Sunderland were denied a first home win over Liverpool in more than 42 years by a controversial late penalty

And the Reds march on.....

Liverpool moved imperiously to the last eight of the FA cup with a classy victory over Manchester City.

All thoughts of an upset by City were quickly put to rest as early as the sixth minute when Liverpool scored from a penalty.

City had been caught cold upfield after one of their own corners when Danny Granville's long-range shot was blocked.

The ball bounced out to Litmanen, who with Smicer alongside him sped away against an undermanned defence.

Litmanen slipped the ball to Smicer, who cut into the box and went down under Weaver's challenge. Referee Graham Poll took a tumble and gave the spot-kick while still on the deck.

Litmanen once again took the responsibility of dispatching the spot kick and did so easily sending City keeper Nicky Weaver the wrong way.

While there was a certain degree of controversy about the award of the spot kick as television replay showed that there was little contact on Smicer, nevertheless referee Graham Poll had no hesitation.

Worse was to come six minutes later Gerard Wiekens lost possession in midfield, Jari Litmanen found Emile Heskey with a brilliant pass and the England man powered his way past the City defence to power a low drive into the net.

Liverpool seemed to take the foot off the accelerator after that goal and were punished in the 29th minute when a poor defending following a Danny Tiatto corner allowed Andrei Kanchelskis to score through a crowd of players.

City however were unable to build on that goal as Liverpool turned up the intensity in defence and midfield forcing City to play long and high balls that were easily dealt with by Hyppia & Co.

The half ended without any addition to the scoreline.

Liverpool however started the second half, attacking City in earnest. By this time Litmanen had been replaced by Nicky Barmby, thus pushing Vladimir Smicer upfront with Heskey.

The Red's attacking play was rewarded two minutes into the second half and Smicer was once again brought down by City keeper Nicky Weaver.

No Litmanen? No problem. Smicer took the spot kick himself and scored easily. The game was now safe and Liverpool were heading to the quarterfinals.

Liverpool had a scare in the 67th minute when Alfie Haaland pulled the ball back for Darren Huckerby whose struck the ball way over the Liverpool bar.

Smicer was denied his second goal of the night when his powerful volley from the edge of the City box was tipped over brilliantly by City's Weaver who earned applause from the Liverpool mid-fielder.

The icing on the cake came after both Smicer and Heskey were substituted by Owen and Fowler. A free-kick conceded by Danny Granville on the right was driven in by Christian Ziege and met by the head of Markus Babbel for Liverpool's fourth.

Slack defending allowed Shaun Goater to score a consolation goal in the 89th minute but by this time the Anfield crowd had seen enough and were already anticipating another visit to Cardiff.