It’s official… No Allen, no party!
Liverpool’s decisive Welsh midfielder sent them to Wembley on Tuesday night by converting the penalty that sealed a 6-5 shootout win over Stoke City, who had won 1-0 at Anfield to tie the Capital One Cup semi-final on aggregate.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were pretty shoddy overall, but not Allen. He was an 8/10 boss, according to our friends at Empire of the Kop.
Check out Empire’s player ratings in full below.
Liverpool again played horribly but got the job done!
We beat Stoke on penalties and are going to Wembley in February, where we’ll meet either Manchester City or Everton.
GK) Simon Mignolet – 7.5/10
We can’t blame him for Stoke’s goal, but he didn’t fill his defence with confidence – he never does. However, Mignolet arrived when it mattered – making two saves in the shoot-out. Big well done. Let’s hope it spurs him on to better things.
DR) Jon Flanagan – 7/10 (Ibe – 106?)
Gave his all tonight, making his first start in what seems like forever. He visibly tired but flew into tackles and left nothing on the pitch. Almost wanted it too much at times, which affected his decision making, but we cannot fault the desire.
DL) Alberto Moreno – 5/10
Consistently lost Jon Walters in the first-half, allowing the tough Irishman through on goal on two occasions. His defending for Stoke’s goal was also questionable, and although his efforts in Stoke’s half deserve a mention – we need something more solid at the back right now.
DC) Mamadou Sakho – 8/10
Made some crucial blocks as Stoke piled on the pressure in his typically unconventional style. We needed him tonight, and he thankfully looked to have regained the form he’s been missing in recent weeks.
DC) Kolo Toure – 6/10 (Allen – 85?)
Potentially Toure’s last game as a starter now Dejan Lovren is fit again, Toure did relatively well, although he didn’t fill anyone with confidence.
DMC) Lucas – 6/10
Slow in the middle, and poor in the first-half – but so were Henderson and Can. Moved back to centre-back so that Allen could inject some creativity into the side – which Lucas lacked. Bagged his penalty with aplomb.
MC) Emre Can – 5/10
Another dodgy performance from Can, who works hard, but often to no avail. He doesn’t use his energy sensibly, and didn’t create anything at all from the middle. Missed pen.
MC) Jordan Henderson – 6/10 (Benteke – 62?)
Poor tonight, and withdrawn after the hour after a shoddy evening. Hopefully he wasn’t injured, as he’s still totally essential to us.
AMR) James Milner – 6/10
Constantly wanted the ball out on the right, but his delivery was never good enough, and he often chose to just pass it infield instead, allowing Stoke off. Very solid pen.
AML) Adam Lallana – 5/10
Awful when in positions to properly create something. Basically turned into trouble every time. But he did bag the opening penalty, which saw us on our way.
FC) Roberto Firmino – 7/10
Had Liverpool’s first shot on target in the first minute of injury-time, which sums up a woeful night going forward. His movement was good, as was his touch, but it just didn’t come off the Brazilian – who lacked quality players around him. Lovely side-foot pen.
Christian Benteke – 7/10 – His touch and holdup play was good when he came on, but he didn’t bust a gut to get in the area enough. His penalty was incredibly cool, however.
Joe Allen – 8/10 – Changed the game when he came on. Passed well, crisply and notched the winning spot-kick.
Jordon Ibe – 5/10 – Really poor when he came on.