A second string Liverpool eleven moved through to the next round of the Carling Cup on an evening which saw Philip Degen grab his Liverpool debut – and break two of his ribs.
Daniel Agger started his second competitive fixture in a vastly revamped side which also saw N’Gog, Plessis, Insua, El Zhar and Pennant, along with Philip Degen announcing his Liverpool arrival.
Liverpool started well, Pennant built himself plenty of room to attack and was a menace down the wing. Degen was providing him with plenty of cover, bombing down the wing at every opportunity. Kicking towards the Kop the reds received a free kick in the 15th minute, and it was big Danny Agger who smashed the free kick in to the back of the net.
Have that Rafa!
Within 10 minutes though the visitors had levelled. From a corner the header Cavalieri managed to get a hand to the ball but it fell in to the path of O’Conner who poked the ball home.
The final chance of the half again fell to a Liverpool centre-back, when a Pennant corner found Hyypia who fired in a shot only to see it blocked.
In the 58th minute Pennant managed to get a cross in from the byeline which Lucas headed home. Leiva had an especially poor game, and his goal – though well taken, is unlikely to remove the doubts many supporters have in their minds about his role.
Bad news was to follow when Phillip Degen clutched at his chest after an inocuous looking challenge. The player was bent over, and eventually hobbled slowly off the Anfield surface. Carragher came on to replace the player who was confirmed later as having suffered two broken ribs.
Torres entered mid second half and Keane was sent on late on and Torres could have grabbed a brace but for some decent goalkeeping from Crewe.
The reds won without looking fantastic, but without breaking too much of a sweat. Liverpool move in to the fourth round.
Liverpool: Cavalieri, Degen (Carragher 73), Hyypia, Agger, Insua, Pennant, Leiva Lucas, Plessis, El Zhar (Keane 87), Babel, Ngog (Torres 66).
Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Dossena, Alonso, Skrtel.
Goals: Agger 15, Leiva Lucas 58.
Crewe: Collis, Woodards, Baudet, O’Donnell, Jones, Moore, Bailey, O’Connor, Carrington (Grant 81), Zola (Miller 78), Pope (Elding 87).
Subs Not Used: Tomlinson, Abbey, Rix, Schumacher.
Goals: O’Connor 25.
Ref: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Updated Player Stats