Liverpool 2-2 Cardiff City (3-2), Dalglish Completes Trophy Haul

Heading into Sunday’s Carling Cup Final Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool were fancied by everyone to show up and win this game with little fuss. Cardiff City had other ideas however and Malky Mackay’s tactical game plan almost caused a huge upset.

The Blue birds were 1-0 up inside of twenty minutes after Irishman Joe Mason coolly slotted home Kenny Millers through ball after Martin Skrtel had played him onside. Miller was allowed time and room by some lacklustre defending from Stewart Downing out wide initially and then Jose Enrique got the wrong side of Mason. Skrtel afternoon would improve putting in his best performance in a red shirt and definitely the man of the match for many Liverpool supporters.

Cardiff sat deep, soaked up the pressure and tried to counter Liverpool at pace. For a good forty minutes following their goal, Cardiff chased the ball. Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam both looking to pull the strings in midfield. Stewart Downing was looking like a winger at last, actively looking for the ball, taking players on and whipping in some sublime crosses than should have been better anticipated by his fellow team mates. Following a Downing corner on sixty minutes, Andy Carroll rose highest and directed his effort towards goals, Luis Suarez re directed it onto the post and the man of the hour Skrtel swept the ball home to send the traveling Kop into ecstasy.

Both teams had notable chances to win the game before extra-time but the real drama lay in waiting. Substitute Dirk Kuyt came on with the type of pro active play that many Liverpool players lacked on the afternoon. He single-handedly took the game by the scruff of the neck and eighteen minutes into extra time he put the Reds 2-1 ahead with a right foot strike low into Heaton’s left hand corner. As one half of Wembley erupted, Cardiff City supporters wondered if their team had anything left in the tank.

Liverpool backed off and backed off in the final eight minutes and allowed Cardiff more time and space on the ball than they had all game. In fact Cardiff only earned their first corner of the game with three minutes left in extra-time. Liverpool were unable to clear an in swinging corner, Charlie Adam at large on his defensive duties and that allowed Turner to prod home on the line to make it 2-2. Penalties followed.

Steven Gerrard had his penalty saved by Heaton, Charlie Adam re enacted Chris Waddle’s penalty for England by sending it into orbit and Liverpool were suddenly in a hole, down 0-1 after two penalties. Kuyt, Downing and Glen Johnson all converted their spot kicks to put the Redmen back on track. Anthony Gerrard, Steven Gerrard’s cousin missed the deciding penalty and Liverpool were Carling Cup winners for 2012.

The Final win was made hard work of by Liverpool but following path to Wembley that consisted of wins away to Stoke, Chelsea and Manchester City there’s no debating Dalglish’s men deserved this one. The Carling Cup will be the first trophy brought back to Anfield in six years and Kenny Dalglish has now won every domestic title as a player and a manager.

Liverpool eyes will turn back to the race for fourth as Arsenal visit next weekend in a crucial match up.

Cardiff City

  • 22 Heaton
  • 02 McNaughton (Blake – 106′ )
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson (Gerrard – 99′ )
  • 25 Turner Booked
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 08 Cowie
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 09 Miller
  • 15 Gestede
  • 20 Mason (Kiss – 91′ Booked )

Substitutes

  • 01 Marshall
  • 06 Gerrard
  • 18 Naylor
  • 04 Kiss
  • 11 Conway
  • 23 Blake
  • 10 Earnshaw

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 6
  • 02 Johnson – 7
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 6
  • 05 Agger – 7 (Carragher – 86′ ) – 7
  • 37 Skrtel – 9
  • 08 Gerrard – 7
  • 14 Henderson – 3 Booked (Bellamy – 58′ ) – 7
  • 19 Downing – 8
  • 26 Adam – 6
  • 07 Suarez – 6
  • 09 Carroll – 6 (Kuyt – 103′ ) – 7

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 23 Carragher
  • 34 Kelly
  • 11 Maxi
  • 20 Spearing
  • 18 Kuyt
  • 39 Bellamy

Match Statistics

                               Cardiff City                       Liverpool

Possession                  47%                                 53%

Shots on Target            7                                      19

Corners                         3                                      19

Fouls                            11                                     14

Referee:  Mark Clattenburg
Attendance: 89,044
Advertisements

One thought on “Liverpool 2-2 Cardiff City (3-2), Dalglish Completes Trophy Haul

  1. Pingback: Kenny Dalglish parts company with Liverpool Football Club | The Red Letter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s