Exeter City’s Emirates FA Cup adventure came to an end at Anfield as Liverpool produced a dominant display to book a fourth round tie with West Ham.
The hosts were rampant, with Jordon Ibe especially impressive on the right wing, but only held a 1-0 lead at the break courtesy of Joe Allen’s goal.
It was at that point Exeter introduced Tom Nichols – man of the match when these sides drew 2-2 at St James Park 11 days before – but he could do little to turn the tide.
Liverpool 3-0 Exeter
Emirates FA Cup
Third Round replay
Wednesday 20 January
Winners to receive £67,500 from prize fund
Sheyi Ojo scored a superb second for the hosts before Joao Carlos Teixeira completed the scoring.
Liverpool started quickly and Christian Benteke got an early snapshot away, turning quickly inside the Exeter area and firing on target, but goalkeeper Robert Olejnik was equal to it.
Indeed the hosts enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and their reward arrived after 10 minutes.
Brad Smith – whose leveller in Exeter earned Liverpool a replay – played a one-two with Benteke before pulling the ball back from the byline for Allen to poke home.
Teixeira then provided Benteke with a great opportunity to double the lead after 19 minutes but the Belgium striker could only head the cross over from close range.
Ibe – causing all sorts of problems for the Grecians – and Cameron Brannagan each forced a low save from Olejnik as Liverpool sought to capitalise on their dominance, and would perhaps have gone into the break frustrated to hold only a one-goal lead.
Emirates FA Cup: Liverpool 3-0 Exeter City
Jurgen Klopp’s side began the second half as they finished the first and they were soon inches away from a second goal.
Ibe cut in and fired a left-footed effort towards goal, only to watch the ball thunder off the underside of the crossbar, before bouncing down onto the goalline and away to safety.
Benteke was the next to be denied, this time by Olejnik, before Ibe played a quick one-two in the Exeter box and curled narrowly past the far post.
As the clock ticked on and the scoreline remained, Exeter’s belief began to grow but they were cut down a quarter of an hour from time.
Substitute Ojo – recalled from a loan spell with Wolves shortly before these two last met – cut in from the right and curled a superb left-footed effort into the far top corner.
And Teixeira wrapped things up eight minutes from time, picked out by Benteke before looking up and curling past Olenjik.
At the other end Exeter briefly threatened to grab a consolation goal, Alex Nicholls and David Wheeler linking up to good effect, but the chance was thwarted.
And in the final seconds Liverpool broke clear with a four-on-two, only for Benteke to waste the opening – though it mattered little.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Simon Mignolet; Connor Randall, Tiago Ilori, Jose Enrique, Brad Smith; Cameron Brannagan, Joe Allen, Kevin Stewart; Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke, Joao Carlos Teixeira.
Substitutes: Sheyi Ojo for Allen 65, Pedro Chirivella for Ibe 79.
Substitutes not used: Adam Bogdan, Jon Flanagan, Ryan Kent, Jerome Sinclair, Joseph Maguire.
Goals: Allen 10, Ojo 74, Teixeira 82.
Exeter City (4-1-4-1): Robert Olejnik; Christian Ribeiro, Troy Brown, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Craig Woodman; Danny Butterfield; Alex Nicholls, Arron Davies, Matt Oakley, Lee Holmes; Clinton Morrison.
Substitutes: Tom Nichols for Morrison 45, Will Hoskins for Butterfield 45, David Wheeler for Oakley 64.
Substitutes not used: Jamie McAllister, James Hamon, Jordan Tillson, Joel Grant.
Attendance: 43, 292
Referee: Neil Swarbrick