Liverpool vs. Exeter: Score and Reaction from 2016 FA Cup 3rd-Round Replay

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2016

Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo celebrates after scoring during the English FA Cup third-round replay soccer match between Liverpool and Exeter at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Wednesday Jan. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Liverpool put Exeter City to the sword in their FA Cup third-round replay at Anfield, recording a 3-0 victory as they outclassed their lower-division opposition. 

An early goal from Joe Allen gave manager Jurgen Klopp's men the lead, and the Reds remained comfortable as Exeter struggled with the occasion. Further strikes by Sheyi Ojo and Joao Teixeira wrapped up progression.

It was a strong performance from the Anfield giants, who never looked truly threatened at any point of the replay.

Klopp decided to make three changes to the Liverpool side that started the last meeting between the two sides, with Simon Mignolet, Joe Allen and Jordan Ibe coming into the squad to replace Adam Bogdan, Ryan Kent and Jerome Sinclair.

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale made four alterations to the team that featured at St James Park, with Jordan Tillson, Josh Read, David Noble and Tom Nichols making way for Danny Butterfield, Arron Davies, Matthew Oakley and veteran striker Clinton Morrison.

Exeter City's English striker Tom Nichols (R) vies with Liverpool's Spanish defender Jose Enrique during the English FA Cup third round replay football match between Liverpool and Exeter City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 20, 2016
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Liverpool took control from the opening exchanges and grabbed the lead after 10 minutes through Joe Allen.

The Wales international finished off a wonderful team effort from the Reds, after excellent work from Christian Benteke and Brad Smith. The Australian sent a low cross towards Allen, and the midfielder scored from close range, much to the delight of the Kop. 

Liverpool continued to dominate throughout the first half, as Exeter struggled to reproduce the spirited display of the first game. 

Benteke looked lively as he tried to get his name on the scoresheet, but the striker couldn't find a finish despite plenty of possession in the danger area. 

James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo highlighted Benteke's lack of quality in front of goal:

However, the game plan appeared to be to supply the Belgium international from wider areas, per Henry Winter of the Times:

Exeter City's English midfielder Lee Holmes (R) vies with Liverpool's English midfielder Connor Randall during the English FA Cup third round replay football match between Liverpool and Exeter City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 20
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

The visitors made it to half-time without amassing any further damage, but the Reds were in the ascendancy throughout the opening 45 minutes.

The travelling contingent from Exeter were in fine voice from the stands, and they became more buoyant as Liverpool failed to earn a second.

The visitors tried to rally as the second half moved forward, but the extra space played into Klopp's hands, and they doubled their lead through Ojo.

The teenager was set up by the impressive Jordon Ibe, and Ojo bent a sublime shot into the top corner, and Anfield rose to its feet. 

Pearce called the action as the 18-year-old struck:

Jon Super/Associated Press

Liverpool wrapped up the win after 81 minutes, as Teixeira expertly finished after excellent work by Benteke. 

The senior striker fed the Portuguese player with a defence-splitting pass, and the attacking midfielder buried his shot in the opposite corner. 

Despite waiting for the final whistle to put them out of their misery, it was the Exeter fans who were in full voice in the last minutes, but Liverpool completed a 3-0 win on the night—in a match that could have had a much bigger scoreline.    

Post-Match Reaction

Klopp was delighted his team made their way past an experienced Exeter team and said Benteke was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet. The German coach also looked forward to Liverpool's next hurdle in the cup, per BT Sport:

The Reds will now host West Ham United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, Jan. 30, at Anfield.

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