Emirates FA Cup
Anfield, Liverpool, England
A goalless draw between Liverpool and West Ham United meant both sides will play each other again in a fourth round replay at the Boleyn Ground for a place in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round.
The home side started well and dominated possession in the early excchanges although the visitors looked dangerous on the break.
The first chance came from the home side after seven minutes when Cameron Brannagan fired off-target from-range.
In the tenth minute, the visitors came close from a Dimitri Payet freekick. The Frenchman almost caught out Simon Mignolet, who thought the former was going to send in a cross, but his curling effort was just wide of the post.
Five minutes later, the Hammers had a good opportunity to take the lead when a good cross from Aaron Cresswell was misjudged by Dejan Lovren, putting off Enner Valencia behind him, who miscued his effort.
In the 21 st minute, the Reds came close to opening the scoring when a Brannagan corner was met by Christian Benteke, but his effort was cleared off the line by Cresswell.
Two minutes later, another good delivery from Brannagan from a freekick found Benteke again, but the Belgian couldn’t make enough contact, and Darren Randolph in the Hammers’ goal, claimed with ease.
In the 34th minute, Brannagan surged forward before angling a strike destined for the bottom corner, but keeper Randolph managed to tip it behind.
Soon after, the Hammers made their first change of the game with Joey O’Brien coming on for James Tomkins, who was struggling ever since enduring a clash of heads with Joe Allen, minutes earlier.
Moments later, they were forced to make a second substitution with former Everton striker, Nikica Jelavić coming on for Cheikhou Kouyaté, who was also struggling with an injury.
In the 44th minute, the visitors thought they should have been awarded an in-direct freekick after Brad Smith appeared to deliberately pass the ball back to Mignolet from the ground, but somehow referee Martin Atkinson waved play on.
There were three additional minutes for stoppages, and at the end of the first of those, a good cross from substitute O’Brien eventually fell to Pedro Obiang on the volley, but the Spaniard’s effort was inches wide of the post.
Some late Reds pressure towards the end of the half came to no avail as referee Martin Atkinson blew his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end.
The second period was tightly contested, with both sides having the lion’s share of the possession.
Minutes into the restart, the Hammers thought they should have had a penalty when a Payet freekick was flicked on by Jelavić, hitting Steven Caulker on the arm on two separate occasions, but Martin Atkinson was unmoved.
In the 50th minute, Nathaniel Clyne received the ball before firing a shot just over from-range.
Nine minutes later, Clyne was involved again, he surged forward before cutting the ball back to Allen, who fired over.
In the 62nd minute, Smith found João Teixeira, who forced Randolph into a fine save at his near post.
In the 69th minute, the visitors made their third and final change of the game with Victor Moses departing for Michail Antonio.
In the 73rd minute, a Clyne cross evaded Allen, but fell to Jordan Ibe, who fed Teixeira, who forced Randolph into another good save.
A minute later, the home side should have been ahead. A good ball from Ibe found Benteke who forced Randolph into another good save, parrying the ball into the path of Allen, whose effort was charged down by Randolph again before the loose ball fell to Benteke, but Randolph again, put his body on the line to prevent the Reds from taking the lead. It was a good triple-save.
In the 79th minute, the Reds made their first change of the game, with Sheyi Ojo coming on for Ibe.
In the 85th minute, the Reds made their second substitution of the game, with Brannagan departing for Jerome Sinclair.
In the 88th minute, the home side made their third and final change of the game with Teixeira departing for José Enrique.
There were three additional minutes for stoppages at the end of the second period, and in the first of those, another good delivery from Cresswell, was met, this time, by Antonio, but his effort hit the woodwork, but he was penalised for a foul anyway.
That was the last action of the match as referee Martin Atkinson blew his whistle to bring the game to an end.
The result meant that both sides will have to settle the tie with a replay at the Boleyn Ground in order to progress into the fifth round.