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Carling Cup Final Player Ratings

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Seriously, why are Liverpool hell bent on winning cups on PKs? That makes three in a row and frankly my nerves can't handle it anymore. It definitely shouldn't have been this close and Liverpool's lack of clinicality was on full display for the world to see. According to @optajoe (Opta Sports twitter handle), Dirk Kuyt's goal was Liverpool's 42nd attempt on net; two goals on 42 shots (actually more since there was plenty of time after that). That is beyond impotent. While I am happy to have some silverware, this is becoming a bigger worry by the minute.

Who knows what Arsenal team will show up, but I assure you the North London RVPs will take their chances. Not to be a downer, but that was very frustrating to watch. I'm sure it was great for the neutral, even if most of them were pulling for Cardiff.

On to the ratings:


Reina - 6 - Not a ton he could do on the goals although he was megged for one of them. He was let down a number of times by his teammates not closing down quick enough.

Enrique - 7 - He was great with Downing for the first 30 minutes, but his forward presence seemed to fade after that. He was uncharacteristically done over a few times, but he also made a number of good tackles as well.

Skrtel - 8 - He was a rock back there and took his goal well. He seemed to win nearly everything Cardiff threw at him in the air. @OptaJoe tweeted that he was the first Liverpool player to score at Wembley since Steve McManaman in 1995.

Agger - 7 - Had a solid game in the heart of defense. His injury is very unfortunate and hopefully it isn't a broken rib.

Johnson - 8 - That was a sweet strike he almost pulled off, notching the woodwork yet again for Liverpool. He did his best to provide width down the right flank as Henderson was doing nothing. His attacking presence was a real threat all game. Even had the cajones to step up and roof the penalty. That cared the crap otu of me, but well done Glen.

Henderson - 4 - A four might be generous, but I think we have established he is poor out right (just like Downing). He completely whiffed on a nice cross. Luckily it fell to Gerrard who did him one better by blasting it into the stands. This was an awful game for him and he knew it. I hope he can keep his head up and put in a decent performance his next time on the pitch.

Gerrard - 5 - Missed his penalty (albeit with one of the best penalty stops I have ever seen) and was very much off his game. Nearly every shot seemed to go over the net and even his touches seemed a bit off. It is nice that we can win when he doesn't play well, but I'd rather not have to rely on that.

Adam - 5 - It was hot or cold for him. He made a few great plays, followed by a few horrendous plays. His passes were also hit or miss and his long balls definitely seemed more off than on. That penalty was atrocious. Some one in row ZZ probably has quite the headache after being hit with that shot.

Downing - 8 - He was playing like I would have expected Stevie to play. His crosses were fantastic, even when no one was there to get on them. That isn't on Downing. He wasn't afraid to take people on and he did so to great effect. This was a really good game for him. However, once again he faded when he was forced out right when Bellamy came on. Took his penalty well also.

Carroll - 5 - This was a difficult one for me, but I down-graded him because his movement sucked again. He did have a few decent touches and knock-dhows, but as a complete body of work, I was not impressed with him. He seems to not understand how to get on the ball side of his marker and his runs were not proactive, but very reactive. You can't beat defenders that way. The big play that got me was when he didn't follow Suarez into the box as Suarez took on his men down the goal line. The ball was spilled right to where he should have been, and at that point he finally reacted, too late. I was glad to see him go as he had really faded from the game.

Suarez -6 - Should have scored a number of times (yeah, I know, story of the season). He did cleverly flick the ball onto the poast for Skrtel to put away. I think I saw him call bank shot on that. He was his usual menacing self, and was a thorn in the side of the defenders, but he wasn't even close to clinical enough. That said, he still was a huge threat, even when his touch was clearly off on the day.


Carragher - 5 - The defense definitely was worse with him on the pitch. I don't know why, but it was a step backwards. That shouldn't be a surprise, but I'm just calling it like I see it.

Kuyt - 9 - Super sub. He immediately made an impact and looked much more lively that Carroll. Obviously he scored as well and cleared a ball off the line. Fantastic cameo.

Bellamy - 7 - He wasn't as impactful as I would have thought, but he was a major upgrade of Henderson. He chased down the Cardiff backline in typical Bellamy fashion.