January 27, 2012 2:33:54 pm
Liverpool’s six-year wait for silverware ended in a nervy penalty shoot-out victory against Cardiff City in the League Cup at the Wembley on Sunday. The Merseysiders triumphed 3-2 after Steven Gerrard’s cousin Anthony,missed the decisive spot kick for second-tier Cardiff.
“It’s not a nice way to win a cup but we’ll take it,” said Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish,who delivered a trophy 13 months after returning to arguably England’s most successful club for a second spell in charge.
The match had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 after extra time,with Cardiff defender Ben Turner taking the match to penalties with a dramatic 118th-minute goal.
With five European Cup/Champions League titles and 18 English championships to its name,a League Cup would normally be considered small change to a club the size of Liverpool.
Yet after a barren spell going back to 2006,Liverpool will be hoping this will herald the start of a fresh era of success. In the short term,the victory ensured a return to the Europa League next season.
“We won’t accept just this,we need more,we want more,” said Gerrard,who missed his penalty in the shootout.
Liverpool bounced back after Joe Mason gave Cardiff the lead in the 19th minute,with Martin Skrtel equalizing on the hour mark.
Netherlands forward Dirk Kuyt,on as a substitute,put Liverpool ahead in the 108th minute but Turner forced penalties by bundling in from close range with seconds
“It’s been too long,” veteran Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said. “Hopefully this will be the first of many to come.”
The victory was made sweeter as it came on john Henry’s 500th day as Liverpool owner. The American sports tycoon John Henry finally had cause to celebrate on Sunday after rescuing English football’s most decorated club from the brink of bankruptcy last season.
Henry hopes the victory will put Liverpool in the headlines for the right reasons following the much-publicized racism scandal that recently engulfed the club.
He says nothing has been as nerve-racking as the penalty shootout at the end of the 120 minutes which settled the final,not even either of the two World Series victories he’s experienced as the owner of baseball’s Boston Red Sox for 10 years and counting.
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