Liverpool FC 0* – 1 Stoke City (League Cup Semi-Final, Second Leg)

YNWA Lad, hope you enjoyed the match on high. 

Liverpool advance to the League Cup final at Wembley after dispatching Stoke City on penalties *6-5. Who else but Joe “Pirlo” Allen to send us through with an audacious pk into the top shelf?

Liverpool FC paid tribute to a fallen supporter, Owen McVeigh, 11 years of age when he succumbed to his fight with cancer back in December. At the 12th minute a round of applause and an abridged version of You’ll Never Walk Alone was sung by his fellow supporters. Cheers to the Spion Kop 1906 for the wonderful flag they made for the occasion. It was a fantastic illustration of how connected LFC supporters are with our club.

The match itself was not a thing of beauty. It didn’t happen all at once, but we are a bad team. The personnel Klopp had at his disposal was horrifically injured and even prior to that imbalanced by Brendan Rodgers’ summer moves. Still, with the calibre of player and talent in the squad, we should be receiving much better value.

Stoke City, like many other teams we’ve played of late, just looked like they wanted it more. In the first half stoppage time, Marko Arnautovic put the Potters ahead, though clearly offside. I called it from the couch it was so noticeable. The replay confirmed it. It should have been properly call, but no less than Stoke deserved as they bossed the play, drawing even on aggregate 1-1.

The second half was not much better. I will give props to Lucas, Pirlo and Benteke, who kept us in the match with their defending, passing, and hold up play respectfully. Today Benteke wanted to earn his paycheck, but the service never came. Ibe failed time and time again to deliver anything that could have been mistaken as a meaningful cross even though he was left wide open on the right flank by the Stoke defense.

Liverpool and specifically Mignolet dominated the shootout. Migs had two fantastic saves and was unlucky not to keep a third out, deflecting it further into the corner. Pirlo took care of the rest once sudden death kicked in.

Who knows what shape or form we will be in when the final at Wembley is played, but we’re there, the cup is still silver, let’s lift it!




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