All things considered, Liverpool were not at their best on Tuesday against Stoke in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final tie against Stoke City. Though they ultimately advanced to the final on penalties, it wasn't a performance for the ages, and Adam Lallana revealed that once more manager Jürgen Klopp had some choice words for his side at the break after a dismal first half performance.
"In the first half we were poor and there were a few strong words at half-time," Lallana confirmed. "Not just from the manager but from ourselves. We knew it. We told each other that we had to be more composed on the ball, to want the ball and play out from the back rather than hitting it long, which we did a few too many times. I thought we settled down in the second half.
"I thought we were very composed in the end and Simon made two great saves from the spot. You always want your keeper to help you out and that's what he did. It was great for Joe, too. He has had a great couple of weeks, getting some important goals, and it was great for him to get the winning penalty on the night. It wasn't a pretty game but it was all about getting through and we are at Wembley now."
Though Liverpool fans might have hoped for a more enjoyable match to watch, getting to the cup final is the most important thing. Liverpool have failed to reach a cup final since the FA Cup final vs Chelsea in 2012, and for a club that purports to be all about the silverware, it's an unfortunate gap in success. But Liverpool now have a chance at their first piece of silverware under Jürgen Klopp and the team won't underestimate the importance of that fact.
"It is massive, absolutely massive," he said on the chance to play at Wembley for the League Cup title. "I won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with Southampton at Wembley a few years ago but this is completely different. You might laugh about it but I am proud of that! But this will be completely different. We have got a chance to win a trophy, which is brilliant."