We just about overcame an industrious and hard-working Stoke side in the second leg of the League Cup final at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Marko Arnautovic’s offside goal on the stroke of half time was enough to force the game to penalties, and despite Emre Can missing his, we managed to progress thanks to misses from ex-Liverpool man Peter Crouch (cheers, mate!) and Marc Muniesa. Joe Allen’s decisive seventh kick proved to be the winner.
Allen has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent weeks, scoring a late equaliser in the 3-3 draw with Arsenal and the opener in the 3-0 win over Exeter. Those goals, combined with much-improved all-round performances, have seen Liverpool fans start to clamour for him to be given a regular starting berth in the midfield.
His calming presence was on show again against Stoke – as he turned in an assured performance after replacing Kolo Toure in the 85th minute.
He is one of our few midfielders who plays with his head up and can pick a pass. It’s something we’ve sorely lacked since Gerrard left.
After the game on Twitter, fans were openly crying out for him to start in the coming weeks and months ahead.
Joe Allen should start on Sat against West Ham In the FA Cup, we also have a big game away to Leicester City on Tue in the league #LFC
— Celous •• © (@Celousrach) January 26, 2016
Joe Allen finally unleashed the Welsh Xavi, I take it all back. Mignolet still has a lot to prove but his performance tonight was faultless.
— Jonjo Kuhn (@JonjoKuhn) January 26, 2016
Joe allen being #lfc hero is becoming alarmingly regular now a days man deserves a start
— matthew byrne (@mattdillion14) January 26, 2016
I never thought i’d say this at the start of the season but Joe Allen has to start games, Can has been hit and miss all season, mostly miss
— Jamie Ellis (@TheGallaKnob) January 26, 2016
Joe Allen was immense today when he came on. The winning penalty summed up his performance. He’s a new man these past few weeks
— Michael (@_MichaelPaul91_) January 26, 2016
Nah all LAD posts about joe allen aside, yet again he was brilliant when he came on, both with and without the ball. Has to start playing
— Greg Sinnott (@G_Sinnott3) January 26, 2016
Terrible performance but we are through, Joe Allen and his beard were heroic again
— Josh Green (@JGreen_36) January 26, 2016
What has Joe Allen got to do to start a game ? He’s in good form & retains possession far better than our other midfielders.
— Des Linoleum OBE ⚽ (@DesLinoleum) January 26, 2016
How long before we start calling Pirlo the Italian Joe Allen? 😅 #LFC
— Drew anderson (@DrewAndo84) January 26, 2016