Reds pay the penalty to Citizens
Written By: Robert Halter
Liverpool and Manchester City contested for the first time in the Capital One Cup Final at the end of February in Wembley Stadium as the Citizens and Reds battled for silverware. In the opening minute, Daniel Sturridge spread the ball out to the left and Alberto Moreno tested Willy Caballero with an early strike. But to counter act the ring of boos from his former Liverpool supporters, Raheem Sterling won a free kick for the Citizens after being pulled down by Reds captain, Jordan Henderson and after David Silva floated in a free kick, the ball was headed out by Mamadou Sakho but the shot from Fernandinho was fired over on eight minutes. However a clash of heads with Sakho and his Liverpool team mate, Emre Can required treatment for both players. Midway through the first half from a ball by David Silva, it put Sergio Aguero clean through and his low shot was pushed onto the right post from the hand of Simon Mignolet. But due to an earlier head injury, Sakho was replaced by Kolo Toure. In the twenty seventh minute, after interplay with Sturridge and Roberto Firmino, the Brazilian put the ball over the crossbar. After Sturridge was fouled by Fernandinho in the thirty second minute, a short free kick by James Milner was thrashed across the face of goal by Philippe Coutinho. Three minutes into the second half, Silva sent a ball over the top to Aguero, who miss timed his strike above the upright but a minute later, Silva again combined with Aguero and this time his lay off to Fernandinho opened the scoring for the Citizens, as Fernandinho’s low strike went through the arms of Mignolet. On fifty six minutes, after Sturridge collected a pass from Henderson, it put Milner free in space but he blazed his strike over. But on the hour mark, Sterling wasted a gift from Silva to spurn the ball wide of the right post with just Mignolet to beat. In the sixty ninth minute, Mignolet saved a low shot by Aguero, who had collected a pass from Sterling. Liverpool then switched Moreno with Adam Lallana. Then six minutes later, after an assist from Sterling, a deflected strike by Aguero was comfortably stopped by Mignolet. Another chance was squandered by Sterling in the eightieth minute, after Aguero found him unmarked. But the game took a turn as Nathaniel Clyne found Sturridge whose ball across was struck against the left post by Lallana before Coutinho rolled the ball into the net to spark scenes of jubilation behind the Liverpool goal in the eighty third minute. Three minutes on, Manchester City pressed forward as Silva won a header in the area, only for Fernando to be denied by a heroic block by Mignolet. In the eighty ninth minute from a Sterling corner and knock on by Nicolas Otamendi, the ball was met by Yaya Toure at close range but Mignolet made a vital stop. Before extra time, City replaced Fernando with Jesus Navas and brought on Pablo Zabaleta for Bacary Sagna. At the end of the first period, after being put in the clear by Silva, as Aguero weaved his way through, the outstretched palm of Mignolet averted away his effort. But three minutes into the re-start from Milner’s cut back on the left, Caballero kept out Origi’s bullet header as both teams fathomed a chance apiece before the final was decided by a penalty shoot out. Emre Can put Liverpool ahead before Fernandinho hit the left post with a right footed spot kick. Lucas Leiva had his penalty saved by Willy Caballero before Jesus Navas scored. Philippe Coutinho then missed with another stop by Willy Caballero before Sergio Aguero’s spot kick put Manchester City in front, after Adam Lallana had his penalty kept out by Willy Caballero it was left for Yaya Toure to score the winning spot kick as Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 on penalties to lift the 2016 League Cup during the last season in charge for Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini leaving the new Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp resigned to defeat in his first English final while Citizens captain, Vincent Kompany was presented with the Alan Hardaker trophy after being selected as the man of the match.