Ten years on from Liverpool’s last success in the League Cup, it is perhaps fitting that the Reds secured silverware via penalties on Sunday, just as they did back in 2012.
Club legend Sir Kenny Dalglish was in the dugout that day, steering the Merseysiders to an eighth crown in the competition, seeing off a valiant effort from Championship outfit Cardiff City.
Now watching on as a fan, the 70-year-old admitted he was gripped by the enthralling Wembley showdown, which concluded with Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missing the target after 21 successful spot-kicks in a dramatic shoot-out.
“The whole game was full of drama, throughout the 90 minutes and extra-time,” he said. “Both teams were brilliant. I think that both sets of players put all they could into the first 90 and it might’ve been kinder on them to call it to an end there and take it straight to penalties!
“Finishing 0-0 sounds like it was boring, but it was far from it. Four goals were chalked off, the goalkeepers made a few great saves and (Mason) Mount hit the post, so there was plenty of action.”
While Liverpool produced a flawless display from 12 yards to beat the West Londoners – converting all 11 of their penalties – 2012 was a very different story. Steven Gerrard saw his attempt saved before Charlie Adam skied his effort over the bar, although three misses from their Welsh opponents spared their blushes.
‘King Kenny’, who also won the competition in four consecutive seasons as a player between 1981 and 1984, was quick to point out the contrasting standard of penalty-taking.
“I have very fond memories of that day,” he recalled. “Every trophy is important and it’s brilliant when you can share a victory with the fans.
“Our penalties weren’t as good that day 10 years ago. I remember one going very airborne! I’ve never seen all 11 penalty kicks being scored; it was really incredible.”
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson is the only surviving member of the 2012 side, and Dalglish heaped praise on his former midfielder, who he brought to the Club as a fresh-faced 20-year-old from Sunderland.
“He’s a fantastic example to human life really,” the Scot continued. “Apart from football, the other things he does for people less fortunate than himself is a huge credit to him and the way he was brought up. He can be proud of what he’s done off the pitch as well as on it.
“He’s the only one that’s here that played in those days and it’s fantastic to have seen his journey – it’s what he deserves. It’s a fitting tribute to him.”