Craig Bellamy's name may appear on the scoresheet, but he certainly didn't mean for it to happen when it did. But the LFC winger's deflected goal was just rewards for yet another man-of-the-match performance in Friday's FA Cup win over Oldham Athletic.
For 66 seconds, it looked like Liverpool would be the first Goliath to fall at David's hands in this year's competition. Oldham took the lead in the 28th minute, but Bellamy scored the equalizer in the 30th.
Jonjo Shelvey hit a speculative, but powerful, shot from just inside the box toward the Oldham goal. It bounced off of Bellamy's chest (or shoulder) and beat goalkeeper Alex Cisak.
The Welshman's goal gave an instant boost to the Reds, and they exerted greater influence over what was an even game from that point on. They took a 2-1 lead into the halftime break, and would go on to comfortably defeat their opponents from League One 5-1.
Bellamy, in particular, went from effective to dominant after the goal. He was deployed on the right side of the attack for much of the game, and terrorized Oldham left back Kieran Lee with his pace and dribbling ability.
He created numerous scoring chances from dead-ball situations and open play. Whenever Oldham looked menacing, Bellamy would spark the LFC counter-attack and shift momentum in his team's direction.
He also repaid Shelvey's favor by setting up the young midfielder's goal in the 68th minute. Steve Gerrard played him down the right and the confident winger crossed to Shelvey's foot for an easy finish. That goal put the game out of reach for the plucky visitors.
The 32-year-old Bellamy has turned back the hands of time with his performances for the club he supported as a boy. He's registered a goal or assist (often multiples of each) in five of six games he's started since Nov. 20.
Bellamy's knees prevent him from playing every minute of every game, but his class and determination have inspired LFC through a particularly difficult stretch of the season. It has not gone unnoticed by teammates, coaches and supporters.
"I don't know what he eats, but I think I need to get some of it! He was flying," manager Kenny Dalglish said.
"He gets a wee bit frustrated coming off, but we've got to protect him as well. He'd love to play for 90 minutes and we'd love to have him for 90 minutes — but we'd rather have him for the next game, so we've just got to babysit him."
Review all the action from Friday's game in our Liverpool Live Blog.