Now it has come to this. The second leg of this epic encounter which will see one side reach Wembley for the Carling Cup final for a shot at winning the League Cup.
Flashback: Man City 0 Liverpool FC 1
Liverpool FC piled on the pressure in the early minutes, being rewarded by a cooly taken Steven Gerrard penalty kick after some heavy pressing and consistent attacks. After that, the Reds sat back and soaked up the pressure, preventing Manchester City from scoring an equalizer, having to resort to 5 defenders towards the last 30 minutes of the game.
Liverpool FC: Kenny Dalglish is likely to make a number of changes to his squad for this game, after he publicly condemned his squad after a poor showing at Bolton, which saw the Reds lose 3-1 to the Trotters over the weekend. Jay Spearing is likely to return to the lineup after recovering from a hamstring strain. Lucas Leiva (injured) and Luis Suarez (suspension) are still out for this one whilst Maxi Rodriguez and Craig Bellamy are both doubts for this one, given their fitness woes throughout the course of this season.
Man City: Man City will miss the services of their enigmatic striker Mario Balotelli after the FA dished out a 4 game ban on the Italian for violent conduct. Brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure are both at the African Cup of Nations whilst Vincent Kompany is serving the last game of his own ban. Carlos Tevez and Wayne Bridge will continue to be long term absentees and it is likely that Stefan Savic will start the game at the heart of the Man City defence.
- This is Liverpool’s 14th semi-final,equalling the record held by Arsenal.
- The Reds have won their last three semi-finals – Crystal Palace (2001), Sheffield United (2003) and Watford two years later.
- The Reds have used 24 players in this season’s five League Cup games with Pepe Reina and Jay Spearing the only men to start them all.
- The Reds have not lost two games in a row since September.
- City have won two of their last six away games in all competitions and in that time have scored four goals.
Stats courtesy of LiverpoolFC.tv (Ged Rea)