Liverpool v Boro Record ShootoutJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
In an extraordinary turn of events, Liverpool’s Round Three League Cup game against Middlesbrough on Tuesday was decided in a record-equalling 30 penalty kicks.
This morning Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has praised the young players on his team for their composure as they finally defeated Middlesbrough in the longest ever League Cup penalty shootout.
After extra time the score at Anfield remained a draw, leading to a shootout in which both keepers scored and six of Liverpool’s players scored twice for the Reds to eventually prevail 14-13 over Middlesbrough.
“Our players showed great resilience to keep going,” commented Rodgers earlier today, “and at the end, when it was needed, they showed wonderful composure with some of our young players stepping up.”
Liverpool took the lead in the first half after just 10 minutes with midfielder Jordan Rossiter scoring on his debut, but Boro came back with an equaliser headed in by Adam Reach just after the break.
With the score 1-1 at 90 minutes the game went to extra time in which Suso scored what looked like it would be the winner for Liverpool. Boro came back again with a last-minute penalty after Kolo Toure sent the on-loan Chelsea player sprawling.
The shootout, which featured 20 consecutive successful penalties, equals the record score line in English football and is the highest in a League Cup shootout. The previous longest League Cup penalty shootout was 9-8 which occurred three times: Arsenal v Rotherham, 2004; Man City v Stoke 1982; and Aston Villa v Colchester, 1982.
“It’s a relief to get through,” confessed Rodgers after the game. “We are disappointed with the goals we conceded. We are making too many mistakes at the moment. But what this team has is character and we needed that.
“We were practising penalties last night. We are humble enough as a group to think we would maybe go to penalties because Middlesbrough are a good side and are doing very well, so everyone practised.”
Jordan Rossiter who scored the opening goal on his debut at just 17 years old and fellow debutant Jordan Williams, 18, who scored a penalty in the shootout.
“It was a good night for our young players,” Rodgers said. “Jordan Rossiter got the opportunity and showed wonderful composure to get that finish.
“I was also impressed with Jordan Williams – he came on and showed real good stature and composure in the game. He is a wonderful footballer and a young player who is developing well.
“And young Suso hasn’t had a lot of game time at all, but he has kept working and I thought he was really bright for us when he came on, and took his goal really well.”
Middlesbrough now exit the League Cup having twice come from behind and posing a persistent thread to Liverpool all night.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that before,” commented Boro manager Aitor Karanka. “We have played a Champions League team at Anfield and we’ve met them face to face. Everything was brilliant except the last penalty.”