Carling Cup - Liverpool dumped out by Cobblers
Liverpool blew one of their best chances of winning a trophy this season after suffering an embarrassing 4-2 penalty shootout Carling Cup defeat against League Two side Northampton at Anfield.
Having taken a ninth-minute lead through Milan Jovanovic, his first goal since joining the club from Standard Liege in the summer, the hosts should have wrapped up the third-round tie.
But Billy McKay and Michael Jacobs turned things around, and although David N'Gog snatched a late equaliser to make it 2-2 on the night, the Cobblers went through on spot-kicks to book their place in the fourth round for the first time since 1966/67.
"Quite frankly, when they took the lead in extra time it was going to be an uphill battle," Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports.
"We all know penalty shootouts are a little bit of a lottery but on the other hand when you are at home and you are kicking them in front of the Kop, you do harbour hopes at least that it's going to be your team that comes out on top," he added.
For the first time in five years Liverpool have not got past the third round, denying them a chance in a competition they were thinking about winning.
Those chances were increased by the exits of the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham but an under-strength team failed to deliver.
It would have not been so bad had the Cobblers come to Anfield and given a particularly stirring performance but they were only really energised by McKay's goal, growing in confidence as their opponents' gradually receded.