Full-time - 90'
5 - 0
20:00 +00:00, January 15, 2008
Referee: Peter Walton
And that's that, good on brave Luton who did ever so well for 44 minutes. Who knows how long they could have held firm if they hadn't conceded right on the interval. Still, they gave it everything but in the end just couldn't cope with the power of Liverpool. They await the winners of tomorrow's tie between Swansea and Havant and Waterlooville. Until next time...
'You'll Never Walk Alone' rings out from the Kop.
Two minutes added, and more frustration for Kuyt as he stumbles over a Babel ball and then can't lift his effort over the keeper. He's shocking!
There's still great noise coming from the Luton fans. They don't care about a 5-0 beating, they're just happy to still be afloat.
Now Kuyt tries to wrestle the keeper out of the way as a looping ball dropped underneath the bar. Blatant free-kick, blatant waste of money. What was he £10m?! Ha!
Luton are pressing for a goal now, Matthew Spring pulling the strings.
Good tackle by Don Hutchison on the man of the moment Kuyt as he looked like he might pop off a shot. And he wins the goal kick too. Brilliant work.
The Kop are screaming 'shooooot' at Carragher every time he gets the ball in Luton's half.
BREAKING NEWS: Kuyt nearly gets a shot on target. Fear not though, it went wide.
The Luton fans are still singing bless 'em.
Dirk Kuyt is hoplessly offisde but for some unknown reason still sticks the ball in the net when everyone had stopped. Is he stupid as well as ugly and talentless?
League Two Bury have given us another cup shock by dumping Championship side Norwich out 2-1 at Gigg Lane. Great result for Bury that, seeing as they are languishly near the foot of English football lowest division.
Livepool have gone five in midfield now for some reason, with Kuyt up top on his own.
Young Stephen O'Leary piles into Lucas there and gives away a free-kick. Luton clear the first ball and then Riise lets rip with a volley from 30 yards and fluffs it completely.
It'd be nice if Luton could pinch a goal for their valiant efforts wouldn't it? I'm sure even you Liverpool fans wouldn't begrudge them that.
It could have been six! Babel thrusts into the box and squares for Kuyt but Jackson blocks the way to goal.
Now Torres comes off and is replaced by Fabio Aurelio.
More changes, Paul McVeigh is on for David Bell and Lucas is on for the hat-trick hero Steve Gerrard.
GOAL! Hat-trick for Gerrard! A swerving, fizzing drive from 25 yards into the corner. Its a rout. Liverpool 5-0 Luton Town.
From the free-kick Itandje comes out to claim as Don Hutchison was lurking ominously.
Now Hyppia goes into the book after chopping down Drew Talbot who was in full flight. A needless booking Sami.
Another comical slice of play from Kuyt there who tries an effort with the outside of his right boot from an impossible angle which trickles into Brill's arms. He really is useless.
Double change for Luton, Stephen O'Leary and Paul Furlong are on for Steve Robinson and Calvin Andrew.
Carragher is determined to get his goal! He tried a nice one-two with Kuty there but the Dutchman's return pass was, for want of a better word, hilarious.
I'll try and think up some non-smutty anecdotes to keep you amused.....
The next 25 minutes could be a bit dull I'm afraid. Its gone very pedestrian all of a sudden.
Dirk Kuyt is coming on for Peter Crouch.
GOAL! Gerrard again! Torres had his shot blocked, it broke to Gerrard and he side-foots neatly into the corner. Liverpool 4-0 Luton Town.
What a chance for Torres to get his first FA Cup goal! He was clean through but miscontrolled and allowed Bell to get back and muscle him out of the way.
Oh, and now a pitch invasion! Haven't seen one of them in a while have we! One (probably drunk) fan might well be spending an evening in a Police cell. Hmm, lovely.
Riise breaks through this time but his square ball for Crouch isn't strong enough and Hutchison clears.
Looks like Rafa will rest some players now, my money is on Gerrard and Torres to come off very shortly.
How different it may have been had they made it to half time 0-0.
This could be a cricket score the way Liverpool are playing now, Luton's spirit truly crushed.
GOAL! 3-0! Hyppia made another near post run from the next corner, got a touch on it and the ball crept over the line. Poor old Luton.
So nearll another Liverpool goal. Hyppia flicks the corner on but Carragher can't finish.
Nice work from Torres - he brings down a Hyppia cross but the ball just wouldn't sit for him and Bell gives away a corner.
Luton could be on the end of a hiding here, and it must be about keeping it respectable for the rest of the game now.
In the confusion, Peter Crouch slid into the frame of the goal and got a poorly hurty on his shin. He should count himself lucky - remember Phil Babb's incident with the post at Anfield. Nasty it were, well nasty.
Ooh, it was nearly three! What was Keith Keane doing there? He nodded a long ball past his onrushing keeper, then had to rush himself to clear it off the line!
GOAL! Gerrard scores and the game should be over. Crouch heads back across goal from a Pennant cross and Gerrard nods home after Luton had let it bounce. Liverpool 2-0 Luton Town.
More and more mistakes are emerging due to the horrible weather - no-one can hang on to it for more than a few touches at the moment.
I wonder how long Rafa will leave his big players on if it stays like this?
Lovely turn in midfield from Matthew Spring but Steve Robinson didn't have the conviction to get to the ball first. Then Liverpool break but Babel's ball falls behind his onrushing team mates.
Early pressure from Liverpool, camped in Luton's final third. Penannt gets his cross over but Keane does well to get his head to it.
Right from the kick-off Xavi Alonso tries a shot from inside his half that was held on his line by Brill! Brill indeed.
So, Luton now need a goal, can they get it while not conceding any more goals? Doubtful, but here's hoping...
And there is half time. Poor old Luton, they were 20 seconds away from a HT clean sheet but they've undone their hard work by switching off for a split second and they go behind. See you in 15..
GOAL! Finally, Liverpool break through, Luton were short at the back before Pennant played Babel in and he fired past Brill. Liverpool 1-0 Luton.
More valiant defending by Hutchison! A corner was cleared to Gerrard and his volley was on target before Big Don dived to head clear. One minute added in this first half.
Another super block as Torres tried to work a shooting opportunity right on the edge of the box. Hutchison and Bell combined.
Carragher charges forward there, hoping that Stevie G will find him with a cross. He finds keeper Brill instead.
Great tackle by Keith Keane, giving Babel no room at all on the right wing. Excellent work.
Just five minutes to see out the half for Town...
Nice work down the right from Luton as Talbot fires in a dangerous cross. Carragher clears.
More good work from Liverpool with no end product, Torres back heels for Riise, his cross finds Crouch who lays off for Babel to shoot over.
Great block from Goodall as Gerrard lined up a piledriver.
Luton's fans are loving this - a few Liverpool passes are going astray now and every one is celebrated with a mammoth cheer from behind the goal.
Poor corner there from Gerrard, not even clearing the first man. They're a bit out of sorts here Liverpool, or maybe its just the torrential rain eh?
More targetman-style footie from the Reds as they swarm around Crouch waiting for a knockdown. He elects to let the ball run through his legs though. Well done Pete.
A rather optimistic shout for handball strikes up during that last Liverpool attack, then Torres falls over and the ball runs out of play. He's probably never seen this type of weather bless him.
It's still raining cats and dogs by the way....
A roar goes up from the travelling fans as Riise strokes one purposefully out of play. Oh dear.
By the way, antagonistic stalwart Don Hutchison (former Liverpool, West Ham, Sheffield United etc) is employed in a centre back berth here, and so far, ain't doing all that badly.
I nearly spoke too soon there as another Gerrard break gave Ryan Babel a sniff but Keith Keane got across quickly to snuff out the danger.
Well, nearly half an hour gone and still no Liverpool breakthrough. Can the Hatters make it to half time now?
Now that the club look safe perhaps Kevin Blackwell may reconsider his resignation, which takes effect on February 9th. I'm sure the new owners will be speaking to him about it.
Nice burst from Talbot there as he skips past Babel, the Dutch youngster hauls the little man back though and concedes a free-kick.
Now Luton's fans are singing, 'You're getting sacked in the morning,' at Benitez. Ooh the cheek.
Matthew Spring hits a nice ball behind Riise but Bell hasn't got the pace to get past the Norweigan.
Luton's fans are making a great atmosphere behind that goal - clearly brimming with pride and pleasure at the news their club may well be saved from the prospect of going under.
Ooh! Jamie Carragher is reveling in his 500th game with a lovely step-over and cross! Hutchison clears behind again and Luton clear the corner well. Its all hands to the pump for the visitors at present.
Yet another Pennant cross finds Crouch but his knock down can't find Torres, then Hutchison heads behind for a corner to Liverpool from an Alonso ball.
A better spell for Luton latterly, and even a shot to report! It was a weak dribbler though, from Darren Currie.
By the way, Robbie Keane has put Spurs one up against Reading.
It'a a matter of time at the minute, Liverpool should be three up already.
Nice move from Liverpool, Alonso clips it in to Gerrard who flicks it to Crouch but the big man can't get any power behind his drive.
Corner for Liverpool which is cleared well by Bell but from Pennant's return cross the ball drops to Babel and his goalbound shot is just deflected wide.
It's fully hammering it down at Anfield now and the pitch is looking increasingly greasy.
WARNING, COLLECTOR'S ITEM UPDATE: Fernando Torres has made a right hash of a good chance, inside the box. Hugely out of character from the Spaniard.
Liverpool have definitely decided to pepper Luton's backline with high balls and crosses to see how they can manage with the beanpole that is Crouch. Not very well so far I can report.
Another effort from Crouch - this time he takes a Pennant cross down on his chest before a speculative flying volley goes over the bar, aided by a huge deflection the ref somehow didn't spot.
Crouch tries another effort, on the volley this time, but the wonderfully titled Dean Brill claims comfortably.
Luton are a bit TOO open now! Gerrard is bursting forward unchecked at will to date, and it may well be 14-0 if Town carry on like this.
Ryan Babel has hit the post! He tried a lovely curling shot after being released by Gerrard and it was inches away from giving Liverpool the lead.
Luton are at least having a go at Liverpool here - the best way I reckon - although it does leave them open to conceding 14 at the back.
Another corner for Luton after more good work from Talbot. This time they lump it in the box but Liverpool keeper Charles Itandje punches clear.
First decent chance for Liverpool. Pennant cuts in from the right dinks it into the box and Crouch puts his header just wide. If I had a quid for every time I'd heard that....
Luton tried to be far too clever there, playing a short corner, and lost possession very easily. Not the wisest thing to do eh?
More pressing from Talbot this time and Luton win their first corner of the game.
Nice early break from Luton but Riise makes up the ground to intercept.
Obviously, this should be a formality, especially with Liverpool playing a full strength side, but then we said that at Kenilworth Road didn't we?
Conditions aren't ideal - its windy and spitting with rain - but sometimes that makes for a better game.
And we're off.....
The teams emerge from the tunnel and form a guard of honour for Jamie Carragher who is making his 500th appearance for Liverpool. A huge milestone and a nice touch from both sides too. What a great player he is, and a honest pro to boot.
Both clubs will probably be thankful when the action starts given that off field events have been dominating the headlines of late. Luton's problems I've mentioned but Liverpool have been conducting a soap opera all of their own. Why on earth co-owner Tom Hicks saw fit to mention the fact that Jurgen Klinsmann had been spoken to about taking over from Benitez I do not know. It certainly hasn't done much for harmony at Anfield mind.
Luton are somewhat limited in their selection choices, seeing as boss Kevin Blackwell reports only 16 are fit! Luton: Brill, Jackson, Hutchison, Keane, Goodall, Bell, Robinson, Spring, Currie, Andrew, Talbot.
The teams are in and it looks like Liverpool mean business. Back are the big guns, Stevie G and Fernando Torres. The full team is: Itandje, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Pennant, Alonso, Gerrard, Babel, Crouch, Torres.
Luckily Liverpool has swerved the monsoon-like conditions mainly affecting the west of England - several replays have already fallen victim to the weather. And (note tenuous link) it looks like the tide may be turning for Luton Town too as it appears a rescue package to save them from folding has been reached, thanks to former breakfast TV prsenter Nick Owen (I expect very few of you to know who he is). Whoever he is, its great news for the Hatters.
Good evening and welcome to Anfield, well ESPN HQ in Hammersmith actually, but tonight's action comes live and direct from Liverpool as the Reds take on crisis-hit Luton Town in their FA Cup third round replay.
John Arne Riise