With their top striker Christian Benteke out due to injury, Liverpool required extra time and penalties to defeat Carlisle United 1-1 (3-2) in their Capital One Cup third-round match Wednesday at Anfield.
Making up for surrendering Carlisle the equalizer in the first half, Liverpool keeper Adam Bogdan blocked three of the Cumbrians penalty attempts to lock up the victory. Bodgan was able to save Bastien Héry's shot to the right corner in Carlisle's final attempt, after Danny Ings converted the penalty that put Liverpool up 3-1 in the shootout. James Milner and Emre Can also nailed their attempts from the spot for Liverpool.
It was a valiant effort for the underdog Carlisle United, playing at the hallowed grounds of Anfield. Carlisle’s goalkeeper Mark Gillespie came up with big saves, turning back Adam Lallana and Philippe Countinho in the shootout after holding the Reds to just one goal over 120 minutes.
Liverpool, who hadn’t claimed a victory in their five previous matches, managed to gain the lead off an Ings header in the 23rd minute. But League Two’s Carlisle pushed Merseyside to the brink of embarrassment. Cumbrians striker Derek Asamoah provided the equalizer in the 34th minute, diving in front of Hery’s through ball and capping the fastbreak with a right-footed strike across Bogdan’s net.
The victory relieves some pressure off Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. There has been talk of Rodgers being sacked if the Reds continue to struggle. Liverpool lost a home match against West Ham earlier this season, and currently sit in 13th place in the Premier League.