Liverpool 3-0 Exeter: Joe Allen, Sheyi Ojo and Joao Teixeira send Reds through
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 21/01/16 7:24am
Liverpool moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over League Two Exeter at Anfield.
Joe Allen's close-range finish after a superb move in the 10th minute settled any early nerves in the third-round replay, before substitute Sheyi Ojo doubled their lead with a superb finish from 16 yards in the second half for his first Liverpool goal.
Joao Teixeira, also scoring his first for the club, wrapped up the win late on for the seven-time winners, who had been held 2-2 in the sides' first meeting.
Jurgen Klopp's Reds, who last won the competition in 2006, will now host West Ham in the fourth round.
Liverpool named defender Jon Flanagan on the bench, his first involvement with the senior side since May 2014, while Klopp also named first-team stars Simon Mignolet, Christian Benteke and Jordon Ibe in the starting line-up.
But it was Allen, another first-team regular, who gave the Reds the lead on 10 minutes, finishing off a fine team move from six yards after Brad Smith had played a neat one-two with Benteke on the left byline.
Benteke should have added to Liverpool's lead 10 minutes later when latching onto a Joao Teixeira cross, but the striker headed just over the bar unmarked.
Cameron Brannagan twice went close before the break as Liverpool dominated the opening half, first forcing Bobby Olejnik into a good save from 20 yards, before his effort from just outside the area flashed inches over the goalkeeper's crossbar.
Flanagan was greeted with a standing ovation upon his arrival in the 50th minute, marking the end of a 20-month absence through two separate knee operations.
Ibe was close to earning his first Anfield goal moments later, smashing the crossbar with his left foot after cutting in from the right, but Liverpool got their second with 15 minutes remaining.
Ojo, who had come on just nine minutes earlier, nonchalantly finished from just inside the area into the top left corner with a superbly casual swipe of his left boot.
Benteke then fed Teixeira free on the left after dodging two Exeter tackles, allowing the Portuguese youngster to blast the ball past Olejnik for 3-0.
Belgian Benteke twice came close to getting in on the act in the closing stages, forcing a fine save out of Olejnik with a minute remaining before rounding the goalkeeper and falling short at the byline in stoppage-time.