Liverpool successfully navigated their way past Brighton in the League Cup third round on Wednesday night courtesy of goals from Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt.
The Independent surmised;
“It was not entirely convincing, but Liverpool indicated as they moved into the last 16 of the Carling Cup that, unlike some clubs, they are more interested in winning the competition than treating it as a finishing school. Kenny Dalglish sent out a strong side,as he did in the previous round at Exeter, and was rewarded both in the performance and the result. He was also able to give Steven Gerrard a 15-minute run-out, his first appearance since March.”
Liverpool were outstanding with Craig Bellamy controlling the opening half. However, despite creating a string of chances they scored only through Bellamy’s seventh-minute strike and Brighton were able to rally. Liverpool withstood the Championship team’s pressure before breaking away to score again, through Dirk Kuyt.
Match of the Day video highlights;
Brighton Hove Albion v Liverpool
Henry Winter in The Telegraph has more positives for LFC;
It was not simply the goals of Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt, the memory of some terrific first-half movement by their four attackers and some much needed experience for defenders like Jack Robinson, Martin Kelly and Sebastian Coates. It was the sight of the man Kenny Dalglish hailed as their “talisman” returning after six months out. Steven Gerrard was back and Liverpool looked lifted.
What the King said;
“Suárez, Bellamy, Kuyt and Maxi all linked up well. They are intelligent footballers. Craig was fantastic. When he came in we said he would make a contribution. He just loves playing. He’s fit, loves the club, and wants to do the best. There were a lot of positives. Jack Robinson getting a full game, Sebastian Coates getting a full game. Martin Kelly started. It was a good night for us.”
“It makes our squad an awful lot stronger with Steven fit. He’s a real addition; it’s getting the talisman back. It’s fantastic for everyone connected to the football club to see him coming back in. We will manage the situation [Gerrard’s groin] as diligently as we have.”
What the Skipper said;
“Tonight was not about me. It was about progressing in the cup and getting that Tottenham performance out of our system and I think we have now done that,” he said. “It is down to the manager now. I have been out for six months so it is about getting training sessions under my belt and match time. Hopefully I will be selected for the 18 against Wolves [at the weekend].”
Brighton (4-4-2): Ankergren; Calderón, Greer, Steve Cook, Vincelot; Navarro (Barnes 78), Sparrow (LuaLua 78), Bridcutt, Noone; Buckley (Vicente 60), Mackail-Smith.
Subs: Brezovan (g), Dunk, Taricco, Kasim. Booked: Navarro, Sparrow, Vincelot.
Liverpool (4-4-2): Reina; Kelly, Carragher, Coates, Robinson; Kuyt, Spearing, Lucas, Maxi; Bellamy, Suárez (Gerrard 75).
Subs: Doni (g), Carroll, Downing, Wilson, Shelvey, Flanagan.
Booked: Spearing, Lucas.
Referee: M Oliver (Northumberland).