Rodgers says win over Boro perfect tonic for Everton clash
(Jordan Rossiter 10, Suso 109)
(Adam Reach 62, Patrick Bamford 120+2-pen)
- Liverpool win 14-13 on penalties
Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool's League Cup third-round victory over Middlesbrough has set them in good stead for the Merseyside Derby, despite them having to come through 120 minutes and a 30-penalty shoot-out to win the tie.
Liverpool went into the match at Anfield against Championship outfit Boro yesterday morning (Singapore time) in need of a boost ahead of Saturday's English Premier League visit of their local rivals Everton.
The Reds' top-flight record for the campaign so far shows an underwhelming three defeats in five games.
What followed was a remarkable contest in which Rodgers' men were held to 1-1 a draw - and almost beaten, with their post being struck late on - over 90 minutes, then pegged back at 2-2 by a second equaliser from the visitors in the dying seconds of extra-time.
That took the encounter into the League Cup's longest-ever penalty shoot-out, which eventually ended in a 14-13 triumph for the home team as Albert Adomah sent his attempt wide.
Rodgers was in no doubt his side had put in a far-from-vintage performance, but the Liverpool boss - who made seven changes to his first 11 from Saturday's 3-1 league defeat at West Ham - thought there were certainly positives to take from the match.
And asked if he felt it had been something of a nightmare given the duration of the game, Rodgers said: "Not really, no.
"I think for the majority of the guys, they needed the game time.
"I was pleased with the minutes the players got.
"We had a similar situation when we played Notts County (in the League Cup last season and won 4-2 after extra-time). We got through in the end, but it went into extra time - and then we won the game the following weekend against Manchester United 1-0.
"This game has been good for our spirit and camaraderie in the group - to win like that.
"Now we have a bit of time to prepare and get ready for a massive game at the weekend.
"We are making too many mistakes. We made it hard for ourselves.
But thankfully the quality and perseverance of the players got us through."
Rodgers was keen to highlight the contributions of some of the younger Liverpool players in the tie, which saw run-outs for the likes of Simon Mignolet, Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling and substitute Mario Balotelli, but not the rested Steven Gerrard.
Chief among the youngsters to make an impression was Jordan Rossiter, the 17-year-old Liverpudlian marking his senior debut in style with a coolly-struck goal from outside the area in the 10th minute.
And Rossiter admits the experience was something of a blur.
"I can't even explain it. I can't even remember what happened," said the midfielder.
"I'm looking forward to watching it on TV. To score at Anfield is just a great feeling.
"It was an unbelievable game to be part of, especially with all the penalties at the end."
Boro boss Aitor Karanka was immensely proud of his team's display and feels things are coming together nicely for the promotion-chasing Teessiders, who are currently fifth in the Championship.
"The most important thing is that we now know we are capable of producing this kind of performance," said the Spaniard.
"We played last Saturday against Brentford (a 4-0 home win) and played very well, and also against Cardiff (a 1-0 away victory).
"If we continue playing in this way, we are going to be in a very good position in the table." - PA Sport.
"I couldn’t have dreamed of that. I can’t even remember what I did when I scored. I just went mad a bit. "
- Jordan Rossiter
"When we were watching and taking the penalties, everyone was saying: ‘When is someone going to miss?’... I’ve never seen anything like that"
"We’ve done a few penalty shoot-outs in pre-season and I think the lads practised their penalties very well."
- Simon Mignolet
BY THE NUMBERS
Liverpool’s 14-13 penalty-shootout win over Middlesbrough is the League Cup’s longest-ever penalty shootout
- League Cup third round
- Cardiff City 0 Bournemouth 3
- Derby County 2 Reading 0
- Leyton Orient 0 Sheffield United 1
- MK Dons 2 Bradford City 0
- Shrewsbury Town 1 Norwich City 0
- Sunderland 1 Stoke City 2
- Fulham 2 Doncaster Rovers 1
Liverpool relaxed over fine threat
Liverpool are "very relaxed" despite the prospect of missing out on most of the £7 million ($14.5m) of Champions League prize money they are set to be awarded due to breaches of Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations, according to the Daily Mail.
The Merseyside club are set to receive the funds next month, after making it into Europe's premier club competition for the first time in five seasons.
But to receive the windfall, clubs have to ensure that they do not lose more than £35.4m over a period of two seasons.
Already two European giants, Paris St-Germain and Manchester City, have been hit with substantial penalties for exceeding that figure.
The Reds were in the red to the tune of £49.8m for the 2012/13 season, and incurred a £41m loss for the 10-month period through to May 2012.
However, clubs can use investment in youth development and club infrastructure to offset those figures, and Brendan Rodgers' side feel they would have a strong case to present to European football's governing body should they be investigated.
Clubs can also point to projected revenues when arguing their case, and the Reds' bank balances for the current year are believed to be very healthy. - Wire Services.
On TNP tweets
>Micheal Owen, former Liverpool player:
Great to see Brendan Rodgers giving youth a chance. Jordan Rossiter is one of many top talents in Liverpool's academy.
>Petr Cech, Chelsea goalkeeper:
Unbelievable game at Anfield…. What else to say.
>Robbie Fowler, former Liverpool player:
Whaaaaahhhheeeeyyyyyy @jordan_rossiter you little beautyyyyy
>Dietmar Hamann, former Liverpool player:
Crossbar challenge coming soon… 13-13
>Luis Garcia, former Liverpool player:
Please someone finish iiiiiit!!!! @LFC #WeGoAgain
>Jamie Carragher, former Liverpool player:
Good strike from Suso on his weaker foot but what a fantastic touch from Lallana.
>Joey Barton, QPR midfielder:
Toss a coin. It's boring now. Got work tomorrow.