WITH Liverpool looking to overcome a first leg deficit when Southampton travel to Anfield in the semi-final of the League Cup and an FA Cup fourth round clash with Wolves to come on Saturday, TAW contributors take a look back at magic moments in domestic cup competition.
Five From Fowler: League Cup Second Round v Fulham – October 5, 1993
ROBBIE Fowler had been on the edges of Graeme Souness’s first team for a while and everyone in the city seemed to know he had talent.
Nine months after his first substitute appearance, he was finally given his first start away at Fulham in the first round first leg of the League Cup. He scored, of course. Liverpool won 3-1.
It was the second leg where he really made his mark, though. Liverpool won 5-0 and Fowler got the lot. He scored three with his left foot, one with his right and one a diving header in front of about 12 people at Anfield.
There are a couple of things I really like about that night, aside from the obvious. Firstly, it wasn’t on TV, like it probably would be now. So I remember sitting in the front room and my dad poking his head round the door and saying “Fowler has scored again” over and over.
I also love that Ian Rush was up front with him. Ian Rush! What must he have been thinking. There is a lovely story Sid Lowe tells about the first time Andres Iniesta trains with the Barcelona first team and Pep Guardiola says to Xavi: “This lad is going to retire us all.”
Rushie must have felt something similar.
Yet if he did he didn’t show it. This is from Fowler’s autobiography. “All the way through the game Rushie was urging me on, telling me how well I was doing and that I could get more. He was talking me through everything again, and he was showing where I should make the runs, even though I was probably taking up his space all the time. At the end he was the first to congratulate me.”
Rushie, la. What a fella.
Leeds Lose To Late Double: FA Cup Fourth Round v Leeds United – January 27, 2001
NICKY Barmby. Emile Heskey. Leeds United.
You need more?
Leeds. Fucking Leeds. Horrible bastards Leeds. Horrible ground, horrible crew. Horrors from start to finish. Mark Viduka scores four November 4. I come out, devastated. Some fella with a three-year-old on his shoulders trying to fight me calling us ‘lucky Scouse cunts’. Break that down. Viduka had scored four. Leeds had won. He had a three-year-old on his shoulders. The essence of Leeds right there in black and white. And grey. Loads of grey.
Leeds. As dreadful a set of lads as you can imagine and then actually good and we got them in the fourth round and we went there and we fucking stuck it right to them in an absolute dog of a game saved by two Liverpool goals, electrified by two Liverpool goals. Liverpudlian light in the West Yorkshire gloom. It was always thus. Never more can Liverpool be cast as the light in the world than when they play those dogs.
It kicked off at 12pm. Been out the night before in Leeds, fucking Leeds. Hadn’t washed. Hadn’t brushed teeth. Had woken, sat up, put a boot on and got in a cab to that hellhole, starving. My dissolution worse then than it can be even now, but by Christ the energy. The burning need. The celebration, the end, the everything, the everything of the arrangement. Walking out absolutely on fire. Put that champagne on ice. Cardiff twice. Everything there ever needed to be.
It was right to put the champagne on ice. But the champagne needed Leeds United away. Barmby lifting it. Heskey forcing it. Fowler smarter than everyone else on the pitch twice. Mucky, dirty simple Saturday mornings. Leeds done in. Liverpool heavenly. Went home that Saturday on a coach. Everton beaten by Tranmere. Had a wash. Went back out in town. Conquered fucking Leeds. Doesn’t get better.
Crouch Crowns Impressive Win: FA Cup Fifth Round v Manchester United – February 18, 2006
WHAT does your perfect cup moment look like? A truly great goal? A cup final winner? We’re lucky enough to have enjoyed plenty of both.
But it’s not all about 10 out of 10 strikes and lifting silver in a final.
There’s a great joy to be had from dumping a club you hate out of a knockout competition. It’s winner takes all – and contorting your face to spit out a “fuck off” while flicking the Vs at the opposition fans has never felt so good.
With all that in mind, what a great moment it was when the final whistle blew after Anfield had earlier erupted when Crouch’s head met Steven Finnan’s cross. Manchester United and Alex Ferguson – out of the cup. Liverpool and Benitez marching on.
It was the first time The Mancs had tasted an FA Cup defeat at the hands of Liverpool in 85 years. Ferguson trotted out excuses, we went on the ale.
What’s not to love?
Garcia Goal Secures Final Spot: FA Cup Semi-Final v Chelsea – April 22, 2006
LUIS Garcia. In a semi-final. Against Jose Mourinho.
Less than a year after incurring the wrath of shitcoats titty-lip in the European Cup, and at the height of the rivalry between Jose and Rafa Benitez, Garcia was at it again.
Because of what came after it, the semi isn’t talked about anywhere near enough, but Liverpool travelled to Old Trafford that day to face what is potentially the best Chelsea squad ever assembled.
Mourinho, twas ever thus, set out to stifle Liverpool and then sting us off late on with a bench containing the electric pairing of Arjen Robben and Damien Duff, maybe not anticipating the aggression that Benitez’s team would start the game.
Liverpool had already taken a 1-0 lead thanks to an early John Arne Riise free-kick, but despite a hatful of chances had failed to increase their lead.
Having ceded the first half, a renewed Chelsea emerged for the second period with purpose and were turning the screw, but, out of nowhere, seven minutes into the half, William Gallas made a mess of a Peter Crouch flick-on allowing Garcia to scamper in behind him, but having already missed a hatful, hearts were in mouths.
Some goals are in before they hit the net, this one should’ve counted double.
Having noticed Carlo Cudicini slowly advancing, the little magician, with the same foot that sent Gianluigi Buffon for the Gazzetta Dello Sport only 12 months earlier, webbed one into the Italian’s far corner to send 30,000 scousers at Old Trafford, including a certain Ben Heaton at his first away, into football heaven. Again.
Bellamy Strike Seals Aggregate Win: League Cup Semi-Final (Second Leg) v Manchester City – January 25, 2012
NEGATIVE thoughts going into this.
Liverpool weren’t a particularly good side, though to Kenny’s credit he had put out what was probably his strongest 11 that night.
The Reds had a slender lead after Gerrard dispatched a penalty just 13 minutes into the first leg. It felt too early then but they kept City out for what felt like years.
After half an hour Nigel De Jong slipped and managed to smash it right in the top corner from 30 yards out. Another Gerrard pen brought us level, but then Edin Dzeko.
Away goals would have been a horrible way to go. We had fought and fought. Then with over quarter of an hour to go, Glen Johnson throws it to Kuyt, Kuyt to Bellamy, Bellamy to the onrushing Johnson, back to Bellamy in space and past Joe Hart. A lovely bit of play from a Liverpool side that didn’t seem capable of lovely bits of play.
But Bellamy, against his old club and he celebrated. He was a top Red.
Dirk Downs United: FA Cup Fourth Round v Manchester United – January 28, 2012
DIRK Kuyt: “I have great memories of playing against United. I can remember a late goal of mine in the FA Cup.”
January 28, 2012.
A week in which Liverpool destroyed Manchester. Physically, mentally, tactically, in every way that counts.
Three days after the Reds had already knocked the blue half of Manchester out of the League Cup, Ferguson’s mob turned up at Anfield and fared no better against Kenny Dalglish’s gnarly Reds.
Jamie Carragher in midfield, no Bellamy, no Luis Suarez. No problem.
Pepe Reina…Andy Carroll…Kuyt…Goal.
A spindly David De Gea had no chance as the industrious Dutchman leathered it home in front of an adoring Kop, sending the Reds into pandemonium and the FA Cup fifth round, but mainly pandemonium.
The Manchester Ship Canal, The Haçienda, The Rovers Return…your boys took one hell of a beating.
Carroll Completes Derby Comeback: FA Cup Semi-Final v Everton – April 14, 2012
THIS goal needs no introduction.
There aren’t many better feelings than making it through to the final of a competition with as much history as the FA Cup, but it tastes even sweeter when it is in the final minutes against Everton at Wembley.
A lot of people would be quick to add that Liverpool nowadays should be beating Everton, but in a game with such stature, anyone can win.
Liverpool weren’t having the best of seasons, sitting eighth in the league and getting a lot of stick for the money they had spent on underperforming players.
However, after winning the League Cup earlier in the year, a win in this match meant Liverpool had the chance to do the double.
After going behind in the first half, a mistake from Sylvain Distin allowed Suarez to get back in it.
Then Carroll pulled off probably his most memorable goal for the Reds, flicking Bellamy’s free-kick into the far corner and sending us through to the semi-final, also extending Everton’s long wait for a trophy.