Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

So That's What Happens When It's Still All Square after Everyone's Had a Go! Mark My Words with Mark Proctor

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

So That's What Happens When It's Still All Square after Everyone's Had a Go! Mark My Words with Mark Proctor

Article excerpt

THE penalty shoot-out drama at Anfield was unbelievable! In a lifetime of being in football, I still learned something new.

I didn't realise that after both keepers had scored in sudden death that it went back to the start and the players who had taken the first lot of penalties had to step up again.

The way it was going, I thought both sets of coaches were going to have to try their luck from 12 yards.

It was gut-wrenching in a way for Boro to bow out of the Capital One Cup after such an astonishing, record-equalling shootout.

But I'm a glass half-full person. Boro were exceptional on the night.

As I said in my last column, Brendan Rodgers would be resting some of his best players but still pick a Liverpool side strong enough to earn victory.

The Liverpool side he put out would cost hundreds of millions to buy and they should have beaten Boro comfortably, but they were taken down to the wire and then some.

Rodgers left some gunpowder on the bench in Balotelli and Skrtel, but Balotelli had to come on in the end.

And Markovic, the Serbian winger who Liverpool forked out PS20m for in the summer, had to come off.

And that was as much down to what Boro did as what Liverpool didn't do. It was a vastly different challenge, but I can recall being part of a Boro side who went to second division Swansea in the FA Cup in 1981.

The BBC cameras were there anticipating an upset but we tonked them 5-0. Most football fans tuning in and - dare I say it - TV producers would have been expecting a Liverpool procession against Boro.

There is nothing better than showing what you're all about to a national TV audience.

Fair enough, Boro might not have won the game, but going forward they should take massive confidence from what was an outstanding team performance from back to front.

They won't come up against anywhere near that kind of quality over the rest of the Championship season. …

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