Liverpool will now face Bolton Wanderers at Anfield in the fourth round after the captain headed in the opener in the first half and then won it with a trademark free kick in the second.

A goal in each half from Steven Gerrard handed Liverpool a 2-1 victory at AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round. Gerrard perfectly timed a run into the penalty area to nod home the opening goal after 12 minutes, but his side were pegged back by Adebayo Akinfenwa’s close-range leveller before the interval. Wimbledon had further chances to add to that goal, but it was Gerrard who scored the match-winner with a superbly taken free kick after 62 minutes. With nine goals this season, he is their leading marksman. His two goals last night turned an average performance into a winning one. Liverpool were far from convincing for large parts of this tie, but were dug out by their captain’s enduring ability.

Liverpool will now host Bolton in the fourth round of the FA Cup, a competition Gerrard is aiming to win for the third and final time.”I always enjoy the FA Cup,” he said. “I grew up loving the competition and as it’s going to be my last time, I want to make the most of it and try and go all the way.”

Gerrard’s two goals puts him one behind Robbie Fowler on the club’s all-time goalscoring list – and he relished the tricky tie at Wimbledon.”If I wasn’t here playing for this team I’d probably be in the stands watching. I know what it means to every single supporter, that’s why I always try and give it my best,” he added.

“Whether I’m playing AC Milan in the Champions League or Wimbledon I’m always going to give it my best.”

Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to Steven Gerrard after the skipper produced another match-winning performance to secure FA Cup progress for his side. Rodgers said,”He was outstanding in the game. It was a brilliant individual performance. He scored two, and if he was a real selfish player, he might have stayed on the ball and got his hat-trick, instead of trying to create chances for other people.”

“I’ve played him in a number of positions in my time, because he’s an incredible footballer,” said Rodgers. “His intelligence and football brain is second to none. I’ve used him for 18 months as a playmaker, starting the games from behind when we had other players in the team up the top.”

“I played him at the top of that midfield box tonight, and you could see his cleverness, his brightness, his creativity. He was outstanding.”