LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23:  The League Cup trophy on display prior to the Capital One Cup third round match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on September 23, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Liverpool and Manchester City will meet in Capital One Cup Final

The Capital One Cup Final is set. Liverpool and Manchester City will face off at Wembley Stadium one month from now, February 28. The two teams previously played on November 21 as Liverpool beat Manchester City 4-1 at Etihad Stadium.

Both teams had to survive some scares in the Semifinal before eventually sealing their place in the Final. For Liverpool, they had a 1-0 aggregate lead as they and Stoke went to Anfield for the second leg.

Stoke had no choice but to score and they did just that right before halftime. While he was offside, Marko Arnautovic took care of the equalizer that leveled Stoke and Liverpool.

The score would remain the same and the game would eventually go to a penalty shootout. In the shootout, Stoke had the perfect ball placement but Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet came up huge on a couple critical saves after being very inconsistent over the past month. Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland struggled mightily, not looking that confident in goal and going the wrong direction on many of Liverpool’s penalties. The end result was Joe Allen winning the shootout for Liverpool in the eighth round to send them to their record 12th appearance.

As far as Manchester City was concerned, they had to come from behind in order to win. They were behind Everton 2-1 going into the second leg and Everton had thoughts of a Merseyside Derby at Wembley.

Everton even went as much as scoring first in the second leg to take a 3-1 lead. Ross Barkley scored a great goal into the bottom left corner of the goal.

That 3-1 lead didn’t last for long though. Fernandinho got a fortunate deflection off of Leighton Baines and cut Everton’s lead back to one goal.

What happened next was the most controversial part of the game. Kevin de Bruyne scored but the referees missed a call that should’ve stopped play and thus not even have been able to make an attempt on goal. Raheem Sterling’s pass to de Bruyne was just barely out of bounds so it should’ve been a goal kick. But the refs missed that and the goal stood, putting Manchester City level with Everton. Aguero would then give Man City the lead just seven minutes later, eventually giving City the win 4-3 on aggregate.

That happiness was short lived though. Manchester City may have won the game and a place at Wembley but it came at the cost of de Bruyne getting injured. Everyone held their breath as de Bruyne had his leg wrapped up and was stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. The team will know more in the next day or two but this could be a long term injury that will hurt City in their other competitions, much less the Capital One Cup.

So now the Capital One Cup Final is set, Liverpool vs. Manchester City. Both teams went through this tournament balancing rest for their regular starters but still fielding winning lineups. Liverpool has a chance to win their record ninth Capital One Cup and give Jurgen Klopp a trophy in just his fourth month as Liverpool manager.

Manchester City will look to avenge their 4-1 beatdown at the hands of Liverpool earlier this season and would win their first trophy in a possible unprecedented quadruple. Let’s not kid ourselves, Manchester City is not going to win all four trophies but the Capital One Cup is the easiest out of the four to win right now. Like Liverpool, a win here can carry on momentum for the rest of the season and the opportunity for more success.

Phillip Bupp

About Phillip Bupp

Managing editor for 32 Flags, news editor for The Comeback and staff writer for Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me @phillipbupp, @32flags as well as @MLSTitleBelt, a project where the title holder must defend the title in every MLS game.