Liverpool 0-1 Stoke City (agg. 1-1): Reds onto Wembley with Mignolet the hero

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Simon Mignolet saved shots from Peter Crouch and Marc Muniesa in the penalty shootout, and Liverpool overcame giving up its first leg lead to beat Stoke City in Tuesday’s League Cup semifinal second leg.

Joe Allen made the deciding penalty kick, and the Reds will go to Wembley despite allowing Marko Arnautovic to equalize the tie at 1 during first half stoppage time.

The final is Feb. 28 at Wembley Stadium, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has his first chance to snag silverware for the Anfield set.

The Reds will face the winner of Manchester City and Everton. That second leg is Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium, with Everton leading 2-1.

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Liverpool entered the second leg with a 1-0 lead on a road goal from Jordon Ibe, and Stoke was tasked with at least getting on the scoresheet to make things interesting.

The first half wasn’t much for the eyes, though Jon Walters came close to pulling the Potters even when he shot the ball past Simon Mignolet but missed the frame.

Yet Stoke broke through before halftime to level things at 1-1. It was Marko Arnautovic, off a 1-2-3 with Walters and Bojan Krkic. We ask, though, did Arnautovic stay level with the ball before Bojan’s pass? See below:

Anfield saw its heroes on the front foot to start the second half, and Firmino cranked a shot off the outside of the right post off a corner kick.

Stoke then got a hold of the game for the second stanza of the half, and Liverpool tried to flip it by bringing on Benteke.

The Potters made a change of their own when Arnautovic came up limping, and Shaqiri found his introduction to the leg.

The Reds has a late shout for a penalty when Erik Pieters saw a cross hit his arm, but none was given.

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As the match drew near to 90 minutes — still even — the Anfield crowd grew louder and the match’s atmosphere went next level. Both sides knew they were a goal away from a final. Liverpool has eight League Cups, the last in 2012, while Stoke hadn’t won or been to a final since 1972.

Extra time saw Can play a long ball for Benteke, who laid off for Firmino. A good shot came, but Stoke keeper Jack Butland remains in fine form.

Chelsea property Marko van Ginkel came close to putting Stoke ahead during the 104th minute, but Simon Mignolet slid to knock it away. And the second session of extra time found Mignolet robbing the same player.