The Reds didn't play great on the day and after a dull match were left with a replay on the 5th Feb. Liverpool wore their third strip of all white in the game and after the toss the Reds had a short huddle before getting the game underway.
The first half chance of the game fell to Palace as the Reds failed to full clear a cross. Johnson picked the ball up and crossed in to the middle of the goal where Adebola headed wide after poor contact. Three minutes later and the Reds got the first shot off on goal. Emile Heskey turned his man superbly well only to hit a tame effort straight to the keeper.
Bruno Cheyrou operating all across the midfield roamed right on eleven minutes and got a good cross in from the right which Michael Owen managed to get on the end with but his header went up and over the bar. A minute later and Cheyrou came flying on on the left side of the area to try and convert a cross but his shot went over the bar.
The Reds then saw the game take a major twist. Adebola made a strong run from halfway which resulted in him dancing through the back line. Kirkland came rushing out and as both players went for the ball Adebola nicked the ball first towards goal but then crashed in to Kirkland. Kirky was left in agony as the game went on. Johnson shot at goal weakly which Hyypia stopped and Carragher cleared the danger. The ref blew up to allow treatment on and Kirkland was taken away on a stretcher. Jerzy Dudek made his first return to the first team since being dropped as a result.
The reds were in reasonable control of the game but as the game past the half hour mark Palace seemed to gain confidence from somewhere and start to really put the Reds under pressure without really forcing any real shots on goal. A few goalmouth scrambles ensued in the first half which the Reds coped with although they were in dire need of holding the ball up, nearer the halfway line and building themselves back into the game.
Michael Owen did have a chance three minutes before half time as he turned his man and ran in on goal but just as he was shaping up to shoot the ball was nicked away from his feet and out for a corner which as ever the Reds wasted. With the injury to Kirkland three extra minutes were added in the half.
Palace got the game underway in the second half and virtually straight away went up field and won a corner. A good corner was won too easily by Palace but the header went straight at Dudek who collected the ball with ease.
The Reds tried to claw their way back into the contest though and eight minutes in to the half they forced a corner. A good passing move through the midfield was splitting Palace up. Murphy spread the ball wide right to Diouf whose cross in to the middle was cleared for a corner. Two minutes later and Murphy attempted to play Owen in but as he raced through on goal the defender got there first and attempted a backpass to the keeper, unaware of the fact that the keeper had gone walkabouts. The ball past the keeper but went just wide of the goal before Owen could reach the loose ball.
Cheyrou had a decent shot on target after fifty seven minutes but the keeper got down well at his near post to save. Palace made their first change on sixty four minutes play with Black going off to be replaced by a young kid, Routledge. The Reds made a decent chance from a corner on sixty seven minutes. Murphy spotted a superb run from Riise into the box and quickly played the ball to him. Riise ran in and shot goalwards but the keeper somehow deflected the ball away for another corner despite being unsighted.
From that corner Palace broke quickly at pace to the other goalmouth but as Adebola faked to cut inside Carragher he managed to flick a foot at it and the ball spun up to be collected by Dudek. Ade Akinbiyi came on to replace Adebola with seventeen minutes left in an attempt to mix the play up a bit and win the game.
Jamie Carragher finally got a booking with eleven minutes left although it was after Johnson made the most of minor contact from Carra. Palace then made a last change with just ten minutes to go bringing Granville on for Gray. Bruno Cheyrou was booked on eighty four minutes for a blatant tug on his man as he went round him. Before Palace could take the free kick the Reds signalled their intent to draw the game as they replaced Diouf with Biscan.
The free kick was finally flighted in towards the back post where Popovic won the header and guided it down towards the far post. As it was heading for goal Heskey made a superb save by deflecting the ball up and over the bar much to the relief of Dudek in the Reds goal. It wasn't the first time Heskey had put in a superb tackle in his own area. Bruno Cheyrou was replaced inside stoppage time by Diao to waste time and the referee blew for time shortly after.
Overall a poor, jaded performance. With two strikers on the bench neither was used but instead two optional subs were rather negative. The forced change of Kirkland allowed Dudek to get back between the posts and only scans will tell if Kirky will be ok although news filtered through quickly that no break had occurred at least. The Reds should be strong enough in the replay but Palace are a hard working side.
MotM : Steven Gerrard - in a dull performance Gerrard was one of the few who really looked likely to spark the Reds in to scoring. Emile Heskey got through some superb defending although he's better placed up the field.