LONDON: Liverpool survived an almighty scare in the League Cup by edging fourth-tier Carlisle United on penalties on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), while Sheffield Wednesday dumped Newcastle United out of the tournament.
Carlisle, the lowest-ranked team in the competition, took Liverpool to penalties at Anfield after the game finished 1-1 following extra time, Derek Asamoah having cancelled out Danny Ings’ 23rd-minute opener.
Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho both saw penalties saved by Mark Gillespie, but reserve goalkeeper Adam Bogdan parried the decisive spot-kick from Carlisle’s French forward Bastien Hery to earn Liverpool a 3-2 shootout win and spare manager Brendan Rodgers a humiliating exit.
“There were big sighs of relief in that dressing room and the players are extremely happy,” said Liverpool assistant manager Gary McAllister, who stood in for Rodgers in the post-match press conference.
“It’s a good night in that we’re through to the next round, but we want to perform better and that’s what we’re striving to do.”
Liverpool followed Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City in going through and will host Bournemouth in round four.
But while they avoided a defeat that would have recalled their elimination on penalties by Northampton Town at the same stage of the competition five years ago, it was not a result that will enhance Rodgers’s position amid speculation about his future at the club.
Liverpool’s inefficiency was demonstrated by a shot count that read 47-5 in their favor, while both center-back Dejan Lovren and forward Roberto Firmino were forced off by injury during the game.
Newcastle’s Steve McClaren is another manager feeling the heat after his side, who have won none of their first five Premier League games, lost 1-0 at home to Championship side Wednesday.
Lewis McGugan scored the only goal, beating Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul with a low shot from outside the box in the 76th minute to send Wednesday into round four for the first time since they reached the semifinals in 2001-02.
“We’re very angry, very disappointed, but nobody can do anything about it but us,” said McClaren.
“We have to turn it around. We have to draw a line in the sand and say how far do you have to go?”
Wednesday’s reward was a home tie with Arsenal, who overcame Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the north London derby thanks to a brace from unlikely match-winner Mathieu Flamini.