"We’re just relieved to have won the tie," was goalkeeper Simon Mignolet's reaction following a surprisingly hard-fought victory over Notts County in the League Cup that saw the League One minnows force extra time with a pair of second half goals after Liverpool had seemed to have the game wrapped up in the first.
"We wanted to get through to the next round and in the end we did that," he continued. "Obviously when you lead 2-0 at half-time you hope that things are going to go a lot more easily for you that what happened tonight. That was disappointing, and so were the injuries we suffered."
The club hopes that Aly Cissokho and Joe Allen's injuries will turn out to be fairly minor and that both will be able to return to action shortly, but then neither seemed likely to start on the weekend when Liverpool face Manchester United even if they had been fit. However, Kolo Toure—who seemed a lock for the starting lineup—is expected to be out for an extended period.
And while Cissokho and Allen were injured during regulation, if Liverpool's poor second half play hadn't allowed Notts County to draw level, Toure never would have been injured and Liverpool wouldn't have been staring down the choice between starting a far from match fit Martin Skrtel or an unproven kid alongside Daniel Agger on the weekend.
"We made it difficult for ourselves in the second half," added Mignolet. "I wouldn’t say it was complacency but even if you lead 2-0, no matter who the opponent is, the game is not over. We tried to score a third goal but that didn’t work out and then they got a goal from a set-piece which changed the game.
"We have to learn lessons but we’re into the next round and that’s the most important thing. We want to do well in this competition and maybe further down the road we will look back and take the positives from this game. We still have a chance to win the cup. At one stage tonight it didn’t look like that would be the case."
With Liverpool three for three in league and cup to start the new season it's hardly time to panic, but if the sudden shortage of centre backs proves detrimental in the coming weeks and no suitable signings can be made before the close of the transfer window, some fans will inevitably look back and ask if advancing to the next round really was the most important thing that happened last night.
More from The Liverpool Offside:
- What Does Bill Shankly Mean to You?
- Suarez Returns to Action in Port Vale Friendly
- PSG Owner Reveals Sakho "Wants to Leave"
- Sakho Rumours Resurface Amidst New Injury Concerns
- Liverpool 4, Notts County 2 (aet): A Costly Win