Emirates FA Cup
St. James’ Park, Exeter, England
Liverpool were forced into an FA Cup third-round replay as a result of a two-two draw against Exeter. The Premier League side came back twice against an Exeter side, 76 league places below them thanks to goals from Jerome Sinclair and Brad Smith, who spared the Reds’ blushes after Tom Nichols and Lee Holmes had given the League Two side the lead.
Both sides started well in the first few minutes but it was the home side that were passing the ball with more conviction and it took barely nine minutes for the League Two side to take the lead.
A brilliant low cross from Jamie Reid was met by Tom Nichols on-the- stretch, and his shot crept into the bottom corner past Ádám Bogdán.
There was a brilliant response from the Reds after going behind, and it took less than three minutes for the Premier League outfit to draw level.
After Christian Benteke was challenged in the box, the ball pin-balled in the area and fell to the fortunate Jerome Sinclair, who slotted past Bobby Olejnik in the home goal.
In the 23rd minute, the visitors came close when Connor Randall fired just wide following a freekick.
Five minutes later, a good cross from Christian Ribeiro eventually found David Noble who shot off-target from close-range for the home side.
In the 39th minute, the visitors came close when a deflected effort from Kevin Stewart was saved by Olejnik.
A minute later, the home side came even closer when a Lee Holmes cross was met by Ribeiro, but his header was just wide.
There was one minute of additional time in the first half and the home side took advantage of it. A Holmes delivery, direct from a corner, outfoxed Bogdán, to give the underdogs the lead.
That was the last action of the first half as the referee blew his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end.
Both sides resumed the second period as they began the first.
In the 50th minute, the visitors came close when a Connor Randall cross was met by Benteke with a header, but his effort was brilliantly saved by Olejnik, to deny the Premier League outfit the equaliser.
In the 56th minute the visitors made their first change of the game, with Pedro Chirivella replacing Ryan Kent.
A minute later, the home side came close when Ribeiro met yet another cross, but again it was just wide.
In the 61st minute, the home side made their first change of the game, bringing on Matt Oakley for Noble.
Three minutes later, Tiago Ilori conceded a freekick on the edge of the box. The resulting effort from goalscorer Nichols was just too high.
Soon after, Ribeiro departed for Arron Davies for the home side, in what was their second change of the game.
Two minutes into his introduction, he sliced a shot wide after good work from Nichols.
In the 70th minute, the visitors made their second change of the game with goalscorer Jerome Sinclair making way for Sheyi Ojo.
Three minutes later, the substitute was involved in drawing the Reds level. Ojo played in a low cross that the home side failed to clear properly, and when the loose ball fell to Brad Smith, he volleyed instinctively past Olejnik to equalise.
In the 76th minute, the visitors made their third and final change of the game with Ilori departing for Joe Maguire.
In the 83rd minute, the home side made their third and final change of the game, with goalscorer Holmes, departing for Joel Grant.
Six minutes later, goalscorer Smith shot at goal again, but this time his effort was dragged wide.
There were four minutes of additional time, although nothing really happened in those last few minutes.
That was the last action of the game as the referee blew his whistle to bring the game to an end.
The result meant that both sides will play in a replay at Anfield, in which the winners of the tie will progress into the fourth-round.