Exeter City hold Liverpool to a draw in the FA Cup

Exeter City hold Liverpool to a draw in the FA Cup

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Charlie Malam & Oliver Emmerson
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That's it, it's all over and Exeter will get the chance to play at Anfield in a replay. It was an entertaining affair, and there were times where you thought the hosts could win by a couple of goals, but ultimately they'll be delighted with the draw. Unfortunately, that's all we've got time for tonight. The match report will be up on the site soon, and we'll see you soon for the replay. 

Full time: Exeter City 2-2 Liverpool

90+3: We're heading into the last minute of added time, Exeter looking to hang on for the draw!

90: Smith's back up and playing which will come as a relief to Jurgen Klopp, as the full-back blazes one wide from distance. Four minutes of added time. 

86: Brad Smith's down with cramp, hobbling around. Not great news for Liverpool, as if they don't have enough injury woes...

84: The man who scored Exeter's second goal, Lee Holmes, goes off for Joel Grant in the final change of the night. 

81: Teixeira is played in-behind after strong work from Benteke, but has his toe-poke smothered by the goalkeeper. 

78: Ojo has looked good since coming on, and wins a free-kick down the left wing. Smith delivers, but Kevin Stewart can only fire over the bar at the back post. 

77: Tiago Ilori, who hasn't played since April, is shattered and comes off for Joe Maguire. 

74: Good work from Liverpool as they shift the ball out to Ojo on the left hand side of the area, Exeter fail to clear his low cross and Smith is first to react, powering the ball into the net. 

GOAL! Brad Smith makes it 2-2!

71: An extended spell of possession by Liverpool is ended by an unlucky Chirivella pass that takes a bobble and goes out of play. Ojo comes on for Sinclair. 

65: And another now, Ribeiro substituted for Arron Davies. He'll be disappointed to have missed out on a goal tonight.

62: First change of the night for Exeter, Noble coming off for Oakley. 

58: Liverpool let another cross come in when they shouldn't, Ribeiro heading wide once more. 

57: Change for Liverpool, Ryan Kent replaced by Pedro Chirivella. 

51: Great save! Brannagan crosses for Benteke, after some great feet down the left wing, but the Belgian has his header tipped over the bar. 

48: Big penalty shout for Exeter as Ribeiro goes down under the challenge of Smith in the area, but he fell late and nothing was given. 

45: Back underway. 

How about the second half? Well, if there's much of the same then we could see the game end with another three or four goals on the scoreline. That could end up being a rout for Exeter, or a comeback for the Reds. 

Well, what a dramatic end to the first half, with the hosts taking what you might consider to be a deserved lead given their impressive spell late on in the half. 

Half-time: Exeter City 2-1 Liverpool

45+1: It's hard to tell how it happened, but it seems like the hosts have scored directly from a corner. Holmes is claiming it, with his inswinging corner flying into the back post. Awful goalkeeping from Bogdan, 2-1!

GOAL! Exeter are ahead, straight in from a corner!

41: Close! Half the ground thought it was 2-1. Brilliant cross from Holmes on the left hand side, met by Ribiero, but it flies narrowly wide. 

39: Hairy moment for the home side, as Kevin Stewart's long range effort takes a deflection, but 'keeper Olejnik was equal to it. 

35: It's gone a little scrappy, with the pitch really cutting up. 10 minutes left in the first half for either side to go ahead.

29: Chance for Exeter... missed! It's knocked down in the box for Noble and things looked promising, but the midfielder snatched at the chance and smashed the ball over the bar. 

24: Free-kick played short to Randall, who bursts past two men before sending a shot just wide of the goal. 

22: Kent has really started this game well, looking really confident with his skills. He's just won what seems like a 99th free-kick, following flicking the ball over a defender's head. 

17: This is an entertaining, open game, showcased furthermore as Teixeira wins a corner thanks to a lovely piece of skill. It goes over everyone's head, and Ryan Kent can't quite get the ball back in. 

12: Ryan Kent shoots from the edge of the area and it's deflected through into Sinclair's path, with the youngster making no mistake in placing the ball into the bottom corner. 

GOAL! Jerome Sinclair levels up for Liverpool!

11: Good effort from Brad Smith, who has a driven effort blocked just yards away from the bottom corner. 

9: Not a difficult goal to score, but one that's sent the home fans wild. Tom Nichols the scorer, getting on the end of a cross to prod into the corner of Bogdan's goal. 1-0 to the underdogs, but there's a long way to go. 

GOAL! Exeter are ahead!

7: The hosts are looking to get the ball wide for a cross at every opportunity, but Liverpool are blocking those channels well, looking to frustrate the fans. 

2: Good link up play between Teixeira and Smith down the left hand side for Liverpool, but the full-back sees his cross smothered by the goalkeeper. 

0: Kick-off, we're underway! It has to be said, the pitch looks shocking. 

The players are out and shaking hands, it's a cracking atmosphere at St. James' Park.

Just over five minutes until kick-off now, get your predictions into @VAVEL!

Conducting his pre-match interview in a tea room, Jurgen Klopp hopes for a coffee, and a win tonight as he explains that he didn't get the chance to rest players, with some senior men simply unavailable to make it tonight due to a lack of recovery time. 

Jose Enrique starts in a centre-back role, an unfamiliar one at that, for his first senior start in just under 12 months. 

So, Klopp has been forced into mass changes, with Christian Benteke making up 14 of the total 22 appearances the first 11 have made this season, combined. He'll captain the side tonight. 

Liverpool substitutes: Fulton, Masterson, Maguire, Chivirella, Lallana, Ojo, Lucas.

Exeter City substitutes: McAllister, Oakley, Davies, Morrison, Hoskins, Hamon, Grant.

Liverpool XI: Bogdan, Randall, Ilori, Enrique, Smith, Stewart, Brannagan, Teixeira, Kent, Sinclair, Benteke.

Exeter City XI: Olejnik, Woodman, Noble, Ribiero, Holmes, Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Reid, Nichols, Tillson, Brown.

Here we go, we've got some confirmed team news.

It's easy to overlook Exeter in such a game tonight but they've got some absences of their own. David Wheeler and Ryan Harley are out, though it's expected that a few first-choice are in contention for a timely return to the team. Paul Tisdale, who has managed Exeter since June 2006 impressively, making him the second-longest serving manager in English football - has already seen his side fall to Premier League opponents earlier this season. They were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Sunderland in a 6-3 defeat in August and Tisdale will be hoping they can at least give their opponents a close encounter this evening.

The charismatic German, who will experience his first taste of the FA Cup this evening, is also wary of the threat that Exeter possess. “We know that they are a good team. They had a respectable result against Sunderland in the League Cup, 6-3," he told the media. “It's not too easy to score three goals against a Premier League team but they did. The quality of their players is in no doubt and they all play football. They are professional so they train a lot too. That's all clear. The dressing room should be very small, I heard about it. Maybe we should not be the longest time in there and go out and play football. I saw after the big rain that the pitch is not in the best shape I would say.”

Expanding on Klopp's comments, he told the press yesterday: "I have big respect for the FA Cup. If someone is not interested in my situation, how can I be interested in their opinion? We have the situation that we have. We cannot play with Phil Coutinho – he cannot play for three and a half weeks. That is the situation. If someone wants to write a headline, it is not the truth because we respect the FA Cup. That is one reason for the team we will play at Exeter.” But he did at least take some positives, adding: "The good side is we have qualified for all tournaments, we are in the race for all our targets. But now we have to find a solution for this moment that will help us [prevent more injuries] in the future."

Though Klopp has insisted his team selection will not be out of disrespect for this competition or their lower league opponents, it is obviously a fantastic opportunty for Exeter to claim a huge scalp. These two met in the Capital One Cup only four years ago, when a strong Liverpool XI overpowered Exeter thanks to goals from Luis Suarez, Maxi Rodriguez and Andy CarrollDaniel Nardiello replied with a penalty late on, but it wasn't enough for the Grecians to pull themselves back into the game. Will it be as one-sided tonight? Tweet your pre-match predictions into @VAVEL.

Elsewhere, Ryan Kent, Sheyi Ojo and Kevin Stewart are also all likely to be handed their senior debuts for the Reds - with only one fit striker, Christian Benteke, available to Klopp. He could yet start in an effort to increase his confidence with some goals, though there will be no sign of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings, Jordon Ibe or Philippe Coutinho. Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana are also unlikely to feature, though they could be on the bench. Elsewhere on the sidelines, Jordan Rossiter, Touré, Lovren, Mamadou Sakho, captain Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez. Ouch.

Rumours have suggested that tonight, Klopp will be forced into giving Tiago Ilori his first ever start at centre-back after he was recalled from an unsuccessful loan spell at Aston Villa, whilst Jose Enrique - a man who is expected to leave the club when his contract runs out in the summer - could partner him in central defence, such are the Reds' injury woes in defence.

It's unlikely we're to see any of the Reds' star players this evening, however. Instead, Klopp is expected to field a largely second-string side given the growing injury crisis at the club. Kolo Touré, Jordon Ibe, Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren were all the latest players to succumb to knocks against Stoke City- the latter three all picking up hamstring injuries which will leave them out for varying periods of time. That has meant Klopp is desperately looking in the transfer market for an experienced centre half to bring in ahead of league clashes with Arsenal and Manchester United at Anfield.

Klopp and co. face up against an Exeter team that sit 16th in the league after four straight defeats, though they have gotten past Didcot United and Port Vale, a tier above them, by scoring five and without conceding a single goal in return. Plus, with the old saying that "anyone can beat anyone" in the FA Cup - the magic of which we're likely to hear about all weekend long - this is no straightforward tie for the visitors, despite the two squads being completely incomparable in terms of value and quality.

Exeter - Liverpool FA Cup Scores 2016

Tonight might just be the perfect recipe for one of those classic FA Cup upsets. League Two side Exeter host an injury-ravaged Liverpool side who are expected to hand out at least four senior debuts to players this evening, with 13 of Jürgen Klopp's first-team all out injured. The Reds seem to have been cursed by hamstring injuries, with over half of those absentees out with hamstring-related problems, but they'll still approach this game in good confidence after beating Stoke City 1-0 in their first-leg Capital One Cup semi-final clash with the Potters just three days ago. 

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live minute-by-minute match coverage and commentary. Today, Friday 8th January 2016, sees Exeter City host Liverpool in the third round of the 2015-16 FA Cup. This evening’s game kicks off at 19:55 GMT, but until then - we'll have plenty of pre-match build-up and analysis. Make sure you stay following.

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