After the 6-1 hammering of Brighton in the FA Cup, with 3 own goals(!), the Carling Cup final arrived against Cardiff. I have to say I didn’t think this was going to be an easy ride. All the talk before the match was about how Liverpool were the hot favourites but I knew it wouldn’t be like that, certainly after seeing every painfully won Liverpool cup final over the last 15 years! The Reds never make it easy on themselves.
All credit to Cardiff, who didn’t give up and were always difficult to play. Lots of good football from them and there was always the lingering doubt of the experience Arsenal went through in the final last year. Kenny started with Downing and Henderson – my heart sank. Should have been Bellamy and Kuyt – far better players all round.
I watched the match in the pub and there was a good atmosphere. For some bizarre reason, there was a table of 5 Man United fans there (??). One of the, shall we say, very mouthy ladies in their group, was signing the songs and generally being a bit of a tit. When Skrtel scored to equalise, one of the Liverpool fans ran over to them and was jumping up and down right in front of them and shouting c’mon! for maybe 15 seconds! That shut them up for a while. : ) The win means we have a place in the Europa League for next season but 4th position in the league would be more important.
We’re now 10 points off Arsenal, even though we could and should have beaten them today in the league. I’ve seen the match, read the reports and watched the interviews – still not sure why we keep falling at the final ball. There was 55% possession for Liverpool and 12 corners to Arsenal’s 0. We won the midfield but yet again, the opposition keeper pulled off save after save and Van The Man Persie was outstanding.
We hit the woodwork twice and Kuyt missed the penalty. Should have been 3 points to the Reds. One stat from this game which summarises Liverpool’s season, is the shot accuracy. 33% for Liverpool and 70% for Arsenal. Also, Liverpool have the worst shot conversion rate in the league, at 9%, and have scored as few goals as Wolves, in the relegation zone.