Caballero the shootout hero for Man City in Capital One Cup final
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | February 28, 2016
Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City AET (City win on penalties)
- Mignolet tipped close-range Aguero shot onto post
- Fernandinho broke deadlock just after the break
- Man City missed number of chances to double lead
- Late Coutinho equaliser took game to extra-time
- Caballero denied Lucas, Coutinho and Lallana in shootout
Man City spot-on in penalty win
Jurgen Klopp took charge at Wembley for the second time in his career, after his former club Borussia Dortmund were losing finalists there against Bayern Munich in the 2012/13 Champions League, but he once again cruelly tasted defeat at the famous stadium.
The Capital One Cup final came down to penalties, with the duo unable be separated after 120 minutes after goals in normal time from Fernandinho and Philippe Coutinho, and Willy Caballero was the unlikely hero as he saved three times in the shootout.
CabaHERO, more like. pic.twitter.com/ORekPBaMBp
— Coral (@Coral) February 28, 2016
Alberto Moreno had the first chance of the match within the opening minute, but his angled effort was caught low by Cabellero, who was controversially picked ahead of Joe Hart, down low.
Fernandinho provided City’s first shot early on too, as he tried an audacious volley from a corner that ended up way above the bar.
A nasty clash of heads between Liverpool teammates Emre Can and Mamadou Sakho seemingly affected the latter in the 24th minute, as he was completely wrong-footed by Sergio Aguero, who went one-on-one with Simon Mignolet.
The Belgian keeper saved brilliantly well to tip onto the post and somehow deny the Argentine’s goal-bound effort, but a clearly upset Sakho was then subbed off for Kolo Toure to join his younger brother Yaya on the pitch.
Fernandinho scores early in second-half
A fairly sedate first-half came to an end, but Man City were certainly ready after the break as Fernandinho fired under Mignolet’s body from the right to put his side 1-0 up in the 49th minute.
James Milner had the opportunity to equalise soon after, but scuffed a shot wide as the on-rushing Caballero made himself big.
But former Red Raheem Sterling could and should’ve all-but finished the game off with just under half-an-hour to go, as he somehow missed the target right in front of the goal from David Silva’s cross.
Silva, Aguero and Sterling had further chances to put the match away within the following 20 minutes, but City fans were instead left to hold their heads in their hands and sit nervously.
Coutinho strike sends Reds into extra-time
The Manchester club were left to rue those efforts, as Coutinho grabbed a late leveller, latching on to Adam Lallana’s shot against the post, to ultimately send the game into extra-time, much to the pleasure of Klopp.
Fernando looked to have broken Reds’ hearts minutes later, but Mignolet made amends for his earlier error by pulling off another fantastic close-range save.
A frantic finish to normal time was in stark contrast to the rest of the match, as City had numerous chances that somehow didn’t go in.
Chances galore in extra-time
Mignolet was once again back to top form just before half-time in extra-time, this time he denied Aguero, searching for his first ever goal in a cup final at the fifth attempt, with cat-like reflexes.
Substitute Divock Origi too had a decent chance saved by Caballero in the 109th minute, as his headed effort was palmed out, and the Belgian came close not long after but couldn’t quite get onto the end of a Milner cross.
Yorkshireman Milner nearly handed Man City the title on a plate, though, as he didn’t see Aguero was waiting for his headed back pass. Thankfully for Liverpool, the Argentine couldn’t capitalise as he shot well over the bar.
Tempers flared near the end, with Lallana unhappy after Yaya Toure’s dangerous high challenge, but play was soon brought to an end, with fans treated to a penalty shootout.
Toure picking up Lallana like he's taking out the bins. pic.twitter.com/zTTQuLFC4v
— Coral (@Coral) February 28, 2016
Penalty shootout round-up
Can stepped up first for Liverpool and cooly slotted in a Panenka penalty. (Goal)
Fernandinho struck left and hit the post. (Miss)
Caballero saved well up high to his left to save Lucas Leiva’s effort. (Miss)
Jesus Navas squeezed shot past Mignolet’s right hand down low. (Goal)
Caballero stopped Coutinho’s weak shot to his left again. (Miss)
Aguero finally scored past Mignolet on night to Belgian’s left. (Goal)
Lallana finds the hand of Caballero too, to his right this time. (Miss)
Yaya shoots left with winning kick. (Goal)
Man City win 3-1 on penalties.