Live Commentary: Liverpool 2-2 Middlesbrough (Liverpool win 14-13 on penalties) - as it happened
Relive an incredible night at Anfield as Liverpool progress to the fourth round of the League Cup courtesy of a 14-13 penalty shootout victory over Middlesbrough.
By Barney Corkhill, Assistant Editor Filed: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 18:45 UK
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 19:06 UK
Liverpool progressed into the fourth round of the League Cup courtesy of a penalty shootout victory over Middlesbrough on an incredible night of action at Anfield.
Jordan Rossiter broke the deadlock on his debut after just 10 minutes, while Adam Reach levelled things up in the second half to force extra time.
Suso had seemingly put Liverpool through with a 109th-minute strike, but the visitors were awarded a penalty in added time of extra time, which Patrick Bamford duly dispatched.
The resulting shootout saw no less than 30 penalties, 27 of which were scored before Albert Adomah fired wide to hand the hosts a 14-13 victory.
You can read how a dramatic night on Merseyside unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage below.
6.45pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's League Cup third round clash between Liverpool and Middlesbrough at Anfield. This encounter pits a Premier League side against Championship opposition, but both teams come into it in contrasting form, so we should be in for an intriguing game this evening. Let's start with a look at the hosts...
6.47pmThings haven't exactly gone to plan for the Reds so far this season. There were big questions over their squad following the departure of star man Luis Suarez and so many new arrivals to fill his void, and those additions are yet to really settle at the club. They have already lost three matches in the current league campaign - half as many as they lost all last season - while two of their three victories have not exactly been convincing.
6.49pmTheir last outing saw them beaten by West Ham after making a dreadful start that saw them concede twice in the opening 10 minutes. They failed to recover from that and the Hammers scored again late on to consign Liverpool to consecutive league defeats for the first time since December. A quick start was a weapon Rodgers used superbly last season to blow teams away, but Liverpool have been on the end of such tactics on a couple of times already this time around, which will worry the manager.
6.51pmRodgers will certainly not be ringing the alarm bells just yet with so long still to go in the season, but anything less than a victory tonight could well set them in motion. A loss away to Manchester City is passable, but losing at home to Aston Villa and away to West Ham, and even scraping past Ludogorets at Anfield is simply not good enough if they are to chase trophies. A loss to Championship opposition tonight would leave Liverpool in real trouble.
6.53pmHowever, while their last two home performances have been far from convincing, Liverpool's record at Anfield in recent times is a formidable one. The defeat to Villa was just their second in a competitive match in front of their own fans for 20 games, while only Manchester City had a better home record in the Premier League last season.
6.55pmAs always seems to be the case with Liverpool in recent times, though, it is the defence that has proved to be the problem. They have now not kept a clean sheet in Anfield since March, when they hammered Tottenham 4-0. Rodgers spent a lot of money bringing in the likes of Manquillo, Moreno and Lovren, but while each have shown flashes of their quality so far, they are yet to hit a consistent run of form that suggests that they are the answer to the Reds' defensive woes.
6.57pmHowever, the fact remains that they have not lost consecutive matches in all competitions yet in 2014, and it would be a major surprise if that run was going to end this evening. They can also boast a great record in this particular tournament, lifting the trophy a record eight times, most recently in 2012.
6.59pmThings didn't go so well for them last season, however. They needed extra time to squeeze past Notts County in the second round, eventually running out 4-2 winners, before being beaten 1-0 by fierce rivals Manchester United in the third round. They have progressed past this stage in nine of the last 12 seasons, however, so Rodgers will look on that exit as a blip on their recent record.
7.01pmThe hosts clearly come into this one as heavy favourites, but Middlesbrough will be full of confidence and will fancy their chances of causing an upset. They have won their last three outings, scoring seven goals and conceding just once in the process. That run has lifted them up to fifth in the Championship tables with 15 points from eight games, and the signs are good that they will be able to push for the playoffs this season.
7.03pmThey couldn't have asked for a better result coming into such a big game having swept aside Brentford 4-0 on Saturday, keeping back-to-back clean sheets in the process. Boro finally seem to be finding a bit of consistency with their play, which was sorely lacking last season and at the beginning of the current campaign. Aitor Karanka seems to be doing an admirable job at the Riverside, and victory over Liverpool this evening would be a major scalp for him as well as the team.
7.05pmIncluding their victory in the second round of this competition, Boro have now won four of their last five outings, and Karanka has already expressed the importance of keeping that sort of form up this evening. Liverpool will be by far the biggest test Boro have faced during that run, but the Spanish manager will be looking to take advantage of an unfamiliar XI that is short of confidence and may be tired after an early build-up of fixtures.
7.07pmAnfield may well be one of the most famous and historic stadiums in world football, but Middlesbrough won't be too daunted about that given their recent away record. They have only been beaten twice in their last 11 outings on the road stretching back to last season, while they have won their last three, and four of their last five, on their travels.
7.09pmHaving said that, their record at Anfield is a poor one. They have not beaten Liverpool on Merseyside since 1976, a run that stretches back 25 matches. During that time, they have lost 19 games and drawn six, the last of which came in August 2008 when an Emmanuel Pogatetz own goal and Steven Gerrard strike sealed the Premier League points from the Reds.
7.11pmThey seem to have better luck against Liverpool in this competition, however, having beaten them en route to both the 1997 and 1998 final. They lost on both of those occasions, but finally lifted the trophy at the third time of asking in 2004. Their recent record in the League Cup has not been great, however, as they were knocked out in the first round by Accrington Stanley last season.
7.13pmThis time around, Boro were once again entered in the first round, but they eased past Oldham Athletic 3-0 on that occasion. Preston North End awaited them in the second round, but once again they offered little opposition as Boro recovered from a 1-1 scoreline to eventually cruise to a 3-1 victory. They were lucky enough to be handed one of the dream ties of the third round, and you can be sure that they will be up for their long-awaited return to Anfield this evening.
7.15pmTEAM NEWS: Right, the teams are in for both sides, and the big news as far as Liverpool are concerned is that summer signing Rickie Lambert makes his first competitive start for the club, and he is given the armband as well. Elsewhere, 17-year-old Jordan Rossiter has been handed his debut as one of seven changes overall. Boro, meanwhile, make five changes of their own to the one that thumped Brentford. Full teams for both sides coming right up...
7.21pmSo, what can we make of those two teams? Well, starting with the hosts, it is no surprise to see Brendan Rodgers make a host of changes for a number of reasons. Not only was the last performance a disappointing one, but the Reds have the Merseyside derby at the weekend to think about as well. There are seven changes overall, and a number of fringe players will be given their chance to prove that they warrant a place in the starting XI.
7.23pmThe most noteworthy change is the inclusion of Rickie Lambert, who starts a competitive match for his boyhood club for the first time. He has made for appearances as a sub thus far, but proved during his time at Southampton that he can be very effective as a starting striker. Balotelli is on the bench, and will certainly be a useful impact sub if needed, but Rodgers can be confident that he has a striker who knows where the goal is and is capable of taking any chances that come his way.
7.25pmHe will be flank by Markovic and Sterling, the latter of whom has been the brightest spark for Liverpool so far this season. His pace and trickery can pose the very best defenders problems, so Boro will need to be particularly aware of his threat this evening. It is something of a surprise that Rodgers has not taking this opportunity to rest the youngster, as he did against Villa, but Liverpool's performance in that game may have had an impact on that decision. Markovic, meanwhile, still looks very raw but will get plenty of chances to show what he can do tonight.
7.27pmIn midfield, it is a special day for Jordan Rossiter, who makes his debut for the club having come through the ranks. The 17-year-old local lad will be joined in the middle of the park by Lucas Leiva and Adam Lallana, both of whom will be looking to prove that they merit a regular starting spot in this team. There is no place for club captain Steven Gerrard, however, who is left out of the squad entirely.
7.29pmAt the back, there is an increasingly rare start for Kolo Toure, while Jose Enrique also continues his recovery from a long-term injury and should get some valuable game time this evening. Manquillo retains his place in the side, while Sakho returns to the starting lineup. Skrtel has to settle for a place on the bench, while Dejan Lovren joins Gerrard in being left out of the squad entirely. In goal, meanwhile, Brad Jones will not start against his former club as Mignolet retains his place.
7.31pmLooking to find a way past Mignolet will be Kike, who has got his Middlesbrough career off to a good start. He has netted four times in eight games since joining in the summer, and should be fresh for this one having come off the bench during the 4-0 win over Brentford. At the back, Ayala returns from his suspension to face his former club.
7.33pmWhile Kike has found the net a few times for Boro already, perhaps their greatest goalscoring threat will come from Grant Leadbitter. The midfielder has scored an impressive seven goals in his last eight appearances, and plays again this evening as he looks to improve further on that tally. He will be joined in the middle of the park by Adam Clayton, who replaces the suspended Dean Whitehead, who was sent off against Brentford.
7.35pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes from kickoff at Anfield, which means that it is time for my prediction! Ordinarily, you would saw that Liverpool would ease into the fourth round against Championship opposition at Anfield. However, the respective form of both sides makes it a little more difficult, while Liverpool's XI is still gelling. I still believe the Reds will have enough about them to progress, but it won't be easy. I'm going for a 3-2 victory.
7.37pmI mentioned Middlesbrough's poor recent record at Anfield, but they did actually emerge victorious the last time these two teams met. Xabi Alonso turned the ball into his own net and Tuncay added a second to hand Middlesbrough a 2-0 victory at the Riverside back in February 2009 - a defeat that proved to be a telling one in the Reds' title chase that year.
7.39pmIt will be interesting to see the formation chosen by Rodgers this evening. He has often experimented with Sterling out wide or through the middle, and the personnel he has chosen suggests that it could well be the diamond, with Lallana and Markovic on the wings. Whatever the choice, Rossiter will play a big part in midfield as he will effectively be replacing Steven Gerrard - a massive responsibility on your debut.
7.41pmSpeaking of Rossiter, a couple of Liverpool legends and fellow local lads have had their say on his inclusion. It certainly is a good vote of confidence from the manager, who has never been shy to throw his youngsters in at the deep end.
Good luck to @jordan_rossiter tonight great to see another local lad getting a chance. Credit to the manager as well.
7.43pmThere are a number of other League Cup third round clashes taking place tonight, I will will keep you updated with any major goings on from around the country. The main focus is on Anfield, though, and we are just minutes away from kickoff now.
1 minKICKOFF: Liverpool get us underway for this League Cup tie as they look to turn around their shaky recent form and avoid an upset in the third round.
3 minThis match has started at a frenetic pace as both teams look to make an early breakthrough. Both have had early set pieces that have been dealt with fairly comfortably, but it is Middlesbrough who have just shaded it so far.
4 minAn early half chance for Kike as he gets to the ball just in front of the two centre-backs, but his flicked header is never really troubling Mignolet, who watches it loop off target.
6 minLiverpool are just beginning to gain a measure of control over proceedings now having weathered an early storm from the visitors. Sterling has looked bright on a couple of occasions, but no real chances just yet.
8 minThis has been a really good, open start to the match. It has been played at a very good tempo, and Middlesbrough have already received plenty of reasons to be encouraged.
9 minSAVE! Decent sight of goal for the visitors as Ayala rises well to meet a corner, planting a header towards the top corner. However, Mignolet is there to make the save.
10 minGOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Middlesbrough (Jordan Rossiter)
10 minOh, what a dream moment for young Jordan Rossiter on his debut! Sterling's presence forces a mix-up in the Middlesbrough defence, with Blackman coming out to sweep up but failing to hold onto the ball. He partially redeems himself by denying Lambert, but the ball then bounces out to Rossiter, who passes it home from 25 yards. Blackman really should save the effort, but Rossiter won't care one bit.
12 minBlackman looked incredibly shaky then, but this will give him a bit of confidence back on his debut. He reaches down low and holds on to a dangerous low ball into the box. That one was not easy to deal with, but he did well.
14 minUPDATE: There has been a goal in one of the all-Premier League ties this even, and it is Arsenal who have broken the deadlock against Southampton at the Emirates. Alexis Sanchez got the goal to continue his recent good form and sent his side one step closer to the fourth round.
16 minLiverpool have really taken control of this one now and they are dominating the ball in the middle of the park. They seem to have regained that confidence with the early goal, and Middlesbrough need to find a way to stop them from building more momentum.
18 minUPDATE: Another of the all-Premier League ties this evening sees Sunderland host Stoke, and the home side have gone ahead in that one too. Jozy Altidore got the goal at the Stadium of Light.
19 minSterling and Lallana work a short corner routine before the latter lifts a cross towards the back post which Sakho just manages to reach. He flicks it in the general direction of goal, but it is too high for him to turn on target and it bounces harmlessly wide.
21 minUPDATE: Southampton have equalised against Arsenal at the Emirates courtesy of a penalty from Tadic. It was Rosicky who gave the ball away, and Tadic made no mistake from 12 yards.
23 minPossession has been evenly shared in the opening 20 minutes or so, so Middlesbrough will not feel that they are out of this one just yet. There is still plenty of time to go, but so far they have not really troubled Mignolet.
24 minThere have been a few awful passes from Toure already this evening. The latest sees him volley the ball straight out of play with no Middlesbrough player putting him under pressure, drawing groans from the Anfield crowd.
25 minSHOT! Lallana turns well in midfield to create space, which he duly drives in to. He soon moves to within shooting range, but his low effort is always swerving away from goal and doesn't trouble the keeper.
27 minThe Middlesbrough fans are making plenty of noise in their end of the crowd, but so far their team aren't responding. They haven't exactly played badly so far, but they have not troubled the Liverpool defence despite the likes of Toure and Sakho being suspect in possession.
29 minUPDATE: Things aren't going quite as well for the blue half of Merseyside right now. They have just fallen behind to Swansea courtesy of a Nathan Dyer strike.
31 minCHANCE! Middlesbrough have their best chance of the evening as Kike peels off his marker inside the box. The ball arrives to him at the back post and he watches it onto his foot before volleying it first-time towards goal. His effort hits Lambert and goes behind for another corner, though. Not exactly a sitter, but a chance nonetheless.
33 minOmeruo has already had one shaky moment in the build-up to the goal, and he has another here as he boots the ball straight up into the air. Lambert is waiting for it when it comes down, but Middlesbrough eventually manage to scramble it clear.
35 minUPDATE: Things are all square again at the Stadium of Light as Muniesa has equalised for Stoke, while in South Wales Cardiff are already 3-0 down to Bournemouth.
36 minReally good play from Tonlin as he cuts in between two men before beating another. His eventual shot is poor, but it hits Sakho and almost falls for Kike, but Mignolet is out quickly to make an important interception.
38 minSAVE! Middlesbrough almost level the sides with a fantastic strike as Tomlin picks up the ball on the edge of the box before unleashing a swerving half-volley through a crowd of bodies. Mignolet sees it very late and is forced into making a very good stop, while Adomah is offside from the rebound.
40 minUPDATE: Southampton have turned things around in North London! They are now 2-1 up against Arsenal courtesy of a strike from Nathaniel Clyne.
42 minMiddlesbrough have enjoyed a decent spell in the latter stages of this half. Liverpool were on top during the midway stages of it, but the visitors have starting seeing more of the ball and threatening on more occasions in the last 10 minutes or so.
44 minThe grass is zippy and wet at Anfield this evening, and that is having an effect on that match. Quite a few passes are going just a yard or so in front of the intended recipient, and as a result both sides have been sloppy in possession on occasions.
45 minThere will be a minimum of one added minute at the end of this first half.
8.40pmReferee Mike Jones brings an end to the first here at Anfield and it is the hosts who have gone into the break ahead. It has been a fairly even encounter on the whole, with both sides spending time in the ascendancy. Liverpool have probably just about been on top overall, but Boro will certainly feel that they are still in this match.
8.42pmThe goal came in the 10th minute, and it was a story of contrasting debuts. Omeruo made the first error for Boro as he failed to clear the ball under pressure from Sterling, while debutant keeper Blackman came out and deflected the ball to Lambert. Blackman recovered to save from the striker, but the ball then bounced back out Rossiter, who stroked it home on his debut. Blackman should have saved that follow-up effort, but it was the stuff of dreams for the 17-year-old local boy.
8,44pmMiddlesbrough's best moment of the evening so far has come courtesy of Tomlin, who fired a volley goalwards from the edge of the box after the ball had been cleared from a corner. His strike was a good one but Mignolet was equal to it, reacting well to beat the ball away behind a crowd of players.
8.46pmAside from that, there has not been much goalmouth action, with Kike seeing a volley deflected over and Ayala nodding a header on target. Much of the game has been played in the middle third as both sides struggle to find a way past the opposition defence. Liverpool have had the better of things by the slightest of margins, but it is still very much up for grabs at the halfway stage.
8.48pmAs for Liverpool's performance, they are still far from their best, but Rodgers will take positives from what he has seen in that opening 45 minutes. Both sides started well but Liverpool settled things down a bit midway through the half before Middlesbrough responded in the closing stages of the half. We are well set up for an intriguing second 45 minutes.
46 minKICKOFF: Middlesbrough get us back underway and immediately launch an attack as they look to start the half well. Tomlin cuts inside his man once again before drilling a good shot a yard or so wide of the post.
48 minLiverpool enjoy a good spell of possession as they work their way forward with a measured build-up. They inject a bit of pace into the attack when it gets to the final third, but that ends when Lallana slips while trying to cross the ball.
50 minRossiter is enjoying a good game in the middle of the park for Liverpool. He has sent one or two passes astray, but he has certainly not been overwhelmed by the occasion. He has been talking well and, of course, got the only goal of the game so far. That striker, incidentally, makes him the second youngest goalscorer in Liverpool history, behind only Michael Owen.
52 minSHOT! I mentioned Leadbitter's fine goalscoring record recently, but this is not one of his best. He picks the ball up in space around 25 yards out, but completely slices his effort well wide of the target.
54 minSome sloppy play from Middlesbrough in the middle of the park sees Sterling steal the ball and race forward. He is keep relatively wide by the covering defence and tries to cut back on himself, but Fredericks is back to make a challenge and then keep the ball from going behind for a corner.
56 minMore bright play from Sterling, whose first thought always seems to be to get forward. This time he shows great strength to hold off Leadbitter before racing down the channel and winning a corner, which comes to nothing.
57 minYELLOW CARD! Omeruo becomes the first name in the book this evening, and he can have no complaints. He stepped across the path of Lallana, taking the Liverpool man down in cynical fashion.
58 minLallana again comes forward, and this time he bounces off a challenge to create space to shoot from the edge of the box. Not for the first time, however, he slips when going for the shot, taking all of the danger out of the moment.
60 minSuperb play from Sterling as he gets shoved from behind by Leadbitter before taking the free kick very quickly and leading the charge forward. He eventually works it out wide to Lambert, who slows things down before pumping an aimless cross into the box. A waste of a promising counter.
61 minYELLOW CARD! Sakho gets his name into the book for a handball to block Adomah. Some of the fans want a penalty, but it was outside the box, and the ref got that one spot on.
62 minGOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Middlesbrough (Adam Reach)
62 minMiddlesbrough have their equaliser! From the resulting free kick, Leadbitter fizzes a superb delivery between the goalkeeper and defence, and all Reach has to do is get his head onto the end of it. There is nothing Mignolet can do about it and Reach peels away in celebration.
64 minUPDATE: A bad minute or so all round for Merseyside as Swansea have just doubled their lead over Everton at the Liberty Stadium.
65 minSAVE! Liverpool look for a quick response through their brightest player on the night as Sterling carries the ball forward. He tries a drilled effort from range, but it is straight at the keeper, who makes a comfortable stop.
67 minHalf a chance for the visitors as Adomah does really well to beat Enrique on the right before squeezing a cross into the box. Reach leaps really well to beat the Liverpool defence to the ball, but his glancing header goes wide of the far post.
69 minThere are just over 20 minutes to go in this one and it really is anyone's game right now. Middlesbrough have the momentum as things stand, but that might be about to change with the imminent introduction of a certain Mario Balotelli.
71 minWonderful again from Sterling as he beats two players down the outside to make his way into the box. He chips the ball into the box, but no-one can turn it home. Sterling really has been the shining light in an otherwise tepid Liverpool display tonight.
72 minPENALTY SHOUT! The hosts want a penalty as Lallana twists and turns inside the box before finally trying to take his man on down the left. There does seem to be contact as he goes down, but the ref says no and Boro are able to scramble it clear.
74 minAnother break forward from Liverpool as Lallana finds a way through the middle. He is crowded out on the edge of the box before squeezing a pass through to Markovic, who moves it on once more to Sterling. Reach gets back to make a vital interception, however.
75 minLIVERPOOL SUB: Here comes the change from Rodgers as Balotelli replaces Lambert in a straight swap up front.
76 minMIDDLESBROUGH SUB: The visitors respond with a change of their own as Kike makes way to be replaced by Yanic Wildschut.
77 minSAVE! Almost a second for Middlesbrough as Clayton hammers a fine strike towards the corner from range. Mignolet is at full stretch to keep it out, before Toure makes a superb tackle to ensure the rebound isn't turned home.
79 minLIVERPOOL SUB: The Liverpool goalscorer Jordan Rossiter makes way to bring an end to his debut, and on comes another debutant as Jordan Williams replaces him.
81 minSHOT! Balotelli keeps the ball well and looks for an option before eventually trying to squeeze a pass through. The Middlesbrough defence repel that as it breaks to Manquillo, who hammers a powerful effort well off target.
83 minLiverpool are doing all of the pressing now as they remain camped in the Middlesbrough half. All of their possession is coming in front of the defence, though, and so far the Boro backline is holding out well.
85 minOFF THE POST! Almost a lovely second for Middlesbrough! Tomlin has his back to goal but manages to pull off a superb reverse pass to find the run of Clayton. The angle is against the midfielder, but he almost squeezes the ball in at the near post, only to see his strike come off the outside of the post.
87 minSHOT! Balotelli comes deep to collect the ball before having a go from range. He slips while shooting, however, and his effort fizzes a yard or so past the post. A lot of players have lost their footing on this greasy Anfield turf tonight.
89 minUPDATE: Liverpool will be the only chance Merseyside have in the fourth round if they can avoid defeat here as Everton are now 3-0 behind at the Liberty Stadium thanks to Marvin Emnes.
90+1 minThere will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match. If we don't have a winner before then, we will have extra time at Anfield.
90+3 minPENALTY SHOUT! Huge penalty shout for Liverpool in the dying seconds as Sterling's cross strikes the hand of Ayala in the box after the defender completely missed his header. The referee doesn't see it, however, and fails to award the spot kick.
90+3 minEND OF 90 MINUTES: Liverpool 1-1 Middlesbrough
9.40pmExtra time it is, then, as Liverpool and Middlesbrough cannot be separated in 90 minutes at Anfield. It was Rossiter who got the opener on his debut, while Reach got the equaliser in the second half.
91 min ETKICKOFF: Liverpool get us back underway for the first period of extra time as they look to avoid an upset here. Not ideal preparations for the Merseyside derby on Saturday.
93 min ETRodgers must be caught in two minds about what to do with his star players in this extra time period. He has already made two changes, so if he is protect anyone for Saturday it will most likely be Sterling. However, he has been head and shoulders above the rest this evening, so that would harm his side's chances tonight.
95 min ETSo many players have slipped over this evening as they struggle to get used to the greasy surface. Balotelli is the latest to go and, as I'm sure you can imagine, that drew a cheer from the Middlesbrough fans that was almost as loud as when they equalised.
97 min ETMignolet's command of his box has been questioned at times, but he does really well to get up and punch under some heavy pressure from Ayala here. Very strong goalkeeping.
98 min ETLIVERPOOL SUB: Markovic's evening is over as he is replaced by Suso, which means that Sterling will play the full 120 minutes. Suso, meanwhile, is making his first Liverpool appearance for more than a year.
100 min ETMiddlesbrough are attempting to slow the pace of the game down right now as they look to catch their collective breaths. That is also making Liverpool chase the ball and work hard off the ball.
102 min ETReach has worked incredibly hard for Boro this evening. Not only has he got the all-important equaliser, but he has been up and down the flank all night, making important contributions at both ends.
104 min ETMiddlesbrough have done a really good job of crowding out the box this evening, not allowing Liverpool any room behind the defence. The likes of Lallana and Sterling have threatened to get through, but there have almost always been enough numbers there to deal with the danger.
105 min ETCHANCE! Lallana manages to squeeze the ball through to Balotelli on the edge of the six-yard box, but even then there are two Boro players behind him. His back is to goal, so he plays the ball to Suso, whose shot under pressure goes wide.
105+1 min ETHALF TIME IN EXTRA TIME: Liverpool 1-1 Middlesbrough
9.58pmNo goals in the first half of extra time, then. If the second 15 minutes of the added period goes the same way then we will have penalties!
106 min ETKICKOFF: Middlesbrough get us back underway for the final time this evening. Can they pull off a shock in this final 15 minutes, or will Liverpool find a way through?
106 min ETYELLOW CARD! A very early card in the second period as Reach goes into the referee's book.
107 min ETSAVES! Blackman makes two big saves in quick succession. Enrique is the first to test the debutant with a powerful strike from range, and his parry flies straight between Balotelli and Sterling. Sterling himself then drifts out to the left before cutting inside and whipping a powerful effort towards the front post, but Blackman is there again to push it behind.
109 min ETGOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Middlesbrough (Suso)
109 min ETFinally, Liverpool have their breakthrough! It is great play from Lallana on the left as he flicks the ball through for Enrique, whose drilled cross into the box creates havoc. It falls to Balotelli, who is denied by a superb Friend challenge, but then the ball squirms to Suso, who hammers it home. Relief around Anfield!
111 min ETThat goal really had been coming. Liverpool had cranked up the pressure in the early stages of the second period, and Blackman had more to do in that first five minutes or so than he did in the previous 105. The hosts are now just keeping the ball from their opposition, which is exactly what they need to do.
112 min ETMIDDLESBROUGH SUBS: Double change for the visitors late on as Tomlin and Leadbitter are replaced by Jelle Vossen and Patrick Bamford.
114 min ETMiddlesbrough are being forced to chase the ball now as Liverpool look to simply see this one out. It could come back to bite them, but they won't want to take any risks in these last six minutes of extra time.
116 min ETWorrying signs for Sterling here as he is clattered into by Fredericks, who got the ball as well as the man. It is a fair challenge, but Sterling certainly felt it. Luckily for Rodgers, though, the youngster is made of strong stuff and is soon back on his feet.
118 min ETLiverpool are doing a good job of containing Middlesbrough right now as time continues to run out for the visitors. Karanka's side have worked incredibly hard tonight, but they need to find one last burst of energy if they are to get back into this one again.
119 min ETCHANCE! Some good work from Manquillo creates a chance for Liverpool to kill the game off once and for all as he works the ball out to Suso on the left. The goalscorer cuts inside and creates space to shoot, but his effort is straight at the keeper, who makes the save.
120+1 min ETThere will be two minutes of added time at the end of this match. Can Middlesbrough create more late drama here or will Liverpool hold out?
120+3 min ETGOAL! Liverpool 2-2 Middlesbrough (Patrick Bamford)
120+3 min ETOh my word, huge drama late on here at Anfield! Sterling, who has been the best player on the park tonight, gifts the ball away in a dangerous position straight to Ayala. Bamford races onto the through-ball and gets to the ball just ahead of Toure, who clatters into him inside the box. There is no doubt about it being a spot kick, and Bamford makes no mistake with a cool finish from 12 yards into the bottom corner. It looks like we'll have penalties after all!
10.21pmIncredible scenes. Middlesbrough score a late, late spot kick to force penalties in the third round of the League Cup. It was Toure who conceded the penalty, but the main blame lies on the shoulders of Sterling, who played a suicidal backward pass to gift Middlesbrough the ball in a dangerous position. It is was so harsh on the youngster, who was the man of the match tonight, but now Liverpool must pick themselves up for the spot kicks.
LIV 14-13 MIDLIVERPOOL ARE THROUGH TO THE FOURTH ROUND OF THE LEAGUE CUP!
10.42pmIncredible, incredible scenes at Anfield as Liverpool eventually progress after a 14-13 victory on penalties following a 2-2 draw after the 120 minutes. We saw 30 penalties in all in that unbelievable shootout, and all but three were scored in some style. It was an exhibition of what to do in such a scenario - the greatest penalty shootout I think I've ever seen.
10.44pmLet's not forget what was a dramatic 120 minutes in itself. Rossiter opened the scoring on his Liverpool debut after just 10 minutes - although that seems like an age ago now. Reach equalised after the break to force extra time, which saw Suso hand Liverpool the lead in the 109th minute. Middlesbrough were then awarded a penalty in the final minute of added on time of extra time, which Bamford duly converted to force more penalties. There was no way of knowing just how many more we'd have, however, as Adomah finally missed to bring an end to an incredible shootout that saw 30 penalties. That was enough to see the Reds progress in the most dramatic of circumstances.
10.46pmRight, that is all we have time for tonight on an incredible night on Merseyside! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was an unbelievable night of action at Anfield as the Reds progressed into the fourth round of the League Cup. There is plenty more action in this competition tomorrow night, so be sure to check back in for that, and stick around for reaction from tonight's match. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!