Liverpool triumph in Carling Cup shoot-out

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It took the drama of a penalty shoot-out for Liverpool to secure their first trophy in six years at the expense of a spirited Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final.

Steven Gerrard’s cousin Anthony missed the deciding spot-kick in a game had seen the Bluebirds equalise at the death of extra-time.

Liverpool came flying out of the blocks and nearly took the lead after just two minutes when Glen Johnson joined a counter-attack and his curled shot from just outside the box crashed back off of the bar.

It was a dominating opening to the game from the Merseysiders, but it was the Championship side who took the lead against the run of play after 19 minutes.

Slack defending by Liverpool was capitalised on by Kenny Miller, when he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and slipped a cute pass into Joe Mason, who calmly finished between the legs of Pepe Reina.

Dalglish’s side were dominant in possession for most of the game but, as has been their problem through the season, they were unable to make a breakthrough after some slick build-up play.

Liverpool did level things up eventually, but it came in a scrappy manner after an hour. A corner from the right was headed down by Andy Carroll for Luis Suarez to deflect onto the post and Martin Skrtel was the first to react and hit home.

Kenny Miller had a golden chance to win the game with just three minutes to go but his shot from 12 yards flashed just over the bar.

It seemed inevitable that it would head into extra time and it was in the added period that the highest drama from the night took place.

Dirk Kuyt came on for Andy Carroll in 103rd minute and the Dutchman thought he had won the tie when his drive and shot was deflected back to him and he buried it inside the near post.

Cardiff’s players looked out on their feet as the final whistle neared but they summoned one last push to pull back an unlikely equaliser at the death.

There were just two minutes left when a Peter Whittingham corner from the right was bundled home by the magnificent Ben Turner to take the game to penalties.

Liverpool would ultimately triumph in the shoot-out when Anthony Gerrard emulated his cousin Steven and missed his spot kick to send the Carling Cup back to Anfield.

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League Cup
Glen Johnson
Cardiff City
Steven Gerrard

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