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Liverpool 4, Notts County 2 (aet): First Thoughts

A pair of first half goals looked certain to set Liverpool on the way to victory, but a sloppy second half led to extra time as the hosts struggled to pass the first hurdle in their League Cup campaign and lost two key players to injury.

Laurence Griffiths

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Liverpool 4 Sterling 4', Sturridge 29', 105+4', Henderson 110'
Notts County 2 Arquin 62', Phillip 84'

  • Starting on the left, Raheem Sterling took a page out of Philippe Coutinho's book by looking to drift inside and play off the shoulder of Sturridge whenever possible. The payoff was almost instant, in large part thanks to a great Sturridge run to drag defenders out of position for Liverpool's opening goal, and Sturridge would quickly follow up his great run on Sterling's goal with a marker of his own on the way to a Man of the Match performance.

  • Welcome to Anfield, Aly Cissokho. Somebody probably should have warned you about left backs and Liverpool tending to end badly.

  • Jordon Ibe, for all his promise and talent—and he clearly has a great deal of both—once again showed by his tendency to dwell on the ball that he's still a season or two behind Raheem Sterling in his development and likely not yet ready to be a regular contributor, reinforcing Liverpool's need to bring in a bit of talent on the wing before the transfer window closes.

  • So. Set-piece defending. One of these days Liverpool might want to think about sorting it out. Particularly the part where half of the squad decide it'd be a good time to take a quick nap while Yoann Arquin heads home unmarked.

  • And to then follow up a spot of terribly shoddy set-piece defending by being scored against on the break after hitting the post a handful of times and wasting countless other opportunities to put the game away? How very Liverpool.

  • In retrospect, if you're going to struggle to close out a match against lower league opposition with the game going to extra time, it'd probably look better to start with the kids and be able to say you never really cared. It'd also make it less likely to end with Kolo Toure injured and looking like he'll be out until the new year.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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