Exactly three hours of football, extra time and penalty kicks were needed for Liverpool to beat Middlesbrough in the third round of the League Cup, as a 2-2 draw at the end of 120 minutes was followed by an incredible stretch of penalty kicks, with the home side winning the shootout 14-13 after Albert Adomah missed the 15th and final kick for the visitors from the Championship.
Liverpool scored first as 17-year old Jordan Rossiter got on the scoresheet on his debut, scoring from outside the penalty box while the Middlesbrough defense was bumbling and fumbling, leaving Jamal Blackman in a bad position.
After the goal? Nothing from the Premier League side, playing with just Rickie Lambert up front while also Adam Lallana, Lucas and Lazar Markovic were in the lineup. Middlesbrough equalized in the 61st minute after poor set piece (nothing new for Liverpool) marking by Jose Enrique, allowing Adam Reach to equalize.
Liverpool deserved at least two penalty kicks for handballs but Mike Jones was having a very bad day as the match official. The match went into extra time which Liverpool completely dominated, but started creating chances on Blackman’s goal only in the final 15 minutes.
Suso came on as a substitute and gave Liverpool the lead in the 109th minute, reacting quickly and smartly to a rebound as the Middlesbrough defense was stretched a bit too wide apart.
But this match was to end in drama, as Kolo Toure made a terrible foul in the penalty box in injury time of extra time, allowing substitute Patrick Bamford to send the match into a penalty shootout by converting the penalty kick.
The same Bamford missed the first kick only minutes later for Middlesbrough, but the shootout lasted thanks to Raheem Sterling of all players missing the fifth kick. The teams went through all 11 players including the goalkeepers and then some more before Adomah missed his by sending the ball wide of the mark, ending a dramatic and long night which Liverpool barely made through it.