Darren Randolph produced heroics in the West Ham United goal as they forced Liverpool to an Emirates FA Cup fourth round replay.
There were fireworks when the teams met in the FA Cup final a decade ago in Cardiff. The Hammers twice let a two-goal lead slip, Steven Gerrard scored one of the finest goals to ever grace a Final before Liverpool eventually triumphed at the end of a penalty shootout.
Liverpool 0-0 West Ham United
Emirates FA Cup
Saturday 30 January 2016
Winning sides receive £90,000 from The FA prize fund
There was no such drama at Anfield in front of the BT Sport TV cameras this time, although the contest between Liverpool striker Christian Benteke and Randolph was fascinating.
The game’s first real chance fell to Cameron Brannagan when a loose ball rolled into his path following Jordon Ibe’s driving run, but the England Under-20s international struck over the crossbar from 25 yards.
The Hammers had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Enner Valencia rose highest in the box to meet Aaron Cresswell’s cross, but succeeded in simply heading hopelessly wide.
Midway through the first half Benteke looked to latch on to Joao Carlos Teixeira’s through pass, but Randolph was quickly off his line to gather at the big Belgian’s feet.
Former Birmingham City stopper Randolph took a break from taming Benteke when he saved from Brannagan at full stretch.
On the stroke of half-time Pedro Obiang watched the ball onto his right foot, but his well-struck volley crept wide.
Joe Allen fired over on the hour following Nathaniel Clyne’s centre and Randolph then beat away Teixeira’s effort.
With 15 minutes to go came Randolph’s crowning moment in the game – a magnificent triple save.
First he parried away Benteke’s low first time drive and then leapt to his feet to block the loose ball as Allen ran in.
The Hammers still could not clear the loose ball and it sat up for Benteke to try his luck again, but nemesis Randolph was equal to his strike.
Hammers substitute Michail Antonio almost snatched a winner at the death when he rose above Jose Enrique at the far post, but saw his header across goal come back off the woodwork.
And they will now do it all again at Upton Park.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Simon Mignolet; Nathaniel Clyne, Steven Caulker, Dejan Lovren, Brad Smith; Cameron Brannagan, Kevin Stewart, Joe Allen; Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke, Joao Carlos Teixeira.
Substitutes: Sheyi Ojo for Ibe 79, Jerome Sinclair for Brannagan 85, Jose Enrique for Teixeira.
Substitutes not used: Danny Ward, Tiago Ilori, Connor Randall, Pedro Chirivella
West Ham United (4-3-3): Darren Randolph; James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell; Cheikhou Kouyate, Alex Song, Pedro Obiang; Victor Moses, Enner Valencia, Dimitri Payet.
Substitutes: Joey O Brien for Tomkins 34, Nikica Jelavic for Kouyate 36, Michail Antonio for Moses 69.
Substitutes not used: Samuel Howes, James Collins, Reece Oxford, Josh Cullen.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Emirates FA Cup highlights: Liverpool 0-0 West Ham