Liverpool claim first trophy in six years

Updated: February 26, 2012

Liverpool claimed their first trophy in six years when they came from a goal down to beat Cardiff 3-2 on penalties.

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In a dramatic game, Joe Mason opened the scoring the Welsh side in the 19th minute when he collected Kenny Miller’s lovely through ball to fire the ball across Pepe Reina into the back of the net.

The goal kick started Liverpool into life and they dominated for the remainder of the game, equalising through Martin Skrtel’s shoot on 60 minutes after Luis Suarez header had come back off the post.

Despite pushing forward Liverpool couldn’t find a winner and indeed Cardiff could have won it when Miller went close with an effort.

Dalglish shuffled his pack slightly bringing on Welsh star Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt and it was the Dutchman, without a medal in his 6 year spell on Merseyside, who put Liverpool in front, 3 minutes into the second period of extra time.

Cardiff to their credit refused to buckle and right at the death Ben Turner slotted home following some confusion in the Liverpool box to give the Championship side hope and take the game into penalties.

As always the lottery of penalties throws up villains and hero’s although there was a surprise when the normally reliable Steven Gerrard missed with the first spot kick.

The equally experienced Kenny Miller then missed with his kick with fellow Scot Charlie Adam making it a hat trick of misses in the opening rounds of kicks.
Don Cowie scored the first goal of the shoot out to put Cardiff one up before Dirk Kuyt levelled matters, just as he had done in the regular game.

Rudy Gestede then missed before Stewart Downing, Peter Whittingham and then Glenn Johnson all scored leaving Anthony Gerrard, a cousin of Steve, with the chance to take it to sudden death.

The defender however missed his kick to hand Liverpool the first domestic cup of the season.

Speaking at the post-match press conference a delighted Kenny Dalglish said “We’re delighted to have won a trophy. It was a difficult game for us and I think Cardiff represented their football club extremely well. They tried everything. Even in extra-time after Dirk scored, they were very tired but they dug down deep enough to get an equaliser.

“The game has got to be settled some way, and the choice is penalty kicks. We feel for Anthony Gerrard, who missed the vital one that meant we won the trophy.

“I think every footballer feels for somebody that does that, but for us we’re delighted to have won a trophy. Throughout the whole competition we’ve deserved the victory.

“We’ve played well, come through some really hard games, and today was a really hard game because they were tough opponents. Malky (Mackay) can be proud of the job he’s done there, and the people of Cardiff can be proud of the efforts they’ve put in.

“Our people are absolutely delighted with their first trophy in six years, so it’s been a very good day for us. We’ll just continue to work hard and see where it takes us.”

He added: “We’re where we are because of the work of everyone – not just me. The owners, supporters, players – everybody has chipped in. The closer we are, the stronger we’ll be together.

“Today has been the culmination of a lot of hard work of an awful lot of people in every aspect of the football club, whether owner, director, player or groundsman, everybody has worked as hard as they possible could to move the club forward.

“Although we’ve won something today, that’s not us finished. We don’t want to stop here – we want to keep going. The best chance we have of doing that is to continue to do what we do best, and that’s to stick together.”

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