Liverpool 2-2 Cardiff City. Liverpool Win 3-2 on Penalties
Liverpool ended nearly six years without a trophy by lifting the League Cup at Wembley after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Cardiff City.
Steven Gerrard’s cousin Anthony missed the decisive penalty to send the travelling Kop into raptures and ensure the Carling Cup was going back to Merseyside.
The Welsh side shocked the Premier League giants when they took the lead against the run of play on 20 minutes, when Joe Mason coolly slotted past Pepe Reina after being played in by Scottish international Kenny Miller.
The Merseyside giants eventually hit back on the hour mark after sustained pressure and valiant Cardiff defending, when defender Martin Skrtel prodded home a loose ball in the box in front of the jubilant support.
The match went into extra time before appearing to be decided by Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt’s neat finish at the second attempt. But Liverpool somehow contrived to let their Championship opponents back into the match after they failed to deal with the second of two successive corners and the ball was bundled home at close range by Ben Turner.
Cardiff’s Tom Heaton saved brilliantly from Liverpool skipper Gerrard from the first spot kick, and Cardiff would briefly lead the penalty contest 1-0 after Charlie Adam blazed over and Don Cowie converted after Miller’s miss. But, it was sadly not to be for the gallant Welsh team.
Dirk Kuyt scored Liverpool’s first penalty before Rudy Gestede missed, leveling things up. Stewart Downing and Peter Whittingham kept it level before Glen Johnson beautifully struck what would turn out to be the winning goal after Anthony Gerrard’s subsequent miss.
The penalty shootout win handed Kenny Dalglish the first trophy of his second spell as manager of the Reds, and the first since the club was bought by American John W Henry’s Fenway Group. The last trophy Liverpool won beforehand was the FA Cup at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2006.
By William David Wilson