Team Line-Up's

Liverpool Northampton
Jones Dunn
Kelly Davis
Kyrgiakos Holt
Agger Tozer
Wilson Johnson
Pacheco Jacobs
Spearing Thornton
Lucas Gilligan
Jovanovic Osman
N'gog Rodgers
Babel McKay
Hansen Guinan
Shelvey Wedderburn
Eccelston Herbert
Ince Harris
Amoo Slowe
Wisdom Walker
Robinson Kaziboni
Herbert for Rogers 80'
Guinan for McKay 83'
Wedderburn for Johnson 87'
Eccelston for Jovanovic 90'
Shelvey for Babel 100'
Ince for Pacheco 105' + 1
Jovanovic 9' McKay 56'
N'Gog 116' Jacobs 98'
Yellow Cards
  Thornton 59'
  Rogers 65'
  Davis 81'
Red Cards
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Liverpool   N'ton
61% Possession 39%
4 Shots On Target 4
10 Shots Off Target 7
6 Corners 7
11 Fouls 10
0 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0

Match Report

Northampton Town produced one of the shocks of the season as they dumped Liverpool out of the Carling Cup with a 4-2 win on penalties at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The Cobblers defied all the odds to book a place in round four after both David Ngog and Nathan Eccleston missed for the home side during the shoot-out.

The Reds had forced spot-kicks when Ngog headed in his seventh goal of the season on 115 minutes to deny Kevin Thornton the headlines after Billy McKay had cancelled out Milan Jovanovic's opener in normal time.

It means the League Two outfit have become the first side from English football's fourth tier to defeat the Reds in this competition and leaves Roy Hodgson to pick up the pieces ahead of Saturday's league clash at home to Sunderland.

Liverpool had gone into the tie on the back of a narrow 3-2 defeat at Manchester United and Hodgson opted to the use the occasion to take a closer look at his fringe players.

In came Brad Jones and Danny Wilson to make their Liverpool debuts while Jay Spearing, Martin Kelly and Dani Pacheco were amongst a clutch of youngsters eager to make an impression.

The teamsheet no doubt served as an inspiration to the Northampton players who looked ready to give as good as they got until the eighth minute when a moment of class saw Liverpool take control.

A direct run from within his own half from Daniel Agger saw the Dane side step an opponent before sliding a delightful pass towards Jovanovic in the inside left channel. The Serbia international took the ball on the run and surged in on goal before drilling a superb shot into the bottom corner of Chris Dunn's net.

It meant Liverpool had scored in their 22nd consecutive home match in the League Cup and those that had braved the adverse weather conditions would have felt convinced that the hosts had given themselves the perfect platform to go and put on a show.

However, Lucas's low 25 yarder was the best they could muster in the moments following the opener and as the half wore on the Cobblers slowly began to rediscover their confidence.

John Johnson's deep cross from the right was headed high into the Kop by Michael Jacobs before Thornton smashed wide from distance after being allowed to run unchallenged at the Reds goal.

The visitors were clearly settling into the match and after Jacobs curled another shot wide they had their best effort of the half.

A neat move saw McKay pick up a loose ball on the far left of the Reds' penalty area and curve a sensational effort that Jones was relieved to see fizz just wide of his far post.

If that wasn't enough warning for Hodgson's men, then they were left heaving a huge sigh of relief on 36 minutes when Ryan Gilligan crashed a shot off target after a high free-kick had caused havoc in the Liverpool rearguard.

It was certainly proving to be a more even contest than many had predicted and although the home side made a bight start to the second period, few could have argued that the visitors didn't deserve their equaliser on 56 minutes.

A clipped ball into the area from Liam Davis was nodded back across goal by Thornton, allowing McKay to crash an unstoppable shot on the turn past Jones.

With the bit between their teeth, the visitors poured forward in numbers and after Thornton crashed a dangerous free-kick into the wall, Jacobs was left frustrated to see his low cross deflect off Ngog and arrow right across the face of goal.

The Northampton support roared their approval and they continued to look the more likely as the game entered the final stages.

However, with neither side able to find the killer blow, the match went into extra-time and Hodgson responded by introducing fresh legs in the shape of Nathan Eccleston.

The Cobblers had arrived at Anfield knowing they would have to make history to book a place in the fourth round and they sent their fans into dreamland on 99 minutes when they stole in front.

Substitute Courtney Herbert crossed from the right and after Jones had made an initial save, the ball dropped to Thornton who smashed it high into the roof of the Kop end net.

The Reds were labouring but should have drawn level on 104 minutes when Sotirios Kyrgiakos headed inches wide following substitute Jonjo Shelvey's pinpoint cross from the right.

As the visitors began to struggle with fatigue the hosts found more space to exploit and they were left even more frustrated on 110 minutes when Lucas Leiva sent a 25 yard blockbuster whistling past the post with Dunn beaten all-ends up.

It looked like being one of those days until five minutes from the end when a corner from the left was headed goalwards by Kyrgiakos, allowing Ngog to react and nod home the equaliser.

Northampton responded and should have stolen it just seconds later when Kelly produced goal-line heroics to keep out substitute Nathaniel Wedderburn's low shot after Jones had failed to deal with a ball into the box.

It had been a superb finale to what had developed into a barnstorming tie and if nothing else, the visitors could be proud they had taken the Reds to penalties on their own turf.

Given Liverpool's record of just one defeat in 11 competitive shoot-outs, the home support would have been confident that they would finally see off the visitors' plucky resistance.

Substitute Steve Guinan was first up in front of the Kop and he buckled under the pressure, crashing his shot high into one of world football's most famous stands.

It left Ngog with the chance to give Liverpool an early advantage, but the poise he had shown in the Europa League match with Steaua Bucharest deserted him and he fired his shot wide of the right-hand post.

Thornton, Shelvey, Liam Davis, Agger and Jacobs all then found the net before Eccleston missed to allow Abdul Osman the honour of firing Northampton into the next round.

Head to Head - Northampton Town