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FA Cup: Liverpool see off Luton challenge

London, Jan 16: Liverpool advanced to the FA Cup fourth round Tuesday with a comfortable 5-0 replay victory over League One side Luton Town. Steven Gerrard played an amazing game by grabbing a hat-trick.

Tottenham Hotspur also progressed with a 1-0 replay win at Premier League rivals Reading, Robbie Keane scoring the winner to set up a tie at Manchester United . Manager Rafael Benitez, whose future looks uncertain after Liverpool's American owners admitted talking to Juergen Klinsmann about succeeding him at Anfield, sent out a strong team against a Luton side who held them 1-1 nine days ago.

The teams formed a guard of honour for Jamie Carragher before the start to mark the defender's 500th appearance for Liverpool.
Carragher had a quiet night after that, although the visitors held out until a minute before half-time when Dutch winger Ryan Babel shot powerfully past keeper Dean Brill.

Gerrard headed the second after the break before Sami Hyypia made it 3-0 with a deflected header. Gerrard then slotted his second before completing his treble with a swerving effort 20 minutes from time.

Liverpool will be at home to third division Swansea City or minor league Havant and Waterlooville in round four.
"It was difficult to score the first goal but after that it was an open game," said Benitez . "They (Luton) were defending very hard with lots of players behind the ball.

"I'm very happy because we won the game and that's all I was thinking about."

lsewhere, second division Norwich City lost 2-1 at fourth division Bury while Millwall beat third division rivals Walsall 2-1.
West Bromwich Albion scraped past fellow second division outfit Charlton Athletic on penalties after the tie ended 2-2.
Fulham's replay at Bristol Rovers was postponed because of heavy rain, as was Sheffield Wednesday's home tie with Derby County and Barnet versus Swindon Town.

In tonight's replays, Manchester City hosts West Ham United and Newcastle United is at home to Stoke City.

OneIndia News

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 12:41 [IST]
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