Liverpool booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup after they beat a battling Oldham 5-1 at Anfield on Friday night.
The Latics made a plucky start to the contest and having gone close on several occasions, they opened the scoring in the 28th minute courtesy of Robbie Simpson's dipping volley from distance.
But their lead was instantly cancelled out as Craig Bellamy deflected a shot from Jonjo Shelvey into the bottom corner less than two minutes later before the Reds took the lead when Steven Gerrard scored from the penalty spot with half-time looming.
Jonjo Shelvey furthered Liverpool's advantage midway through the second half when he turned home a Bellamy cross.
Subs Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing netted late on to make sure of their place in Sunday's draw.
The team news emanating from the Anfield dressing room confirmed a first start since October for the fit-again Gerrard.
Elsewhere, Fabio Aurelio made his maiden appearance of the campaign while there were also places in the XI for Bellamy, Shelvey, Martin Kelly and Jamie Carragher as Kenny Dalglish opted to shuffle his pack for the visit of the League One outfit.
Prior to kick-off, Anfield paid its respects to Gary Ablett after the former Reds defender sadly passed away on New Year's Day following a 16-month battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Ablett's family were in attendance as the stadium held a minute's applause in his memory, while Liverpool players also wore black armbands.
Oldham may have arrived on Merseyside as underdogs, but Paul Dickov's side displayed little sign of nerves as they made a plucky start to the contest - though they could have fallen behind after five minutes when Dirk Kuyt directed Bellamy's cross just wide with his head.
But the visitors spurned a glorious chance to take the lead soon after when Shefki Kuqi powered his way past both Coates and Carragher, but the veteran striker could only drill into the side netting.
Oldham threatened again on 14 minutes when Tom Adeyemi escaped the attentions of his marker to bullet a header over the angle of post and bar from Robbie Simpson's corner.
Next, Chris Taylor and Simpson combined with a well-worked one-two that resulted in the former stabbing off target.
The Latics could justifiably be delighted with the start they'd made at Anfield - and it was to get even better for them on 28 minutes. Collecting possession 25 yards from goal, Simpson turned and lashed an effort beyond the grasp of Reina and into the top corner to open the scoring.
On the balance of play, it was perhaps no more than Oldham deserved - but their joy was to prove short-lived as Liverpool restored parity just two minutes later when Bellamy diverted Shelvey's attempted strike into the back of the net at the near post.
The goal stirred life into the Reds and only a sprawling stop from Alex Cisak prevented Maxi Rodriguez from putting them in front when the goalkeeper managed to block the forward's close-range effort.
Then, Cisak saw his attempted clearance charged down by Maxi and the ball loop in the direction of Bellamy, but the striker could not generate enough power in his header enabling the stopper to recover.
However, the turnaround was completed on the stroke of half-time when Gerrard converted from the penalty spot.
It was his cross following a speedy counter-attack that resulted in Maxi being bundled over by Adeyemi, allowing the Reds skipper to do the honours from 12 yards and give the hosts a half-time lead.
The second half continued in similarly entertaining fashion, with Jean Yves Mvoto nudging just wide for the visitors before Bellamy drilled over the bar from Kuyt's flick.
Bellamy then turned provider for his teammate moments later, but a last-ditch tackle from Zander Diamond prevented Kuyt from converting.
Liverpool's grip on the game was growing as time ticked on and after he'd thwarted Gerrard's attempted dink, Cisak produced a flying stop to palm Kelly's header away.
A third goal had appeared in the offing for the Reds since the re-start - and it duly arrived on 68 minutes.
Bellamy's pace had been a constant menace to the Oldham rearguard all evening and it was the Welshman's speed that got him into a crossing position to deliver a centre from which Shelvey hooked into the net at close quarters.
Carroll lashed in a late fourth and Downing added a stoppage-time fifth - and it proved to be enough to finally dampen the visitors' spirit and allow Liverpool to look forward to Sunday's fourth round draw.