Sorry for the delay in a wrap. But a big thank you to Rob for pinch hitting on the preview. I'm still getting used to this caring about the Carling Cup. The consecutive seasons of European football have sullied my tastes for it. But then, the first trophy I saw Liverpool win as a supporter was the 2001 Carling Cup (was it still the Carling Cup then?). So there's still a bit of romanticism in it. And let's face it, it's fun to make a Cup run, and guaranteeing yourself European football next year, even if it's just Europa League, well before May isn't the worst idea in the world.
And yesterday was one of those days when you're rewarded for putting in your token. Was it pretty? Not most of the time, no. But it was passionate, it was fast, it was loud, and it felt like a genuine cup tie. Sometimes, when you've got a weekday afternoon to kill, and you take the chance, you get rewarded with a rollicking time while all your stooge friends are at work. It's a good feeling.
-Oh Luis Suarez, we'll never suffer from a lack of material with you around. Yes, he was our talisman again and scored both goals. But what are you supposed to do with goals like the first? Refuse it? Maybe we have to come to terms that when on-song, Suarez is the transcendent sort of player that will just carry the team, everything will run through him, and that's just how it's going to be. Of course he does it after we took a critical eye of his shooting.
it also seems to me the announcer, and media in general, are in a real hurry to talk up the diving/complaining/niggling aspect of Suarez's game. Yeah, maybe there's too much of it, but he's hardly the worst offender in the sport or league. So why is that aspect of his game getting so much more scrutiny? Is it simply because of Patrice Evra's accusation before anything has been proven? That would be wholly unfair.
-Shame Coates made the error that led to the opener, because I thought he had a great match otherwise. Dominant in the air and tight on the ground. And his error wouldn't have mattered as much if Carragher hadn't gone charging toward the six-yard box to as if he were holding excalibur and paid no attention to Kenywe Jones pulling off of him. Once again, Carra gave a striker in the box far too much space to do damage. After Agger's assured display at left-back and Skrtel's 2nd half performance, doesn't Agger-Skrtel have to be the first choice axis now?
-Andy Carroll had a good first half, faded in the second half. I'm going to hold final judgement until he gets a few full games with Gerrard behind him. While he won't like up as well as other strikers have, that doesn't mean he can't at all. What's more encouraging is a couple of Carroll's chances came on the ground, and not just a heaved cross into the box.
-Thank you Maxi for going back to the useless, wandering version. The world makes a lot more sense now after last spring's descent into madness.