Liverpool progressed to the final of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Stoke City after a dramatic penalty shootout on Tuesday night.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saved two penalties in the semi-final as Jurgen Klopp’s men won the penalty shootout 6-5 to reach Wembley after the tie finished 1-1 at Anfield.
It was a fortunate end to an uncomfortable evening for the hosts, who were under pressure for much of the encounter which ended 1-0 to Stoke City after extra time.
Stoke striker, Marko Arnautovic netted on the stroke of half-time, which was the only goal of the game and an aggregate score of 1-1. Liverpool struggled to breakdown a resolute Stoke defence and after neither side could add to the scoring for the remainder of the match, it went to penalties.
Mignolet saved from Peter Crouch and Marc Muniesa, Emre Can had failed for the host, but Joe Allen stepped up after Muniesa’s miss to give the hosts a 6-5 win in the shootout and send them through.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who could not bear to watch as Allen’s final penalty told Sky Sports: “It was great, the atmosphere was special, It was a good game for my side against a difficult side to play…
“Wembley is a cool place to play football, but we go there to win. It’s not much fun to lose.”
They have to wait until Wednesday to find out whether Manchester City or Everton will join them in the Feb. 28 final, and the manager is confident his side will come out on top in the final.
“Manchester City or Everton, I don’t care, we will win the cup, Klopp said.
“Over the two legs, with all the games the players have had in the last two months, they deserved it. The fans deserved it. Liverpool deserved it. It was hard work but it was never easy to get to a final – I take this game as difficult but deserved.”
For Stoke manager Mark Hughes, there was little consolation to be had other than his side’s positive performance.
“I thought we merited a win,” he said. “We got a win on paper, goodness knows how long it’s been since we won here, but the objective was to get to a Wembley final which we didn’t.”
Liverpool has won the Capital One Cup, then League Cup for a record eight times, including four consecutive titles from 1981 to 1984.