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Thursday 12 December 2019

Jamie Carragher questions Liverpool's penalty shoot-out tactics in Capital One Cup defeat

Liverpool players are dejected after losing the penalty shootout
Liverpool players are dejected after losing the penalty shootout

Mark Critchley

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher questioned Jurgen Klopp’s decision not to go ‘top-heavy’ in the penalty shoot-out which decided yesterday’s Capital One Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Leiva and Adam Lallana stepped up to take Liverpool’s spot-kicks and all but Can saw their efforts saved by opposition goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

James Milner, Liverpool’s regular first-choice penalty taker, was in line to take the fifth. The likes of club captain Jordan Henderson and striker Daniel Sturridge were not in the first five takers.

“I may be wrong, I don't know about going top heavy - I don't know why Lucas has taken the second penalty,” Carragher said after the game. “Maybe it goes in order but sometimes you may not even get to the fifth penalty.

“You want your best penalty takers first, there’s no guarantee that everyone is going to score.”

Carragher, who was speaking his punditry role on Sky Sports, also directly questioned why Sturridge was not selected to take a kick in the shoot-out.

Klopp claimed that the England international, who seemed particularly emotional after the defeat, was suffering from severe cramp, meaning he could barely walk.

“He [Sturridge] looks upset,” Carragher noted. “He had cramps towards the end but unless he has an injury I don't see why he hasn't taken a penalty.”

Can scored Liverpool’s first kick of the shoot-out with an impudent ‘Panenka’ but Caballero was equal to each of their following three efforts.

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