Drama, Drama, Drama. I could write an entire post using the word drama. What is the point of winning trophies if losing is never a possibility anyways? Liverpool do it the fun way I guess, unless you were at risk of a heart attack. Then you probably didn’t like the match. O well, Liverpool get to pick up the Mickey Mouse trophy and rub it into the rest of the world who really doesn’t care, but that’s only because they weren’t the people lifting the cup.
Liverpool almost started electrically. Cardiff came at Liverpool early, and Steven Gerrard picked up the cleared cross. He ran down the pitch on a counter and knocked it to Stewart Downing. Downing hit it to Glen Johnson who tries to curl the ball in. The damn post got in the way and Liverpool couldn’t have the dream start.
Liverpool kept their pressure on Cardiff, but it was Cardiff who struck first. Kevin McNaughton brought the ball down the right and passed to Kenny Miller. Miller slid in a nice pass to Joe Mason who caught Daniel Agger out of position and slotted past Pepe Reina in the 19′.
The rest of the half finished with Liverpool taking the most chances.
Liverpool’s pressure finally paid off in the 60′. The corner kick was flicked on by Andy Carroll to Luis Suarez at point blank. He tried to make sure it beat the keeper, it did, but not the post. The ball bounced right to Martin Skrtel who controlled and poked in to equalize.
Liverpool continued to pressure Cardiff to try and get the victory. After several chances, Cardiff closed 90 minutes with the better chances through Miller. His clever run was awarded with a nice pass through the lazy Liverpool defense, but he hit the half-volley wide. Reina’s head probably would’ve blew up open if Miller finished.
The full-time whistle rang and it was time for extra time.
With a heart attack a terrible possibility, I sat on the edge of my seat and prayed that extra time would go ok. The first 15 minutes was quite poor, with the drama being saved for the the second 15 minutes.
Dirk Kuyt made the first impact of extra time in the 108′. His pass to Suarez was blocked right back to him. So he took his luck with a shot. He fell off balance and fired his shot right past the keeper. Cue celebrations.
Celebrations were short lived. Cardiff fought back resiliently to equalize in the 118′, two minutes from time. A third corner, after a Kuyt clearance off the line on the second corner, brought sunken Liverpool heads and Turner poked the ball over the line for Cardiff to equalize.
Penalties, because nothing comes easy if you’re Liverpool. Liverpool shot first.
Gerrard lasered his kick to the same way he has every the past several kicks, to the keepers right. Keeper got down very well and saved.
Miller missed. 0-0.
Adam skied his so badly bomb threats rang in from the House of Commons after some unknown object was spotted miles over London. It was that bad.
Cowie scored his kick to put Cardiff up 1-0 after two kicks.
Kuyt stepped up and confidently put his away and Gestede missed.
Downing scored, then Wittingham scored. 2-2 after four.
Johnson scores. One of the most news worthy stories of the evening happened when Anthony Gerrard, cousin to our very own Steven, stepped up for the equalizing penalty. He pushed it wide, and despite how hard Cardiff worked, the lost 3-2 in penalties.
Although a great win for Liverpool, Cardiff deserves a bunch of praise for their willingness to fight.
The man of the match has to be given to Downing. He owned the left side, dribbling down and firing in crosses. No one got on the end of them really, but he was an outstanding performer.
Henderson and Carroll, not so much. Their performances are forgettable.
It’s a great win for momentum, and hopefully they can carry it through to Arsenal on the weekend at Anfield.