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Saturday, January 7, 2006
ESPNsoccernet: January 8, 8:37 PM UK
Liverpool stages another riveting comeback

LONDON -- European champion Liverpool defeated Luton 5-3 in the FA Cup on Saturday, rallying from a 3-1 deficit in one of the most riveting comebacks in soccer's oldest cup competition.

Xabi Alonso scored two long-range goals -- one from 60 yards into an unguarded net -- and substitute Florent Sinama Pongolle added the other two to stop the League Championship team from registering one of the cup's biggest upsets.

Alonso's second goal came deep into injury time with Luton goalkeepeer Marlon Beresford in the Liverpool half of the field trying to score the equalizer at 4-3. His first goal was a dipping shot from 35 yards.

The comeback was reminiscent of Liverpool's rally from a 3-0 deficit at halftime to AC Milan in the Champions League final in May. Liverpool went on to beat the Italian club on penalty kicks.

Non-league Nuneaton Borough held Premier League Middlesbrough to a 1-1 tie thanks to a last-minute penalty kick by Gez Murphy. Nuneaton, which is 103 places behind Middlesbrough in English soccer's pyramid of leagues, now has a lucrative replay.

All 20 Premier League teams managed to avoid each other in the third-round draw. The 16 that played Saturday stayed in the competition.

Chelsea, the Premier League champion and runaway standings leader, beat League Two Huddersfield 2-1. The winning goal was scored by Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Birmingham City was held to a 0-0 tie by Torquay, which is next to last in League Two. Everton needed Leon Osman's goal for a tie 1-1 with Millwall, which is next to last in the League Championship.

Serie A
ROME -- Reggina and Fiorentina tied 1-1 as the Italian season resumed after the midwinter break.

Defender Alessandro Lucarelli gave Reggina the lead in the 12th minute but Martin Jorgensen replied a minute later for Fiorentina with his fifth goal of the season. Fiorentina striker Luca Toni failed to score for the fifth straight match.

Fiorentina moved into a third-place tie with AC Milan at 37 points, nine behind Serie A leader Juventus, which was at Palermo in a late game.




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