Video courtesy of Swansea City AFC
A goal a-piece from embattled pair Mario Balotelli and Dejan Lovren saw Liverpool sneak past a resolute Swansea City side and into the final eight of the League Cup. Although it was yet another workmanlike performance from a team that we’ve grown so accustomed to being a vibrant attacking force, Reds assistant manager Colin Pascoe was more than happy to see not only his side make it through to the next round, but to the see the Italian striker get his just rewards after almost missing out on the match altogether.
Highlights? Yeah, we’ve got those.
Swansea City were on the verge of sending Liverpool out of the League Cup for the second time in three seasons until a late fight back saw the hosts sneak into the quarter-finals.
With the fixtures coming thick and fast, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers rung the changes for the midweek meeting, though things looked pretty much the same as always when Jacks attacker Marvin Emnes swung in a highlight reel volley that beat stand-in ‘keeper Brad Jones just past the hour mark. Embattled striker Mario Balotelli was introduced into the fray right around the time the cause looked lost, but the Italian eased an effort past Gerhard Tremmel from a Fabio Borini cross to level proceedings before Dejan Lovren completed the turn-around by heading home Philippe Coutinho’s well-placed free-kick to spark wild celebrations in front of the Kop.
Still laid up
It seemed almost a too convienient excuse to say that Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho was injured in the wake of his poor decision to leave Anfield prior to their meeting with crosstown rivals Everton after not being selected for the match-day squad, but as the weeks passed without seeing hide nor (crazy) hair of the Frenchman, it now appears that he is, in fact, injured.
Heading into the meeting with Swansea City in the League Cup later today, Reds assistant boss Colin Pascoe has not only confirmed that Sakho is still struggling with his thigh injury and that he suffered a set-back in training, but that it would be a few weeks until the 24-year old would be fit enough to return to the side.
Itching for a shot
Rickie Lambert has found his chances few and far between since trading Southampton for Merseyside over the summer, but after an impressive cameo appearance on Saturday, the big man could get some much needed time on the pitch when Swansea City visit in the League Cup later today.
“It is a chance to impress if I am playing and I hope I am. It’s a chance to shine and do well and try to get on the scoresheet. I’m not going too deep on how it has gone so far here. I’m just looking forward to Tuesday” explained the striker, who has yet to break his duck, in the build-up to the match. “Obviously you want to hit the ground running and you want to score and for it to go in. The longer it goes on [without a goal], sometimes the harder it is. It depends how you are mentally. If you are OK and stay calm, sometimes that is hard to do, it will come and I’m confident it will come.”
Brendan backs his boy
There’s no time to get our affairs in order after a busy, not so productive week. A hard fought win at Queens Park Rangers, a spanking at the hands of reigning European champions Real Madrid and a scoreless draw at home to Hull City saw Liverpool’s confidence take even more of a battering going into Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Swansea City.
As if we didn’t have enough problems; throw a few more fit bodies into our mix and at least one striker bordering on being in form and then, maybe, things aren’t so bad. Crying about a busy schedule after you spent the last five years moping over missing out on Champions League football is bang out of order, but when you’re not playing well, you want to space things out a bit and get some time off the pitch to sort out what ails you. Unfortunately, that’s not about to happen any time soon.