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“Astonishing”, “Phenomenal”, “Exhausting” – Papers react to Liverpool’s record penalty shootout victory

Another dramatic night at Anfield, this time an unprecedented penalty shootout record victory over Middlesbrough in the League Cup.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Liverpool's Adam Lallana scores the third penalty against Middlesbrough during the shoot-out during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Andy Hunter of The Guardian perfectly explains the mood at full time:

“When it was all over, 27 of 30 penalties had been converted, Middlesbrough were on their knees in despair and Liverpool were too shattered to indulge fully in celebration. One of the most remarkable shoot-outs in English history brought relief for Brendan Rodgers’ team as they edged into the fourth round courtesy of an exhausting finale at Anfield and one final miss from the unfortunate Albert Adomah.”

Of the record number of penalties, Hunter writes:

“It was the longest penalty shoot-out in the history of the League Cup, the previous record set at 9-8 on three occasions, and more extensive than the FA Cup’s highest total when Macclesfield beat Forest Green 11-10 in 2001. Of major English competitions only the Football League Trophy can equal it, also boasting a 14-13 shoot-out.”

Liverpool 2-2 Middlesbrough

Dominic King of The Daily Mail writes that manager Brendan Rodgers “Rodgers will have left Anfield wondering when his side are going to stop giving away cheap goals. A better team than Middlesbrough might have eviscerated Liverpool.”

Similarly, Dan Kay of The Liverpool Echo writes “With Suarez gone, Sturridge still out and the other attacking options yet to hit their straps, the Reds simply have to stop giving so many easily-avoidable goals away.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Middlesbrough's Adam Reach scores the first goal against Liverpool to equalise and level the score at 1-1 during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James Pearce, also of The Echo, explains how Liverpool created “their own problems by giving away a string of needless free-kicks. When they did work the ball into decent areas Lazar Markovic‘s infuriating reluctance to shoot meant Blackman went untested. It was no surprise when the Serbian made way for Suso.”

Henry Winter of The Telegraph describes the penalties themselves as “phenomenal”:

“The level of penalty-taking was phenomenal, and Mario Balotelli could give lessons in composure and technique from 12 yards. He was not the only one. Even the goalkeepers netted theirs.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Liverpool's Jordan Rossiter celebrates scoring the first goal against Middlesbrough on his debut during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of debutant Jordan Rossiter, Winter writes “Comparisons with Gerrard can wait. Rossiter has plenty to learn, but the Merseysider is developing well, justifying Rodgers’ faith. He showed calmness and vision to give Liverpool the lead after only 10 minutes.”

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