Liverpool subdue Bournemouth

Daniel Sturridge (AFP)
Daniel Sturridge (AFP)

Bournemouth - Daniel Sturridge struck his third goal since returning from a two-month injury lay-off as Liverpool beat Championship outfit Bournemouth 2-0 on Saturday to reach the FA Cup fifth round.

Victor Moses scored Liverpool's opening goal against the run of play midway through the first half and Sturridge, back in the team after ankle surgery, added a second for the visitors on the hour.

That was enough to kill off Bournemouth's hopes, but Eddie Howe's side, currently 16th in the second tier, made life difficult for their Premier League opponents.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted beforehand that the painful recollection of last season's cup exit at the hands of third-division Oldham Athletic would provide powerful motivation for his team.

And his desire to expunge that memory was reflected in his team selection, with skipper Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and strike pairing Luis Suarez and Sturridge all included in the starting line-up.

However, rather than intimidate their Championship opponents, the presence of so many familiar names in the Liverpool line-up initially appeared to inspire Howe's side.

The home team immediately pressed forward and created a good opening as early as the third minute, when Andrew Surman sent a flicked header narrowly wide.

Liverpool appeared vulnerable to a succession of corners, with the unconvincing handling of second-choice goalkeeper Brad Jones offering encouragement to the Cherries.

Going forward, the Premier League side were similarly ineffective, with Moses providing their most effective outlet via a number of penetrating forays on the right flank.

Liverpool began to assert themselves, however, with Suarez finally making an impact when he drew a foul from Harry Arter to win a free-kick that Gerrard sent wastefully over.

The Uruguayan's next contribution, in the 26th minute, delivered more tangible reward.

From the right side of the Bournemouth area, Suarez floated a pass across to Moses on the opposite side of the box and the Nigeria international moved inside before rifling a low drive inside the near post.

It was harsh on the home side, but they reacted positively, maintaining their controlled passing style and continuing to cause problems in front of Jones's goal.

Arter sent a left-foot shot wide and Surman was unlucky to see his effort deflected past the post when he was picked out by Charlie Daniels's left wing cross.

But Liverpool should still have doubled their lead before the break when Jordan Henderson shot over after being set up perfectly by Suarez.

Bournemouth knew they would have to maintain their level of performance after the break if they were to get back into the game, while at the same time handle Liverpool's threat on the counter-attack.

Unfortunately for Howe's side, they managed one but not the other, and were caught out once again on the break when Sturridge added a second in the 60th minute.

Another superb pass from Suarez sent Sturridge clear and he calmly slotted past advancing goalkeeper Lee Camp.

Earlier, Liverpool had been handed another defensive injury scare when Martin Skrtel required lengthy treatment after a clash of heads.

Rodgers is already without Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Mamadou Sakho and Glen Johnson, but to his relief, Skrtel had the wound stapled and was able to continue.

English FA Cup results:

Saturday:

Fourth round

Birmingham 1 (Novak 15) Swansea 2 (Bony 67, 69)

Bolton 0 Cardiff 1 (Campbell 50)

Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 2 (Moses 26, Sturridge 60)

Huddersfield 0 Charlton 1 (Church 54)

Manchester City 4 (Aguero 60, 79, 90, Kolarov 87) Watford 2 (Forestieri 21, Deeney 30)

Port Vale 1 (Robertson 36) Brighton 3 (Ince 27, March 43, Obika 78)

Rochdale 1 (Rose 60) Sheffield Wednesday 2 (Mattock 51, Onyewu 57)

Southampton 2 (Guly 23-pen, Gallagher 70) Yeovil 0

Southend 0 Hull 2 (Fryatt 63, 90)

Stevenage 0 Everton 4 (Naismith 6, 32, Heitinga 55, Gueye 84)

Sunderland 1 (Mavrias 5) Kidderminster 0

Wigan 2 (Watson 36, McClean 78) Crystal Palace 1 (Wilbraham 69)

Friday:

Arsenal 4 (Podolski 15, 27, Giroud 84, Cazorla 89) Coventry 0

Nottingham Forest 0 Preston 0

Sunday:

Chelsea v Stoke (17:30), Sheffield United v Fulham (15:00)
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