Liverpool flopped for the second time in 4 days as they were knocked out of the League Cup, embarrassed at Anfield by a side fighting for their Football League survival with only 1 win in their previous 8.
Northampton Town may only be a few points away from the Conference, near the trapdoor of League 2, but they left Anfield – not having been fortunate – but having been unfortunate that they required penalties.
This wasn’t a plucky tale of a lucky lower division side – this was a determined gritty display that had you wondering which side was in the Premier League.
Roy Hodgson’ will now find himself under greater scrutiny after many supporters feel that he failed to bolster the bench to any significant degree.
There was a mass of changes before kick off – with Brad Jones in goal and Danny Wilson both being handed Liverpool debuts. Strangely Kyrgiakos was handed the captaincy, which appeared to be a kick in the teeth for the reds most senior outfield player – Daniel Agger. A player who had criticised Roy’s tactics at the weekend.
The reds made a good start, Agger and Jovanovic combining neatly in the first 10 minutes – Jovanovic firing a left footed strike in to the Northampton goal.
But slowly, as the first half ticked away, the reds failed to apply the pressure.
Jovanovic and Babel ironically were amongst the reds worst suspects – arguably the two players who have seen the most first team action this season.
The reds were failing to even get chances on goal, and early in the second half Northampton got a deserved equaliser – Thornton outjumping Kyrgiakos across to McKay who blasted home.
In extra time, Northampton got first blood.
Danny Wilson, playing in the unusual left back slot, was beaten for pace by Herbert who crossed in. The reds failed to deal with the cross and Jacobs grabbed the Cobblers second goal.
With Kyrgiakos now a centre-forward for Liverpool, Shelvey arrived on the pitch. His cross teeing up beautifully and with 5 minutes to go N’gog put a glancing header in to the net.
And so on to penalties. Although Northampton missed their first penalty, David N’gog and Nathan Eccleston both failed from the spot where Agger and Shelvey succeeded. But it was too little and the reds lost 4-2 on spot kicks.
Liverpool head on to the weekends game against Sunderland. Failure to pick up three points should not even be contemplated.