I know people often aren't bothered about the league cup or Capital One Cup as I should call it. But I am, I can't help it, I accept that it's a chance to rest players who are playing week in, week out, whilst giving some youngsters or squad players some valuable game time, but I still badly want us to Win, I love trophies, games at Wembley, semi finals etc and when we get knocked out i still get that sinking feeling in my chest. I say I'm not bothered, Micky Mouse Cup and so on, but I am bothered, I'm always bothered when Liverpool play and I expect the management and the team whoever is selected to be bothered.
I was OK with the selection before the game several players had been rested but we were still fielding a strong enough team. Still only one striker and this seriously weakened us, it's obvious we need to get two central strikers playing but it appears we are not going to, at least until the return of Sturridge, so we are just going to have to get on with it.
For most of the first half I was relatively happy with the performance, we were certainly on top, looked in control and we're defending relatively well, it didn't look like Swansea were going to score and how many times have we been able to say that this season. The problem was that we were not creating much, Borini was doing very well but was playing wide and not giving the support to the central striker, in this case Lambert, that he so desperately wants and needs. Swansea didn't look like scoring but despite a better performance from many of the players, if we are honest neither did we.
Then at the start of the second half, disaster Swansea did score, a great finish, but another goal conceded highlighting one of our weaknesses yet again. After the goal for most of the second half we again seemed to control the game had some decent moments but never really looked like scoring, the major emotion was frustration, why can they not see it, get two up, give him the support,
Then when it was almost to late the changes were made Balotelli arrived and finally two up and once again we came to life, chances started to be created, the crowd woke up and the team exerted pressure, good long lasting pressure on the Swansea defence, then at last, at long long last it came, a brilliant cross from Manquillo on the right found Balotelli arriving, yes arriving, that's making a run and the ball was in the net around five minutes to go and at last we were level.
To our credit we were not happy with equalising, we were not happy to go to extra time and we pushed for the winner and then deep into injury time Lovren got on the end of a Coutinho free kick a great header gave us a dramatic winner and a place in the quarter finals.
As I said at the start I believe that this competition is important and this win means that we are now reaching the business end, whilst doing so we have given time to several squad players and finally from this game, for confidence, we couldn't have had two better scorers if any of our players needed a boost it was Balotelli and Lovren and a last minute win can only help the team as a whole, a tough win but a good one.