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A header in the 121st minute from Angelo Ogbonna earned West Ham a 2-1 win over Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth round replay at Upton Park.
In an entertaining match in which both goalkeepers were worked hard, the woodwork was hit three times in the first period, Joey O’Brien for Slaven Bilic’s side and then Philippe Coutinho for Liverpool, before Dmitri Payet hit the post from a whipped free-kick.
The Hammers made the breakthrough just before the break, Enner Valencia’s endeavour in forcing his way into space was rewarded when Michail Antonio volleyed his centre into the net.
The lead didn’t last long however, as Coutinho equalised on 48 minutes when his cheeky free-kick went under the wall as they jumped and into the back of the net.
Both sides had chances throughout the second half and during the 30 minutes of added time but the game looked destined for penalties until Ogbonna’s perfectly-placed header broke Liverpool hearts right at the death.
It was harsh on Jurgen Klopp’s youthful side but West Ham won’t care and they will travel to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round.
The visitors started the sharper of the two sides and Benteke called Darren Randolph into action with an effort from close range before minutes later O’Brien’s shot was deflected onto the post with Simon Mignolet beaten.
The chances started to flow freely with Brad Smith surging forward on he left before his cutback found Texeira but the attacker drove the ball wide from 12 yards.
On 33 minutes it was Liverpool’s turn to hit the woodwork, Benteke combining with Coutinho before the little Brazilian took aim and beat Randolph but his effort came back off the inside of the post; from the resulting corner Randolph again saved well from Benteke at the far post.
Payet forced Mignolet into a save at full stretch from a free-kick before just before half-time Valencia twisted and turned inside the box before finding Antonio free six yards out and the forward guided the ball expertly into the far corner past Mignolet.
On the balance of play Liverpool were unlucky to be behind but it didn’t last long, Coutinho’s impudent free-kick from the edge of the box fooling everyone in the wall and giving the flat-footed Randolph no chance.
The Merseysiders were again in the ascendancy and Benteke again had a sight on goal but his shot was charged down; as the game entered its closing stages Randolph tipped away the Belgian’s free-kick.
Substitute Jordan Ibe had a final effort in stoppage time but Randolph palmed his effort away and extra time was needed.
As the teams tired chances continued to come with Mignolet saving confidently from the increasingly influential Mark Noble before Randolph denied Benteke when the striker was clean through on goal.
Three minutes into the second period of extra time the returning Daniel Sturridge drove from deep before letting fly from outside the area but the ball flew just over the bar with Randolph at full stretch.
Penalties looked inevitable – and no less than either side deserved – but Ogbonna had other ideas and he headed West Ham into the fifth round.