Gerrard sets eyes on FA Cup glory

Gerrard sets eyes on FA Cup glory

LONDON - Steven Gerrard says he wants to "go all the way" and win the FA Cup in his final season with Liverpool.

This, after the Reds captain illustrated his importance to the club by scoring twice to rescue Liverpool from FA Cup embarrassment and lead them into the fourth round after a tricky 2-1 win at fourth-tier AFC Wimbledon on Monday.

In the night's other Cup match, Premier League strugglers Burnley fought back from a goal down at Turf Moor to draw 1-1 with Tottenham and force a replay to decide who then takes on Leicester City.

Liverpool will move on to play second-tier Bolton Wanderers in the next round, but only after a night of living dangerously with determined League Two opponents who looked far from overawed.

"That was a very tough game," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted to the BBC. "We sort of lost our shape within the game and presented them with chances by giving the ball away.

"We had to defend right through to the end."

Gerrard, in his first match since announcing his departure for the United States at the end of the season, had headed the opener in the 12th minute as Liverpool looked set for a comfortable win.

But the match at Kings- meadow - reviving memories of 1988, when the original Wimbledon "Crazy Gang" upset Liverpool in a hard-tackling final at Wembley - refused to follow the script.

Lifelong Liverpool fan Adebayo Akinfenwa, a stocky striker nicknamed "The Beast", had the home fans dreaming when he poked in a 36th-minute equaliser from close range after some woeful defending by the Merseysiders.

The hefty 32-year-old, who has played for 11 clubs in a journeyman career around the lower leagues, was perfectly placed to cash in after the ball bounced back off the bar following a goalmouth scramble.

With a major upset looking possible, and Wimbledon missing several clear chances, Gerrard settled nerves with a curling free kick into the top corner in the 62nd minute.

"I always enjoy the FA Cup, I grew up loving the competition and to play in it. It's going to be my last time and I want to make the most of it and try and go all the way," the midfielder, who turns 35 on Cup final day on May 30, told the BBC.

"It's the beauty of the FA Cup," added Gerrard of Wimbledon's spirited performance.

"It doesn't matter where you are, in what league, form seems to go out of the window and it becomes a leveller.

"Fair play to them. I think their manager can be very proud of them. They gave us a real test."

Gerrard, who has won the European Cup, two FA Cups, three League Cups and the Uefa Cup in his 25 years with Liverpool, announced his decision to leave Anfield on Friday.

According to media reports, he is set to join the Los Angeles Galaxy in America's Major League Football.

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