Liverpool take narrow lead into second leg

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Man City 0-1 Liverpool
League Cup semi-final, first leg; January 11th, 2012

It wasn’t pretty, but Liverpool are 90 minutes away from their first Wembley final since 1996, courtesy of Steven Gerrard’s 13th minute penalty against Manchester City.

Liverpool started strong and were rightly awarded a spot-kick when Savic brought down Agger in the box, and it was duly despatched by captain Steven Gerrard. Another very well taken penalty after his one against Oldham in the FA Cup on Friday.

Liverpool were the better side in the first half and were strong and organised throughout.

The second half though saw the Reds settle for the one-goal advantage, despite away goals not counting until after extra-time in the second leg, ending the game with six defenders on the pitch after Jose Enrique and Jamie Carragher were brought on to replace Stewart Downing and Craig Bellamy.

Kenny Dalglish’s side failed to muster a single effort on goal in the second half but were strong in defensive and held out for the one-goal lead.

Hopefully the decision not to take further advantage of City being without several key players won’t return to haunt Dalglish in the return leg on 25th January.

Man City: Hart, Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, de Jong, A. Johnson, Milner, Balotelli, Aguero.
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Onuoha, Hargreaves, Nasri, Dzeko.

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Spearing (Adam 23), Gerrard, Henderson, Downing (Enrique 59), Bellamy (Carragher 79), Carroll.
Subs not used: Doni, Coates, Kuyt, Shelvey.

Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 36,017

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