2012 Carling Cup Final Live Updates: Cardiff City 2 v 2 Liverpool (2-3 on pens)
(Liverpool win 3-2 on pens)
18.56 With You’ll Never Walk Alone being sung with something approaching gusto by the Liverpool supporters I shall bid you farewell. What a game. Cardiff were a credit to themselves, Malky Mackay the country of Wales, the colour blue etc. Well done to Liverpool, I guess. You can’t quibble with Actually Winning A Thing, but cripes they made it hard for themselves. Harder than it should have been. It surely has to be a slightly bittersweet feeling for them. Maybe not. I don’t know what it’s like to win anything… Over and out from me, thanks for your company.
18.52 Steven Gerrard temporarily pretends he really likes the League Cup as he holds it in the air and gives it a firm shake.
18.51 And here come Liverpool, doping something they’ve not done for quite some time.
18.49 Cardiff making a good job of walking up an awful lot of steps. Unpleasant to see.
18.45 What an absolutely bonkers game.
GERRARD’S MISSED IT! LIVERPOOL HAVE WON THE LEAGUE CUP!
JOHNSON SCORES! Right in the roof of the net, excellent pen. Cardiff have to score.
WHITTINGHAM SCORES! Reina the wrong way.
DOWNING SCORES! Heaton no chance.
GESTEDE MISSES! Hits the post. So unlucky.
KUYT SCORES! Sent the keeper the wrong way.
COWIE SCORES! Top corner.
ADAM MISSES! Miles over! Ridiculous! Loads! Of! Exclamation! Marks!
MILLER MISSES! Hit the post!
GERRARD MISSES! Heaton turns it onto the bar!
18.39 Gerrard first.
18.37 I can’t call it. Obviously Liverpool have the far better players, but how must they be feeling? Not amazing.
18.34 Cardiff were dead. Almost literally. How on earth Gunnarsson recovered from looking like he was struggling to walk to get a crucial header in the build-up to that almost surreally dramatic equaliser I’ll never know. So pens it is. Refresh your browser to take advantage of a quicker auto-refresh speed, please.
120+1 min One added minute. Kuyt falls over it. Dangerous prod towards goal. Gunnarsson clears.
120 min Liverpool corner. Downing’s delivery headed away. Another corner.
119 min Turner has presumably been booked for removing his shirt in celebration. “HE WON’T CARE”.
118 min GOAL!!!!!! Cardiff 2 Liverpool 2 (Turner)
Wow. Nodded on by Gunnarsson, Turner overpowers Kuyt at the far post and hooks it in past Reina. Wow.
118 min Another Cardiff corner. LIVERPOOL CLEAR IT OFF THE LINE! Wow. Another corner.
117 min Cardiff win a corner after Johnson allows Turner the wrong side of him. Reina punches it away. It’s another throw and another chance for Gunnarsson to invoke the spirit of Rory Delap.
115 min Gestede’s receiving treatment for a head injury. Liverpool eventually give the ball back to Heaton from the drop ball.
112 min Saying that, here’s a chance for Gunnarsson to have a go with a long throw. He’s basically crippled with cramp. The yelp he lets out when he releases the ball is not pleasant. Liverpool half clear, Cardiff are still on the ball.
111 min Nine minutes left for Liverpool to hang on. Cardiff look absolutely destroyed. Hard to see where a goal would come from for them.
p>Follow minute-by-minute commentary of the Carling Cup final game between Cardiff City and Liverpool on Sunday Feb 26, 2012,
50 min Good flick on by Carroll puts Suarez in behind the last man. He’s too far wide, but shoots anyway. Heaton gets a hand on it and Hudson mops up the danger. Beeb co-commentator Mark Lawrenson, just about stopping himself from reaching a full-on rage, correctly wonders why Carroll didn’t keep running and get in the middle for his team mate.
49 min Some more neat attacking football from Cardiff. Cowie with an artful backheel, which opens it up for Miller to have a shot from just outside the box. He pulls his shot just wide.
16.48 Liverpool look capable of getting back into this, but only just. Some of their attacking play has been formless and short of ideas, as it has been for much of the season really. Hudson a giant at the back at the moment, but Gunnarsson and Whittingham need to take the pressure off by holding onto the ball a bit more. See you in 15.
CARDIFF 1 LIVERPOOL 0
45+1 min Just the one added minute before half time.
44 min Gerrard with an excellent diagonal ball from a free kick, Agger’s on the end of it and heads straight at Heaton! The flags up on the far side, in any case.
43 min Suarez with a decent shot from just outside the box. Heaton watches it into his arms. Here’s a man (or woman) calling themself Le Chiefo:
Could someone please answer this question. What does Jordan Henderson bring to Liverpool? I reckon Kelly with Johnson in front of him would be more effective.
41 min Whittingham stands over an inviting free kick wide on the left. He does more than stand over it, he takes it. Easy for Reina.
38 min Suarez and Carroll combining well inside the box. A neat one-two, butm Hudson keeps a hold of Carroll and gets a crucial boot in before the striker can take the return pass in his considerable stride.
35 min Downing is on the right (?), and puts another reasonable ball into the box. It’s cleared, then Skrtel is penalised for a high boot on Turner. Cardiff free kick.
32 min Here’s your friend and mine Paul Kerton:
Just seen an extreme close-up of Gerrard, looking like a man who expected to be 3 up and is now 1 down.
Sounds about right.
31 min Enrique checks a run forward with a neat Cruyff turn and has a sight of goal from just outside the box. He curls one towards the top corner with his right foot but it’s over.
30 min Here is your mandantory post-goal stat hit from Opta:
&lt;noframe&gt;Twitter: Opta Sports – 1 – All three of Cardiff&amp;rsquo;s previous cup final appearances have finished 1-0 (one win, two defeats, all FA Cup). Binary.&lt;/noframe&gt;
27 min Cardiff pushing Liverpool back! Mason is everywhere in midfield and he’s unsettling Liverpool.
24 min Nod on from Carroll, Suarez briefly looks to be clear of his man. Instead he looks for a killer sideways pass for Gerrard but it’s blocked and falls for Carroll to shoot from 30 yards. Massively wayward. High and wide.
22 min Liverpool losing their cool. Trying to make quick amends by attacking wholeheartedly, but there’s a lack of cohesion about their efforts. Agger comes racing forward from his own half and eventually tries a shot from 30 yards with Cardiff backing off. His effort is charged down, Liverpool have a throw.
19 min GOAL!!! Cardiff 1 Liverpool 0 (Mason)
Lovely goal. McNaughton spots Miller moving off his man to find a pocket of space five yards outside the box. He threads it through to Mason, who’s past the last man and nutmegs Reina to open the scoring! Crikey!
19 min Suarez stands one up for Carroll from the left. His header down is reasonable, but easy enough for Heaton to palm away.,
17 min Cardiff apparently got to Wembley late today. Some kind of traffic issues, apparently. What has the League Cup final come to when even the underdogs can’t arrive on time?
15 min Mark Ogden reckons it looks like Kenny Dalglish is wearing a sleeping bag today. Judge for yourself:
I know it’s only the League Cup but couldn’t he at least have upgraded to smart-casual?
13 min Another Liverpool corner. Downing takes it. Not bad at all, swinging out, but it’s a touch too high for Carroll. The tall man that loves Newky Brown is penalised for a push anyway.
10 min Better from Cardiff, Whittingham and Gunnarsson showing good ball retention skills in the middle before Gestede flicks the ball on wonderfully to set up Miller in the box. He panics and firest over.
9 min That “how will Bellamy be greeted” question has been answered by Jim White:
&lt;noframe&gt;Twitter: Jim White – Now that’s a first: Craig Bellamy’s name applauded by both sets of supporters at Wembley…&lt;/noframe&gt;
7 min This one’s arimed towards Skrtel beyond the far post. He heads it back across for Heaton to claim.
6 min Even Steven (seewhatididthere?) Downing is looking dangerous. Takes it round McNaughton and puts a decent low cross in. It’s blocked. Liverpool corner. It leads to another.
5 min Cardiff looking nervous. Some hoofs out from the back and somewhat desperate tackles. Carroll nearly makes telling contact from a decent Henderson cross from the right. It’s just over.
2 min Glen Johnson hits the bar! Swift-counter attacking move spearheaded by Gerrard. He slightes it to the left, Downing tees up Johnson and he’s so unlucky to see his currling shot rattle the cross bar. Gerrard can only lash the rebound over.
1 min Right then. Let’s have a League Cup final, shall we? Cardiff get us started.
Liverpool FC skipper Steven Gerrard to consider England future after Euro 2012
Liverpool FC skipper Steven Gerrard has said he will consider his international future with England once Euro 2012 is over.
The 31-year-old, who has won 89 caps, has been hit by injuries over the last two seasons and, while he admits he loves playing for his country, he knows calling time on the international stage could help prolong his club career.
He said: “It’s something I am going to have to sit down and think about after the Euros this summer.”
He added: “I’ve not spoken to anybody about it yet, nor have I made any decision about what I might I do because there are a lot of things to consider.
“I’m just fully focused on doing as well as I can for Liverpool this season and then playing in the Euros for England. After that we will see that happens.
“First and foremost is that I love playing for England and to captain your country is the pinnacle for any player so that makes me proud,” added Gerrard, who captained England during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“And I want to make this clear, when I do decide to stop playing international football it would never be because I don’t want to play for my country – it would never be because of that.
“But I am aware of the future, the injuries I’ve had and I want to play for Liverpool for as long as I can. I also know there are quite a few players who have stopped playing international football to prolong their club careers and it’s helped them to do that.
“I can understand why people might think that kind of a decision is approaching and I’ve spoken to my surgeon and the medical people but, like I say, I’ve not made any decisions because there is no need yet.”
Carling Cup live scores: All the live scores from all Carling Cup football matches. This page refreshes every 30 seconds. Kick-off times GMT. (L = Latest score; HT = Half-time score; FT = Full-time score).
Liverpool hasn’t won a trophy in six years, but that will change on Sunday when the Merseyside club dominates Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
Reds captain Steven Gerrard is hoping the club can be victorious on Sunday, but knows that a win cannot completely satisfy the squad when there are still bigger goals to accomplish this season.
Gerrard said via Goal.com:
“We’re all desperate to bring success back. It’s what we’re working so hard to achieve.
“I’m hoping this is just the beginning for us. It would be stupid to win the League Cup and then rest on our laurels. This is an important cup for us but there are other big prizes we want to strive for,” he explained.
“I honestly believe winning this cup will be the catalyst for a successful period for the club. It will certainly give us the belief and confidence to deliver more.”
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Gerrard hasn’t lifted a trophy since his spectacular performance in the 2006 FA Cup against West Ham, and since he’s returned to the starting XI this season after battling injury, Liverpool has been a far better team.
He gives the Reds midfield a world-class playmaker and an attacking talent who can score goals from set pieces. Gerrard has also been instrumental in the improvement of forward Andy Carroll over the last few matches.
Gerrard won’t let Liverpool take Cardiff too lightly, especially after what happened in last year’s Carling Cup final when Birmingham City shocked Arsenal 2-1 to win the competition.
“I’ve experienced both sides of it [cup finals], the own goal I scored and losing to Chelsea in 2005 was one of the lowest days I’ve had as a footballer. Losing a cup final is a horrible feeling.
“I’ve won this cup twice and now I’m going for the hat-trick. That’s my goal.
“I’ll be doing everything I can on Sunday to ensure we come away from Wembley with that cup on our bus.”
Gerrard will lead the Reds to a convincing victory over Cardiff on Sunday and bring home the club’s first trophy in six years.
Cardiff won’t be able to stop Gerrard from dominating the midfield and igniting the Liverpool attack. The Reds defense will also be strong in this match, and as a club they have one of the best defensive records in England.
Liverpool’s No. 1 goal this season is to finish in the top four of