LIVERPOOL 1 – 1 CARLISLE

Liverpool continued their season with yet another draw, this time a League Cup game in which penalties had to be taken in order to decide the winner eventually.

Liverpool had played Norwich on 20th September only a few of days before this game and continue on soon to play Aston Villa on 26th September for their 3rd game in 6 days.

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This lineup was a little different to the one that faced Norwich.
Dejan Lovren started this game as Joe Gomez sat on the substitute bench. Simon Mignolet would not feature at all, with Adam Bogdan being the first choice goalkeeper for this cup game. Joe Allen would make his first appearance in Liverpool’s starting 11 in a long time, also as Roberto Firmino started and Coutinho would be substitute. Danny Ings would start and Benteke would not be chosen to feature at all, though he may still be resting up after straining his hamstrings in the Norwich game. No sign of Sturridge either, with Divock Origi being a substitute striker. Rossiter would be chosen as substitute for the squad but not used in the game.

So, plenty of changes but we still had some experienced players in the side.

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Martin Skrtel was making his 300th club appearance in this game for Liverpool. YES, it has been that long. Some of us remember when he signed for us and we barely knew who he was. But, he’s been with us for both some of the good and the bad times for quite a while now and most of us want to see at least 300 more games from this solid defender we can always count on for reliable defence.

Liverpool started well, attacking early on and making sure our opposition knew that we would not go down without a fight. Firmino and Lallana were working well in offence as they continued to press towards Carlisle’s goal together, assisting each other and attempting shots which were saved or just wide of the goal.

Danny Ings was doing well too early on, moving into a dangerous position and then passing back to Milner who struck a powerful shot which got saved by Carlisle’s goalkeeper also.

Carlisle were not without their own offensive plays as they counter attacked a few times and tested Adam Bogdan, who was showing what he could do to the home fans at Anfield for the first time this season. He did not ever disappoint in this game, especially once the score had been tied and all the penalty kicks had to be taken and saved. More about that later.

Liverpool have been known to save their goalscoring for the second half in many games, but in this one it took only 24 minutes before we took a lead.

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Adam Lallana would provide a perfectly placed cross to Danny Ings who was leaping into the air to head home the first goal of the game for the home crowd before a half hour of play had even passed.

Liverpool 1 – 0 Carlisle

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Danny Ings scores a header against Carlisle at Anfield

Liverpool would only keep their lead for around ten minutes unfortunately as Derek Asamoah managed to equalise within the first half, making it Liverpool 1 – 1  Carlisle before the half time whistle had even been blown yet.

Liverpool seem to be under a spell of draws at the moment and it’s part of why many fans are mad at our manager. It really seems as if he’s content with just being average, settling for draws instead of pushing his team for success, inspiring us to win. Had this been a league game, it would have ended with a single point for both sides and we would not have won. However, cup games are different and we would have the opportunity to keep playing until a winner was decided, even once we had drawn after 90 minutes.

The second half was not without action from either side, but it did not yield any more goals in the game.

Extra time was called to be played by the referee and the Liverpool fans felt more and more embarrassed and frustrated as we really should have already beaten this League Two side inside of the first 90 minutes. Still, another half hour went by without any goals. One of the last things to happen before the referee blew the final whistle of the second half of extra time would be that Dejan Lovren jumped into the air as a corner kick was directed towards him. He then fell awkwardly and would be stretchered off the pitch with an injury from falling out of the air. The penalties would begin without him and here’s how they all went: (scoreline will reflect penalty kicks only here and will not include the first two goals of the game).

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James Milner would bravely step up to take the first penalty kick in front of Liverpool’s home crowd at Anfield. He struck a right footed shot to the bottom left corner of the net, making it  Liverpool 1 – 0 Carlisle

Next up, Carlisle’s Danny Grainger would take the away team’s first penalty kick. He shot as Milner did, a right footed shot to the bottom left corner but Adam Bogdan was alert and managed to save it. The home crowd cheer for their goalkeeper. Liverpool 1 – 0 Carlisle.

Liverpool would now take their second penalty. Emre Can to take it… Can Can score? YES CAN CAN!

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Can had made it Liverpool 2 – 0 Carlisle with his powerful right footed shot down the middle of the goal at Anfield.

Carlisle would step up now. Gary Dicker to be their second kicker. They replicate the Liverpool players once again (are they really TRYING to copy the way Liverpool take their penalties?), only this time Dicker scores his right footed shot down the middle of the goal. Liverpool 2 – 1 Carlisle

Liverpool’s next penalty taker would be Adam Lallana. He puts the ball on the spot, confidently places the ball with his right foot to the right corner of the goal, but Mark Gillespie manages to reach it and saves it from finding it’s way into the net. Score remains Liverpool 2-1 Carlisle with the away team about to take their third penalty.

Could Carlisle equalise now? This is their chance to level the scores. Luke Joyce steps up… strikes the ball towards the goal and it’s SAVED! Adam Bogdan dived to his right and gets his hands to the ball. No goal for Carlisle and Liverpool keep their lead as the shootout continues and the home team are up next. Reds fans are loving their goalkeeper right now, he’s saved the day more than once already. Liverpool 2-1 Carlisle

Liverpool have Coutinho stepping up for a chance to increase their lead now. He hits a hard right footed shot down the middle of the goal, but the keeper doesn’t have to move far to stop it from going into the net. Liverpool 2-1 Carlisle. Another chance at an equalizer for the away side next.

Carlisle have Alex McQueen take this penalty. It’s hit hard and accurately into the right hand side of the net. Carlisle have drawn level. Liverpool 2-2 Carlisle

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Liverpool can’t afford to miss and give the away team a chance at taking a lead at Anfield. Danny Ings has scored already when making it 1-0 in the first half of the game… can he score a penalty too? YES HE CAN! It’s shot powerfully to the right hand side and makes the score Liverpool 3 -2 Carlisle.

Bastien Hery is to take Carlisle’s next penalty and it is a “must score” moment for the away side, with Liverpool being able to qualify to the next round of the League Cup if Hery misses. Hery steps up, shoots the ball to the right hand corner… but Adam Bogdan reacts quickly and saves the shot. Adam-Bogdan-3

What a hero! The Liverpool fans love this guy for his efforts in this game. It must be a dream come true for Bogdan as his name is sung by over 40 thousand Liverpool fans in his moment of victory and glory. Thanks to him (and our goalscorers), LIVERPOOL WIN the shootout as the game ends at Anfield, Liverpool 3-2 Carlisle.

Bogdan really impressed the home crowd at Anfield with his heroics in a penalty shootout

Bogdan really impressed the home crowd at Anfield with his heroics in a penalty shootout

Though Bogdan did great, I can’t name more than 1 player as my Man Of The Match, which goes to Danny Ings who got the goal that allowed us to take the lead originally (inside of the first 90 minutes) and also later scored our final goal of the shootout. Good effort from Danny and good effort from Adam. They were two of the best players on the pitch and even though Liverpool did not have Simon Mignolet, we looked solid in our defence between the goalposts. Bogdan’s really proven himself in this game. I’d look forward to seeing him in future fixtures.

So, Liverpool continue in this competition and I have heard already that we are due to play AFC Bournemouth in the 4th round of the League Cup. For now, we’re going to keep playing our fixtures at Anfield and have Aston Villa on Saturday for the third game we will have played in 6 days. By October 4th, we’ll also have the Merseyside derby as we face Everton at Goodison Park at the start of the next month.

Keep walking on, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

[written by] Stuart Drewery

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I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.

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