2.17 AM Wednesday, 6 December 2023
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 05:28 06:47 12:13 15:10 17:33 18:51
06 December 2023

Kenny dedicates City win to Liverpool fans

Liverpool's Craig Bellamy celebrates scoring his team's second goal with Jordan Henderson during the Carling Cup semifinal second leg at Anfield on Wednesday in Liverpool, England. (GETTY)


Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy set his sights on shooting down home town club Cardiff after Kenny Dalglish's side reached their first Wembley final for 16 years on Wednesday.

After scoring the crucial goal to defeat Manchester City, his former club, in the semi-finals of the League Cup, Bellamy immediately targeted another of his ex-clubs in the final.

Cardiff City stand between Liverpool and their first major silverware for six years following a 3-2 aggregate win over Premier League leaders City.

Bellamy, who was born in the Welsh capital, spent the whole of last season on loan at the Championship club after failing to cement a regular place in Roberto Mancini's City side.

"Last night (Tuesday) I saw Cardiff go through and I was pleased for them," said Bellamy, after his eighth goal since returning to Liverpool for a second spell last August on a free transfer, downed City.

"It couldn't be a better final for me. It's funny how football can work out at times. To get to the final is big for us."

Liverpool have not appeared at Wembley since Eric Cantona's goal won Manchester United the FA Cup in 1996.

But they will start as favourites to win the League Cup final for a record eighth time when they meet Cardiff next month.

Liverpool took a slender 1-0 lead into the second leg but, on a dramatic night, Nigel de Jong levelled the aggregate scores before Steven Gerrard restored his team's advantage from the penalty spot.

Edin Dzeko made it 2-1 to City at a sell-out Anfield before Bellamy had the final say to leave Liverpool within touching distance of landing their first trophy since winning the FA Cup in 2006.

"It's not been the best times for the football club and it's a fantastic reward for the supporters who have stood by us," said Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, who had been critical of his players after a 3-1 defeat at struggling Bolton four days earlier.

"We're certainly pleased with the outcome. The players were magnificent and everything that was lacking on Saturday was there in abundance tonight.

"Only Fabio Aurelio and Doni have not played in this competition so everyone in the squad has made a contribution so that's a great reflection on the players, including those who never played tonight.

"It's great for the people who have stood by us because it has not been great for Liverpool Football Club over the last few years. I've said before if we stick together we can get our reward."

On the club's first Wembley visit for 16 years, Dalglish said: "We know where we're going. I'm sure the driver will remember."

And on goal hero Bellamy, Dalglish added: "If Manchester City have any other players like that who they do not want to keep, they know where we are."

City manager Roberto Mancini was angry referee Phil Dowd gave a penalty which allowed Gerrard to score from the spot. It was awarded after Daniel Agger's shot stuck the shin of defender Micah Richards before hitting the defender's hand.

"Their first goal was not a penalty and we should have had a penalty ourselves," said Mancini.

"I do feel a sense of injustice. We lost the first game at home and that makes it difficult but we scored two goals.

"Our target was this; to score one goal in the first half and try not to concede. It was a stupid penalty and in the second half we changed because we needed to score.
"I don't think this defeat will have any effect on our title hopes because it is a different competition.

"However, it was important that the team put in a good performance because it is not easy to score at Anfield.

"It doesn't make it more difficult for me that Craig scored the winner. I am happy for Craig. What do you want me to say. Of course I am disappointed we didn't reach the final.

"But I am happy for Craig. What difference does it make if Bellamy scored or Gerrard scored. I said hello to him before the game so there was no need to wish him luck afterwards."