So Jordan Henderson may have had his worst game of the season at a position where he might not have yet had an especially good one for Liverpool Football Club. So Steven Gerrard at times seemed as though he needed to have his name tacked on to the "Jose Enrique should never shoot from anywhere ever" amendment. So Andy Carroll couldn't keep up his recent run of form and Dirk Kuyt probably should have been involved earlier and the 442 is a more terrible blight than the Bubonic Plague and Luis Suarez doesn't seem to have recovered the form he lost some time last October.
So the game was far from pretty for long stretches and by the time it was over it had left most watching feeling as drained as though they'd themselves just played 120 minutes of football.
Liverpool won a trophy for the first time in six years a season after Arsenal fell to supposedly overmatched opposition in that season's League Cup final. In the past Liverpool have lost trophies that by all rights they should have won—like in 1988's FA Cup final against Wimbledon. And so sometimes all that really matters is to get to the trophy in the end, and never mind the stumbles along the way.
Besides, Liverpool never, ever do things the easy way—especially in the League Cup. As we touched on last week in our series looking back at past League Cup wining campaigns, the finals never seem to go smoothly or easily no matter the opponent or Liverpool's form going in. In fact, only once out of their now eight victories have Liverpool won without at least going into extra time. They've won three in the added period, two in shootouts in the Premier League era, and two in replays before then. Against Bolton in 1995 they won in regulation time, but other that, when Liverpool wins it takes more than the full ninety.
There are reasons for reservation and reasons for complaint and reasons for skepticism, but for now, Liverpool have won a trophy. Let's put off all the rest for at least one more day and focus on simply being happy about that now that the dust has settled and everybody has hopefully had the chance to rest up from Sunday's un/surprisingly draining affair.
Video by the inimitable LumixGoals via LFC in HD
And as a bonus for those who were stuck watching yesterday's match on Fox Soccer or some other carrier that cut out before the celebrating was over, have some of Sky's uneven but at least they didn't cut away like complete idiots post-match coverage: