Football

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side scraped past Stoke 6-5 on penalties.

All-Merseyside final would be good for the city - Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes an all-Merseyside Capital One Cup final would be great for the city and accepts it may just provide that little extra motivation.

His side scraped past Stoke 6-5 on penalties after Marko Arnautovic's first-half offside goal had levelled the two-legged tie 1-1 on aggregate.

With Everton holding a 2-1 lead heading into their second leg at Manchester City on Wednesday there is the prospect for a first Merseyside final for 27 years, although the two teams did meet at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final of 2012 in which Liverpool prevailed.

"I heard about it being the biggest thing but only if you beat them," said Klopp.

"I have no chance and I cannot have any influence. We will watch the game tomorrow and Man City being a goal down it is possible.

"We take what it is. For sure it is the north of England final and if everything comes together in a good way it is a derby at Wembley.

"That will be great for the whole city. This city will have deserved it because it is a great place for football and how Blues and Reds live together in a normal life is how football should be.

"But if you meet each other you should want to beat each other.

"In a derby do everything that you can do to beat them.

"If the whole of Liverpool goes there it will be good but then we should look at our houses - there will be an empty city."

Liverpool's performance was less than impressive but Joe Allen's winning penalty, after goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had saved from Peter Crouch and Marc Muniesa, capped something of a mini-revival for the Wales midfielder.

"We only decided the first five (penalty takers) but he took the ball and he is a good lad," added Klopp, who did not watch any of the spot-kicks.

"It is not the most easy situation for players when you don't play from the beginning in matches like this.

"He came in and is a really good character and he decided the game for us.

"I did not see one shot. I was behind the wall of my players so I have to watch it at home.

"In the end we won without me watching, which was good."

Asked what winning a trophy in London next month would mean Klopp added: "A really good night in London!"

Stoke boss Mark Hughes said he could not ask more of his players and felt even with the benefit of a debatable goal they deserved more from the tie.

"Hopefully we will get the credit we deserve," he said.

"We came here behind in the tie and it was a case of being really positive and having a game-plan.

"I am proud of what the players produced. To a man I can't fault any of them.

"I can highlight Crouchie (Peter Crouch); I haven't given him a great deal of football this year but I thought he was great.

"In general play we got the goal which won us the game but not the tie; I think it was offside marginally but it was the least we deserved.

"We just couldn't get that second goal and I think Liverpool would be honest to say they were grateful to get to penalties.

"You know when you get to a shoot-out there is a danger you may go out.

"I thought we were more likely to score but unfortunately we are not the ones going to Wembley."

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Topics:
Liverpool
Football
League Cup

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