Liverpool 5 Oldham 1: Anfield scoreline flattered us, says Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish believes Oldham Athletic were unfortunate to concede five goals against his Liverpool side at Anfield on Friday
Kenny Dalglish admitted Liverpool’s 5-1 victory over Oldham Athletic was not a fair reflection on the visitors’ performance at Anfield in the FA Cup third-round clash.
Robbie Simpson gave the League One side a shock lead after 28 minutes but the Reds struck immediately back through Craig Bellamy before Steven Gerrard put away a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Oldham continued to exert themselves in the second half but the tie was effectively over when Jonjo Shelvey scored in the 68th minute, before substitutes Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing completed the scoring in the final minutes of the game.
“The scoreline is a bit flattering,” said Dalglish. “Oldham did their club and manager proud. They created one or two threatening situations for themselves, especially in the first half. Getting back as quickly as we did with the equaliser was a great help to us.
“But I don’t think the scoreline reflects the distance between the two teams on that performance.”
The Liverpool manager conceded that some of his players were lacking match fitness, with Fabio Aurelio, Martin Kelly, Sebastian Coates and Jamie Carragher all starting after spells on the sidelines.
“It’s a little while since some of the players who haven’t played as much as the others have had a game, so it was important for us to give them a run out as well,” the Reds boss added.
“It showed they needed games. There was nothing wrong with their application, but they did lose a goal.
“You can train as much as you want, but you cannot replicate what happens on a football pitch. Everybody will be better off for the game.”
“Fabio [Aurelio] got his first 60 minutes of the season, so for us there were a lot of positives to come out of it.”
Dalglish also praised Bellamy’s desire to play every game – but the 60-year-old believes the Wales international must be protected after suffering a string of persistent knee injuries.
“I don’t know what he eats, but I think I need to get some of it! He was flying,” said Dalglish. “He gets a little bit frustrated coming off, but we’ve got to protect him as well. He’d love to play for 90 minutes and we’d love to have him for 90 minutes – but we’d rather have him for the next game, so we’ve just got to babysit him.”