, really nice. 

  • Oh those famous FA Cup Anfield nights...
  • Sweet away kits for Exeter. Either that, or they're just a wee bit late in celebrating Halloween.
  • A few half-chances in the first ten minutes as Liverpool look to play a more direct, lump-it-in to Benteke style. It pays dividends as...
  • GOAL! Smith plays a brilliant one-two with Benteke, gets to the byline and plays it back for Allen who calmly slots it home. 1-0 to Liverpool!
  • Teixeira gets in behind the defense and whips in a great cross to a free Benteke near the 6-yard box. The big Belgian diligently puts it over the cross bar. Minutes later Benteke gets free on a corner and puts it into the side netting from a tight angle. You would expect him to bury one (or both) of these chances, especially considering the competition.
  • Smith has been fantastic here in the first half. He's been very dangerous down the left side, and his pressing and defending has been on point too. Smith even committed a pretty cynical foul after an errant pass would have set an Exeter player free down the sideline. Good stuff all around.

  • Halftime: Klopp looked mildly annoyed as the halftime whistle approached. And fair play: for as much as Liverpool have dominated this game, Exeter are still very much in this tie. Benteke had multiple chances to effectively put this game away, but he failed to put his shots on target. So far, Liverpool are out-shooting Exeter 13-0, with 5 of those shots on target. Yet only one goal in this. 

  • ...and Exeter start the half with their first shot of the match. Wildly off target, but technically a shot!
  • JON FLANAGAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! The Scouse Cafu comes on for Randall. Best moment of the match, by far.
  • Ibe is denied by a stray white blade of grass, as the replay looked like his driving shot off the bar bounced just on the line. You don't get much closer to scoring than that. As has been the case of late, Ibe's attacks have often lacked creativity, but he has looked dangerous tonight.
  • Stop me if you've heard this one before: Benteke gets 1 on 1 with the keeper, and hits a weak shot straight at him.
  • The Red Panda comes off for Ojo. It was another good outing for Allen, and another decisive goal as it stands.
  • GOAL! OJO! The young attacking player curls a beautiful left footed shot into the far corner. The Exeter goalkeeper was glued to his line as the shot sailed past him. 2-0 to the Redmen, which should be enough to earn Liverpool a spot in the fourth round.
  • Chirivella comes on for Ibe as Liverpool's last substitute of the night.
  • GOAL! Benteke suddenly goes beast mode, rampages through Exeter's defense, and then plays in a wide-open Teixeira who calmly slots it to make it three. 

  • Full time: If the first run out for the yutes was shaky, this was a very assured performance. The added experience and early goal from Allen helped settle the nerves, and the Redmen never looked back. So now we have the joy of hosting West Ham in the fourth round. I'm sure we'll beat 'em in the replay, because more games.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.