Carling Cup Final: Cardiff 2 Liverpool 2.
Liverpool win 3-2 after extra time and penalties.
The much mailgned Carling Cup gave the Wembley crowd of 89,041and the watching TV millions an enthralling cup final.
As expected Liverpool had the Lions share of possession and as expected they continued to hit the woodwork more often than the back of the net.
Johnson hitting the bar with barely two minutes played and Suarez setting up Skrtel via the post for Liverpool’s equalising goal.
Cardiff played their part in an absorbing game and at the final reckoning it was cruel on them to lose in such a fashion. However it could have been so different with Cardiff’s star striker blazing over the bar with two minutes of regulation time to go and the goal at his mercy.
The win would not have flattered Cardiff.
Cardiff sit fifth in the npower championship and are in contention for a play off place. This game showed they have the heart and desire to remain above the relegation places should they succeed in gaining promotion to the premiership.
Liverpool huffed and puffed but they never looked likely to blow the house down. In fact the only thing coming down was Andy Carroll who resumed his Bambi on Ice impersonation.
Carroll and Jordan Henderson are two of Liverpool’s most expensive recruits but in this final they looked like they were playing for the wrong team in the wrong division. Both had wretched games.
By contrast the Cardiff defence as a unit looked very solid and kept the shooting opportunities outside of the box from where the Liverpool midfielders Adam and Gerrard found they had left their shooting boots in the locker blazing high wide and handsome at every opportunity.
Saying that Cardiff were plucky losers misses the point. The statistics tell the tale of the game.
Liverpool had 45 goal attempts to Cardiff’s 13 and it is Liverpool’s inability to convert chances that is letting their opponents sniff victory in game after game this season. If they had a couple of strikers on the pitch who could convert some of those chances then they truly would be a force to be reckoned with.
As it is victory for Liverpool shows how far they have progressed under Kenny Dalglish and they have his luck on their side. Never mind being good. Being Lucky is much more preferable.