Reflecting on the cup final: Man City 1-1 Liverpool (3-1 on pens)

League Cup Final
Sunday 28 February 2016 - 4:30 pm
1Man City
LFC Lost - Lost 3-1 on pens
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49'⚽️ Fernandinho
⚽️ Coutinho83'
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Time has marched on from the League Cup final and the overriding feeling remains disappointment.

Disappointment in the failure to secure the first silverware since Kenny Dalglish's side won this trophy 4 years ago.

Disappointment in the goal conceded just after half time.

Disappointment at the quality of our penalties.

Disappointment unbound.

League Cup Final - 2016

Fact is, Liverpool were lucky to make it to extra time.  Yes, the goal they scored highlighted the unacceptable inconsistency of the Liverpool goalkeeper but they had more than enough chances to easily win the game.

Sterling fluffed chances, Aguero found the post, Mignolet palmed a couple away from the goal.

Once the reds late equaliser arrived however, shortly after the introduction of Origi, the reds looked like they wanted the trophy more.

The penalties were a huge disappointment.  Tactically Klopp can take some criticism in putting the clubs penalty taker in position five, especially when the reds failed to get that far.

In retrospect that is probably harsh.  Lucas, Coutinho and Lallana's penalties were all woeful.  But Lucas had a good game, and Coutinho fired the game into extra time.

Ultimately, Liverpool probably grafted harder in the game than City but the overarching fact remains that the current Liverpool side is average.  Arguably the most average in living room.  This is not the team from a decade ago featuring the Hyypia's, Alonso's, Gerrard's and Mascherano's.

This is a team that needed 210 minutes and penalties against Stoke to get to the final.  A team that required 120 minutes and penalties to get past League 2 Carlisle and on the way to Wembley.

Since his arrival Klopp has given the existing squad plenty of time to showcase their talents - ignoring demands to act in the January transfer market.

Benteke and Bogdan look certainties for the chop as they have been frozen out of the side - whilst the fate of players currently involved due to a lack of competition is less certain.  Mignolet may have been rewarded with a new contract but the glares and head-shakes from Klopp over the course of the past five months paint a different picture.  Does he rate Moreno - or is the inexperience of Smith and injury concerns over Flanagan masking his frustration?

Liverpool fans, on the whole, are expecting a hot knife to slice through squad like butter this summer.  Any major overhaul this summer may not begin to see benefits for a further season which means LFC fans may have to wait a little longer to see the trophy cabinet reopened.

The reds league campaign has been reduced to a sideshow in terms of where they can finish amongst the West Ham's and Southampton's of the league.

The reds remain in the Europa League but are faced with their arch rivals Manchester United.  Even if the reds get past their enemy - a further 7 games of consistency in the tournament looks, at present, well beyond the reds.

After a solid start of 2 wins at the new Wembley the tide has turned and the reds have now lost their last 3 games at Anfield South.

As we stated at the start - disappointing.

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