Final, 2-2 (Liverpool wins penalty-kick shootout 14-13): The seemingly never-ending penalty-kick shootout ends with Liverpool standing on top.
The Reds advance to the fourth round of the League Cup (Capital One Cup). Middlesbrough’s adventure comes to a brave conclusion.
A night of great drama ends happily for Liverpool, but it won’t mask the fact that the Reds needed every ounce of their energy and ability to defeat a Championship (second division) opponent, albeit a well-organized and inspired one. The quality of Liverpool’s attacking and defending left something to be desired, as the squad players at Rodgers’ disposal failed to shine as a unit and as individuals.
Rossiter, 17, gave Liverpool a dream start and himself a dream debut with the early goal. Liverpool improved through the first half, but Middlesbrough proved itself to be an even match by the end of the first half. Reach tied the game in the second half, as Liverpool conceded yet another goal from a set-piece. Mignolet saves’ and one of his posts ultimately prevented the visitors from winning the game in normal time.
Suso’s extra-time goal should have sealed Liverpool’s progression to the next round, but that late lapse which led to Bamford’s penalty kick is the latest example of the Reds losing focus at a crucial moment of a game.
As for the shootout, it was a marathon — the likes of which we’ve never seen. Liverpool deserves credit for keeping its nerve throughout the shootout. Only one of 15 shooters failed to convert their chances into goals.
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Penalty-kick shootout: Balotelli will take Liverpool’s first penalty kick.
Bamford shoots first for Middlesbrough.
Mignolet makes the save.
Lucas is next up.
Lucas scores with a powerful shot to Blackman’s left.
Clayton now shoots for Middlesbrough.
Clayton quiets the crowd with a calm strike.
Lallana steps up for Liverpool.
Reach takes the next penalty kick for Middlesbrough.
Suso is up next for Liverpool.
Sterling steps up for Liverpool’s fifth penalty kick.
Blackman saves Sterling’s spot-kick.
Vossen will take Middlesbrough’s fifth.
Vossen scores, and we’re going to sudden death.
Williams, 18, is set to take it for Liverpool.
Williams keeps his composure and scores.
Friend steps up.
Friend scores after a long run-up.
Now it’s Toure’s turn for Liverpool. Can he make amends?
Toure fires past Blackman.
Ayala, the former Liverpool defender takes the next one for Middlesbrough.
Ayala blasts it into the roof of the goal.
It’s Sakho turn for Liverpool.
Sakho scores a well-taken spot-kick.
Fredericks is taking Middlesbrough’s eighth penalty kick.
Fredericks scores, but Mignolet got a hand on it.
Manquillo steps up for Liverpool.
Omeruo must score to keep Middlesbrough alive.
Enrique is Liverpool’s tenth shooter.
Wildschut is going next.
Wildschut scores. Now it’s up to the goalkeepers.
Mignolet will shoot first.
Blackman must score to keep Middlesbrough alive.
Balotelli now must shoot again in this marathon shootout.
Bamford steps up to take his third penalty kick of the game.
Bamford converts the spot-kick.
Now it’s Lucas again.
Lucas slides it home.
Clayton steps up to the spot.
It’s Lallana’s turn again.
Lallana scores … again.
Reach is up again.
Now Suso must take another penalty kick.
Adomah steps up.
Adomah shoots wide.
Liverpool wins the penalty-kick shootout by an astounding score of 14-13.
End of extra-time, 2-2: Penalty kicks will decide this one. Liverpool had the win in its grasp and gave it away in the last minute.
120th minute +2, 2-2: Bamford slots his penalty kick past Mignolet, and the game is tied once again.
120th minute +1, 2-1 Liverpool: Toure barges into Bamford, and the referee points to the penalty spot.
Sterling misplaced a pass, and the ball went to Ayala. The Middlesbrough defender sent Bamford in on goal with a well-placed through-ball, and Toure brought him down with a clumsy challenge.
119th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Suso tries to extend Liverpool’s lead with a powerful drive from the top of Middlesbrough’s penalty area, but Blackman punches it away.
118th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Middlesbrough’s play has become disjointed, as it desperately attempts to score the game-tying goal.
It looks like Liverpool will be able to close this one out.
112th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Middlesbrough makes its final two substitutions. Vossen replaces Tomlin, and Bamford comes on for Leadbitter.
109th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Suso breaks the deadlock by slotting home a failed clearance from 15 yards out.
Balotelli started the sequence with a shot. Friend cleared it straight to Suso, who shot low, hard and into the goal.
107th minute, 1-1: Sterling shoots from 18 yards out, but Blackman turns it away. It comes moments after Enrique forced the Middlesbrough goalkeeper to save his powerful drive.
106th minute, 1-1: Reach is cautioned for a foul on Manquillo in the midfield.
Halftime of extra time, 1-1: That’s the end of the first period of extra time. The teams will switch ends, and Liverpool will attack the Kop end in for the last 15 minutes of the game.
105th minute, 1-1: Suso curls a shot wide after Balotelli set him up inside the Middlesbrough penalty area.
103th minute, 1-1: Mignolet punches Leadbitter’s dangerous-looking free kick clear of his goal.
The first period of extra time has been even so far, in terms of possession, territory and chances. There’s no telling which team will score first.
98th minute, 1-1: Suso replaces Markovic, as Liverpool makes its final substitution.
97th minute, 1-1: There has been plenty of end-to-end action, as the game has become stretched in extra time. But neither team has managed to breached their opponents’ defense.
92nd minute, 1-1: Lucas hits a powerful shot from the penalty spot, but it’s deflected wide for a corner kick.
91st minute, 1-1: The first period of extra time is underway.
End of 90 minutes, 1-1: Regular time is over, and there’s no winner.
The teams will play two 15-minute halves. If there is no winner after 30 minutes, a penalty-kick shootout will determine which team advances to the fourth round of the League Cup.
90th minute +3, 1-1: The Kop wants a penalty kick after the ball appears to hit Ayala’s arm. The Middlesbrough defender missed on a routine header, and the ball went straight into his arm.
87th minute, 1-1: Balotelli misses with a long-distance shot. The Italian slipped as he was planting his foot to line up his shot.
85th minute, 1-1: Clayton hits the post after Tomlin puts him through on goal with a clever and well-weighted back-heel.
82nd minute, 1-1: Manquillo rifles a shot well wide of the target.
79th minute, 1-1: Liverpool makes another change, replacing the goal-scorer Rossiter with Williams, 18 — another product of the Liverpool academy.
77th minute, 1-1: Clayton nearly puts Middlesbrough ahead with a long-distance rocket, but Mignolet makes another diving save, and Toure clears the danger before Tomlin can arrive at the rebound.
76th minute, 1-1: Middlesbrough makes its first substitution. Kike departs, and Wildschut comes onto the field.
74th minute, 1-1: Balotelli replaces Lambert, as Liverpool makes its first substitution.
Balotelli should bring more pace, power and quality to Liverpool’s front line for the last 15-20 minutes. He’s also a safe bet to score should the game come to a penalty shootout.
68th minute, 1-1: The game still can go either way. When Liverpool attacks quickly, Middlesbrough’s defense looks vulnerable. When the pace of the Reds’ approach play drops, the visitors set themselves up as a compact unit and thwart Liverpool’s attacks.
67th minute, 1-1: Reach heads over the crossbar.
62nd minute, 1-1: Middlesbrough punishes Liverpool for Sakho’s offense by scoring the game-tying goal.
Reach headed home Leadbitter’s free-kick from point-blank range.
61st minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Sakho is cautioned for a hand-ball on the edge of Liverpool’s penalty area.
57th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Omeruo is cautioned for barging into Lallana in the midfield.
51st minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Leadbitter shoots high and wide.
46th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Tomlin shoots wide in Middlesbrough’s first foray into Liverpool’s half in the second period.
46th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: The second half is underway at Anfield.
Halftime, 1-0 Liverpool: That’s the end of the first half. Liverpool leads by one thanks to 17-year-old Jordan Rossiter, who marked his first-team debut with a goal he’ll never forget.
Liverpool burst out of the gates and was rewarded for its fine start after 11 minutes when Rossiter made his debut a fairy-tale. Liverpool immediately pushed for a second goal, but visitors didn’t allow the Reds to overpower them. Middlesbrough had a few dangerous moments and might have scored if Mignolet didn’t make a pair of reflex saves in the first half.
Liverpool must regain its composure and rediscover the shape and pressing hunger that made it uncomfortable for Middlesbrough in the early part of the half.
42nd minute, 1-0 Liverpool: The Reds want a penalty kick after the ball appeared to ricochet off of Ayala’s arm. The referee declines Liverpool’s appeals.
38th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Tomlin hits a powerful volley on goal, but Mignolet makes a fine save.
37th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Tomlin goes on a mazy dribble through Liverpool’s defense before shooting from the top of the penalty area. Tomlin’s shot was deflected toward Mignolet, who failed to collect it before Adomah shot off of him, and it went out for a corner kick.
31st minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Kike volleys a corner kick over the crossbar. It took a deflection, and Middlsebrough earns another corner kick. Liverpool clears it.
24th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Although Liverpool is playing an opponent which is of a lower standard than it is accustomed to facing, the Reds will be pleased with their performance in the opening stage of the game.
The pace of Liverpool’s counter-attack is at its usual full throttle, and the Reds are showing tremendous aggression in their defensive pressing game. Rossiter’s goal has lifted Anfield, of course.
16th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Liverpool gained momentum from Rossiter’s goal but was unable to translate its growing possession advantage into clear scoring chances.
11th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Markovic tries to slide a cross to the far post, but Blackman intercepts it.
11th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Rossiter scores a long-range goal on his Liverpool debut.
It came from Omeruo’s error. The Middlesbrough defender should have passed back to Blackman but waited until the last moment. Blackman raced off of his line for the loose ball, Markovic’s shot hit him, and it caromed into Rossiter’s path. The Liverpool debutante hit a low, hard shot from 35 yards out that traveled through Blackman’s legs into the goal.
Ninth minute, 0-0: Leadbitter floats a corner kick into the Liverpool area, and Ayala directs his header on goal. Mignolet saves it with both hands.
Third minute, 0-0: Kike tries to head a shot on goal but puts it over the crossbar.
Third minute, 0-0: The game has opened at a break-neck pace.
Liverpool has conceded early goals in its last two domestic games due to opponents’ fast starts. Rodgers’ group has looked to rectify that by playing at a high tempo from the opening whistle before settling into a rhythm.
Kickoff: Liverpool-Middlesbrough is underway at Anfield.
Pregame: Rodgers hands a debut to one of Liverpool’s brightest prospects, Jordan Rossiter. The 17-year-old midfielder will play from the start, as he makes announces himself in Liverpool’s first-team.
Rossiter is the eighth-youngest debutante in Liverpool’s history.
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Lambert lines up as the lone striker with Markovic and Sterling supporting him from the flanks.
Toure and Enrique make their first starts of the 2014-15 season.
2:15 p.m.: Here are the lineups:
Simon Mignolet (22), goalkeeper
Jose Enrique (3), left back
Kolo Toure (4), center back
Mamadou Sakho (17), center back
Javier Manquillo (19), right back
Lucas Leiva (21), midfielder
Adam Lallana (20), midfielder
Jordan Rossiter (46), midfielder
Raheem Sterling (31), forward
Lazar Markovic (50), forward
Rickie Lambert (9), striker
Brad Jones (1), goalkeeper
Martin Skrtel (37), defender
Alberto Moreno (20), defender
Jordan Williams (49), midfielder
Suso (30), forward
Fabio Borini (29), striker
Mario Balotelli (45), striker
Jamal Blackman (46), goalkeeper
George Friend (3), left back
Daniel Ayala (4), center back
Kenneth Omeruo (22), center back
Ryan Fredericks (5), right back
Grant Leadbitter (7), midfielder
Adam Klayton (8), midfielder
Albert Adomah (27), midfielder
Adam Reach (20), midfielder
Lee Tomlin (10), forward
Kike (9), forward
Dimitrios Konstantopoulos (13), goalkeeper
Ben Gibson (6), defender
James Husband (17), defender
Emilio Nsue (24), midfielder
Yanic Wildschut (33), forward
Patrick Bamford (23), forward
Jelle Vossen (21), striker
Noon ET: Liverpool is going through a rough patch, but a League Cup game against Middlesbrough could provide the tonic it needs to cure its recent woes.
Liverpool hosts Middlesbrough in the third round of the Capital One Cup (League Cup) on Tuesday. The Reds have lost two of their last three games in all competitions, and manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to bring the good feeling back to Anfield with a victory and strong performance.
Injuries are hampering Liverpool during this busy period of the season. Rodgers is expected to rotate his squad, giving starts to striker Rickie Lambert and a number of young, squad players. Glen Johnson, Jon Flanagan, Emre Can, Joe Allen and Daniel Sturridge won’t play due to injury, while Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho also are expected to miss the League Cup game.
Middlesbrough has won four of its last five games in all competitions. Manager Aitor Karanka is wary of a potential Liverpool resurgence, so it’s likely that he’ll approach the game with caution. Midfielder Dean Whitehead is suspended, but center back Daniel Ayala is available to play.
Liverpool has won the League Cup a record eight times. Its quest for a ninth begins Tuesday.
Liverpool-Middlesbrough kicks off at 2:45 p.m. Stay right here for all the action from Anfield.
Photo via LiverpoolFC.com