Agger 15, Lucas 58.
I didn’t see this game and only managed to catch a sight of the goals on the news. It looked like a cracker from Agger.
Even though Rafa made wholesale, changes eleven of them, I guess at first hand the result doesn’t look particularly good. By all accounts we struggled to break Crewe down just as we did against Stoke over the weekend. In fact it seems Crewe could have taken us to extra time as they missed a chance right at the end. Such was our desperation to establish some breathing space that Torres and Keane ended up on the pitch when presumably the idea was to give them a night off?
However, Rafa tried to see the positive side.
“It was one of those types of games where if you do not score the third goal and finish the game then it can be difficult…..We had a lot of young players out there tonight who did well. The game was quick but the work rate was good. We were a little bit nervous but we had chances and can talk about two good goals.”
He has a point. It was good to give squad members a run out, particularly the young ones although clearly we are some way from the situation Arsenal found themselves in last night where they can field a side of whippersnappers and still win comfortably? Nonetheless if one compares where we are now in this area to where we were at the beginning of 2007, when “Arsenal Youth” visited Anfield in this competition and blew us away, I think we can conclude that we are in a much better place?
It was also nice to see signs that Jermaine Pennant might be back in favour with Rafa. He played a full game on Tuesday. I don’t know what Pennant has done to get the cold shoulder from Rafa. Perhaps it was because he refused to leave during the summer window preferring to fight for his place or, if I’m being cynical, see out his contract? Pennant was honest about his predicament.
“From my own point of view, it was just nice to get 90 minutes under my belt. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Carling Cup or one of the other competitions to me, it’s good to get a run out and I enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t say I haven’t been frustrated because I have. But there’s no point complaining. The manager makes his choice and I just have to get on with it. When you’re at a club like Liverpool you know you are going to have to fight for your place, so I’ll keep plugging away and then we’ll see what happens.”
I guess if both parties are to come to a mutually acceptable agreement, Pennant needs to play ever so often. Rafa needs him in the shop window if he wants to sell him in January and Pennant needs to play to attract other club’s interest?
As for Crewe, apparently they paid for an “acclimatisation” tour of Anfield before this game so they wouldn’t be overawed. Sounds like they didn’t need to worry?
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.
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.