• AFC Wimbledon threaten shock
  • Gerrard's first game since announcing departure
  • Mignolet at fault for AFC Wimbledon goal

Steven Gerrard demonstrated the quality and leadership Liverpool will miss when he leaves Anfield as he inspired them to an FA Cup third-round victory at AFC Wimbledon.

Gerrard, playing his first game since announcing he would leave in the summer to play in the United States, illustrated the hole he will leave behind.

Liverpool's captain, who will celebrate his 35th birthday on FA Cup final day on 30 May, headed them in front, then came to their aid, as he has done so often, when they slumped into trouble.

Adebayo Akinfenwa's equaliser revived memories of the original Wimbledon's FA Cup final win against Liverpool at Wembley in 1988 - until Gerrard stepped in to restore order with a superb trademark free-kick just after the hour.

It helped to steady Liverpool, whose defence had looked horribly vulnerable under pressure from Neal Ardley's side, who are currently 12th in League Two.

Irrespective of the outcome, this FA Cup night was a credit to the rebirth of AFC Wimbledon, who started life in the Combined Counties League in 2002 and went through five promotions before returning to the Football League in 2011.

But AFC Wimbledon - like so many teams before them since Gerrard made his Liverpool debut in 1998 - discovered that this is the player who can be relied upon to help the Reds through moments of adversity.

This was another example as he took his Liverpool tally to 182 goals in 696 appearances for the club.

Gerrard took the applause of the visiting fans, waiting to acclaim him followings news of his impending departure, before the game and was able to calm their early nerves with a goal after Sean Rigg had almost given AFC Wimbledon a shock lead with a shot across the face of goal.

Gerrard timed his arrival in the area perfectly in the 12th minute to meet Javier Manquillo's cross and direct a low header beyond keeper James Shea into the bottom corner.

Liverpool then enjoyed a period of relatively control but, as has happened so often this season, they were undone by the vulnerability of their defence and the uncertainty of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Adebayo Akinfenwa scores

AFC Wimbledon deservedly levelled after Simon Mignolet's latest goalkeeping error

The Belgian keeper did well to turn over from 10 yards as Rigg threatened again but the weakness in Liverpool's rearguard was exposed when a long kick from Shea found its way through to the feet of Matt Tubbs, who pulled a poor finish across the face of goal.

AFC Wimbledon's confidence and threat was growing and it resulted in an equaliser nine minutes before the break.

Mignolet missed George Francomb's corner, Mamadou Sakho bundled the ball on to his own bar and Akinfenwa was the first to react to poke in from six yards.

Gerrard came to Liverpool's rescue in the opening moments of the second half when he cleared off the line from Adam Barrett as AFC Wimbledon picked up where they had left off.

And when Liverpool needed inspiration at the other end, Gerrard provided it with a superb free-kick that was in from the moment it left his foot curled beyond the reach of the despairing Shea.

Gerrard was denied a hat-trick by a stoppage-time goalline clearance from Callum Kennedy as Liverpool secured a home tie against Bolton Wanderers in the fourth round.

Now will this FA Cup campaign become a personal mission for Gerrard to end his career in England with a silver-lined Wembley farewell?

Steven Gerrard celebrates

Steven Gerrard, who was expected to be on the bench, headed an early opener

Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrares

AFC Wimbledon's goal was scored by cult figure Adebayo Akinfenwa, a Liverpool fan

AFC Wimbledon mascot

There was a party atmosphere for AFC Wimbledon, who were formed when the old club moved to Milton Keynes

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard scored the winner with a free-kick after Barry Fuller fouled Philippe Coutinho

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

AFC Wimbledon

  • 20 Shea
  • 02 Fuller Booked
  • 33 Goodman Booked
  • 27 Barrett
  • 17 Kennedy
  • 07 Francomb (Sutherland - 86' )
  • 08 Moore (Pell - 86' )
  • 04 Bulman
  • 11 Rigg (Azeez - 79' )
  • 09 Tubbs
  • 10 Akinfenwa Booked

Substitutes

  • 06 Bennett
  • 12 Pell
  • 14 Azeez
  • 23 Oakley
  • 26 McDonnell
  • 29 Harrison
  • 31 Sutherland

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 23 Can
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 17 Sakho
  • 19 Manquillo (Jose Enrique - 71' )
  • 14 Henderson
  • 21 Lucas
  • 50 Markovic (K Touré - 86' )
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 09 Lambert (Balotelli - 79' )
  • 10 Coutinho Booked

Substitutes

  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 04 K Touré
  • 18 Moreno
  • 29 Borini
  • 45 Balotelli
  • 49 Williams
  • 52 Ward
Ref: Jonathan Moss
Att: 4,784

Match Stats

Possession

30 70

Shots

13 22

On target

4 9

Corners

6 4

Fouls

18 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, AFC Wimbledon 1, Liverpool 2.

90:00 +3:06 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, AFC Wimbledon 1, Liverpool 2.

90:00 +2:35

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jake Goodman.

90:00 +1:50

Attempt blocked. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Mario Balotelli.

90:00 +1:48

Attempt saved. Mario Balotelli (Liverpool) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emre Can.

90:00 +1:07

Corner, AFC Wimbledon. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

90:00 +1:04

Attempt saved. Adebayo Azeez (AFC Wimbledon) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Tubbs with a through ball.

90:00 +0:40

Foul by Mario Balotelli (Liverpool).

90:00 +0:40

Jake Goodman (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:12

Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

89:36

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Callum Kennedy.

88:00

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Barry Fuller.

85:46

Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:46

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

85:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Kolo Touré replaces Lazar Markovic.

85:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, AFC Wimbledon. Harry Pell replaces Sammy Moore.

85:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, AFC Wimbledon. Frankie Sutherland replaces George Francomb.

84:13

Attempt saved. Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

83:40

Corner, AFC Wimbledon. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

83:37

Attempt blocked. Adebayo Azeez (AFC Wimbledon) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

82:55

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

82:55

Sammy Moore (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:12

Attempt blocked. Mario Balotelli (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

81:17

Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by José Enrique.

81:00

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

79:16

Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:16

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

78:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, AFC Wimbledon. Adebayo Azeez replaces Sean Rigg.

78:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Mario Balotelli replaces Rickie Lambert.

78:14

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

78:14

Matt Tubbs (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:09

Attempt blocked. Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.

77:25

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Adam Barrett.

76:00 Booking

Booking Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

75:57

Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

75:57

Matt Tubbs (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:38

Attempt saved. José Enrique (Liverpool) with an attempt from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Rickie Lambert with a cross.

72:26

Offside, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho tries a through ball, but Rickie Lambert is caught offside.

70:52

Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

70:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. José Enrique replaces Javier Manquillo.

69:50 Booking

Booking Jake Goodman (AFC Wimbledon) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

69:41

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

69:41

Foul by Jake Goodman (AFC Wimbledon).

67:41

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by James Shea.

67:38

Attempt saved. Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

67:12

Foul by Javier Manquillo (Liverpool).

67:12

Sean Rigg (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

65:54

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Leiva.

64:08

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

63:00

Delay in match Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) because of an injury.

62:34

Attempt missed. Dannie Bulman (AFC Wimbledon) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Sean Rigg with a headed pass.

61:26 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! AFC Wimbledon 1, Liverpool 2. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

60:30 Booking

Booking Barry Fuller (AFC Wimbledon) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

60:23

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:23

Foul by Barry Fuller (AFC Wimbledon).

59:35

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:35

Foul by Matt Tubbs (AFC Wimbledon).

53:59

Javier Manquillo (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

53:59

Foul by Callum Kennedy (AFC Wimbledon).

52:53

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Rickie Lambert with a through ball.

51:36

Attempt blocked. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lazar Markovic.

50:54

Attempt missed. Sean Rigg (AFC Wimbledon) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Adebayo Akinfenwa.

49:34

Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:34

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

48:14

Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

48:14

Sammy Moore (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:35

Attempt blocked. Adam Barrett (AFC Wimbledon) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Francomb with a cross.

46:14

Corner, AFC Wimbledon. Conceded by Lucas Leiva.

46:12

Attempt blocked. Sammy Moore (AFC Wimbledon) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

45:00

Second Half begins AFC Wimbledon 1, Liverpool 1.

45:00 +1:12 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, AFC Wimbledon 1, Liverpool 1.

45:00 +1:00

Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Rickie Lambert.

45:00 +0:50

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

44:14

Attempt blocked. Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

43:01

Foul by Lazar Markovic (Liverpool).

43:01

Barry Fuller (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:00

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

38:45 Booking

Booking Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon) is shown the yellow card.

38:29

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:29

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

35:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! AFC Wimbledon 1, Liverpool 1. Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal following a corner.

35:05

Corner, AFC Wimbledon. Conceded by Lucas Leiva.

34:08

Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:08

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

32:45

Attempt missed. Matt Tubbs (AFC Wimbledon) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sean Rigg with a through ball.

31:54

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:54

Foul by George Francomb (AFC Wimbledon).

31:15

Foul by Javier Manquillo (Liverpool).

31:15

Sean Rigg (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:28

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

30:28

Foul by Barry Fuller (AFC Wimbledon).

28:50

Attempt missed. Jake Goodman (AFC Wimbledon) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by George Francomb with a cross following a corner.

28:28

Corner, AFC Wimbledon. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

28:27

Attempt saved. Sean Rigg (AFC Wimbledon) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by George Francomb.

28:25

Attempt missed. George Francomb (AFC Wimbledon) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Adam Barrett following a corner.

28:22

Attempt blocked. Adam Barrett (AFC Wimbledon) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Francomb with a cross.

28:01

Corner, AFC Wimbledon. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

20:00

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:00

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

19:17

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

19:17

Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:45

Attempt missed. Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

16:45

Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:45

Foul by George Francomb (AFC Wimbledon).

16:02

Offside, Liverpool. Lucas Leiva tries a through ball, but Lazar Markovic is caught offside.

11:17 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! AFC Wimbledon 0, Liverpool 1. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Javier Manquillo with a cross.

9:53

Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:53

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

8:27

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:27

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

7:57

Attempt missed. Sean Rigg (AFC Wimbledon) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Tubbs with a through ball.

6:44

Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

6:44

George Francomb (AFC Wimbledon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:00

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

3:40

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:40

Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon).

2:36

Hand ball by Jake Goodman (AFC Wimbledon).

1:54

Hand ball by Sammy Moore (AFC Wimbledon).

1:33

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

1:24

Delay in match Javier Manquillo (Liverpool) because of an injury.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers