Cobblers shock Pool with shootout triumph
(Game gone to penalties)Northampton win 4-2 on penalties
Liverpool's dismal start to the season continued last night as they were dumped out of the third round of the Carling Cup by League Two side Northampton.
Abdul Osman scored the winner in the shootout to complete a sensational cup upset after David Ngog and Nathan Ecclestone had missed their penalties.
Michael Jacobs had struck in the ninth minute of extra-time to put the Cobblers 2-1 up, but Ngog equalised with just five minutes left.
Milan Jovanovic's first Liverpool goal had given the home side a half-time lead, but Billy McKay silenced the crowd when he equalised for the minnows in the 56th minute.
Serbian international Jovanovic, a summer free transfer from Standard Liege, fired home in the ninth minute, but the Reds failed to capitalise on their advantage, despite dominating possession early on.
Prior to the game Daniel Agger had felt the need to publicly clarify comments he made on Sunday, which misrepresented as him saying he would not play Hodgson's 'long-ball game'.
Not that he needed to prove a point, but he did exactly that after just nine minutes, with a perfectly-judged defence-splitting pass through the inside-left channel, which Jovanovic collected and fired past Chris Dunn and into the far corner of the net.
However, Liverpool's rearranged defence was giving their opponents too much time on the edge of the penalty area and Jacobs twice failed to hit the target after finding space in the area.
The second half began in a similar vein, with Liverpool on top but not really killing things off and they were made to pay as, after Dani Pacheco fired a free-kick over, the Cobblers snatched an equaliser.
Kevin Thornton headed Liam Davis' hanging cross into the path of McKay and he blasted home past debutant 'keeper Brad Jones from close range.
It gave Northampton the lift they needed and incredibly, Liverpool found themselves on the back foot as the visitors looked more likely to grab the lead in normal time.
Jacobs' strike in the first half of extra-time looked to have won it but Ngog hit back to save manager Roy Hodgson's blushes, for a few more minutes at least.