x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Gerrard to Liverpool's rescue

The Reds heave a sigh of relief after the equaliser from Gerrard saves the blushes of a shock FA Cup third round exit at the hands of Reading.

Liverpool needed an equaliser from Steven Gerrard to avoid a shock FA Cup third-round exit at the hands of Reading. Gerrard's leveller earned the Reds an Anfield replay after Simon Church had put the Championship side ahead. The Royals started well at the Madejski, and sent the home fans into ecstasy by breaking the deadlock on 24 minutes. Simon Church bundled the ball home from close range after Grzegorz Rasiak had got behind Lucas to cut back a free-kick from Ryan Bertrand. But that lead lasted just 12 minutes as Liverpool talisman Gerrard struck to earn the visitors a draw.

When he crossed Dirk Kuyt dummied the ball to deceive Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici and the ball crept into the net. Everton were made to battle hard for their progress to the fourth round as two late goals saw them past League One Carlisle 3-1 at Goodison on Saturday. James Vaughan gave the Toffees a 12th-minute lead but Adam Clayton's strike went in off team-mate Kevan Hurst to level matters (18). Vaughan had a second ruled out for offside but Tim Cahill grabbed a crucial close-range strike (82) and Leighton Baines made the game safe from the spot (90). Premier League crisis club Portsmouth were taken to a replay by Coventry after a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park. Things went from bad to worse for financially-stricken Pompey on the half-hour as David Bell lashed the Sky Blues ahead. But Tommy Smith's cross allowed Kevin-Prince Boateng to head his side level in first-half stoppage time. Nathan Delfouneso (10) and Carlos Cuellar (37) put Aston Villa 2-0 up against Blackburn either side of David Dunn's penalty miss. Rovers had El-Hadji Diouf sent off (42) before Nikola Kalinic pulled a goal back (55), but John Carew's late penalty made it 3-1.

Charles N'Zogbia's introduction at half-time turned around the day's other all-Premier League tie as Wigan beat Hull 4-1. Geovanni's free-kick gave Hull the lead but the Wigan winger struck (47, 66) either side of setting up James McCarthy for the second (63), and Scott Sinclair rounded off the win (90). Niko Kranjcar struck twice for Tottenham against Peterborough (35, 57) before Jermain Defoe made it 3-0 (70) and Robbie Keane added a last-minute penalty for a 4-0 victory. Bobby Zamora's 16th-minute strike earned Fulham a 1-0 win over Swindon, Town keeper David Lucas later saving a penalty from Andy Johnson. * PA Sport