Carroll scores as Liverpool crush Oldham in FA

London: Andy Carroll scored at Anfield for the first time this season to help Liverpool reach the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 5-1 win over League 1 (third division) Oldham Athletic on Friday.

England international Carroll, bought for 35 million pounds ($53.93 million) from Newcastle United last January, pounced with injury time approaching to put Liverpool 4-1 up after they had gone behind in the 28th minute.

Oldham`s Robbie Simpson produced an unstoppable strike from 25 metres in the 28th minute but Liverpool quickly drew level when a Jonjo Shelvey shot destined for the goalkeeper`s hands deflected off Craig Bellamy into the corner of the net.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, plagued by injuries in 2011, then rifled home a penalty at the end of the first half to give his side a 2-1 lead.

Bellamy`s pace unsettled Oldham as Liverpool made it 3-1 after 68 minutes, the Welsh winger`s cross after a dashing run dispatched by Shelvey.

Misfiring striker Carroll then grabbed his third goal of the season after a swivel on the edge of the box and a smart finish before Stewart Downing made it 5-1 deep into injury time.

Sour Note

"Downing scored, big Andy got a goal, Jonjo scored and Steven scored with a penalty so we`ve had a few positives but I don`t think the scoreline reflects the distance between the two teams on that performance," said Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish.

However, the game ended on a sour note when Oldham`s Tom Adeyemi exchanged words with a spectator and the tearful midfielder needed a consoling word from Gerrard.

Liverpool issued a statement saying: "An incident occurred in the second half of the match which is now being investigated by both the club and the police."

Merseyside Police added: "The aim of the investigation is to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident to ascertain if action needs to be taken."

"(We) can confirm that no-one has been arrested this evening... on suspicion of racially aggravated behaviour during tonight`s FA Cup fixture at Anfield," said a police spokesman.

The main programme of third-round ties will be on Saturday but the highlight is holders Manchester City`s home game with Manchester United on Sunday.

Bureau Report

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