Carroll delivers at right moment for Reds

Liverpool FC manager Kenny Dalglish.

Good news for a change for Liverpool FC. Last week Fenway Sports Group, the club’s American owners, sacked Damien Comolli, who was director of football at Anfield, but they kept faith with manager Kenny Daglish. And the Scot in turn kept faith with his expensive striker Andy Carroll. Daglish spent a club record £35 million last year bringing Carroll from Newcastle and it was a deal which many supporters and pundits have questioned over the past 13 months. In midweek Carroll scored the winner as Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 in the Premier League. Then on Saturday, Carroll scored another late winner as the Pool beat their Merseyside neighbors Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley. Liverpool, who have already won the League Cup trophy this season, will now play Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at Wembley on May 5. Chelsea, who face Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal tonight, beat London rivals Spurs 5-1 in the second semifinal at Wembley on Sunday.

Meanwhile no change at the top of the Premier League with Manchester United now odds on favorites to win their 20th League title. There was an upset in midweek when lowly Wigan had their first ever win over United on the same night that City beat West Brom 4-0 to reduce the lead at the top to five points. Then on Saturday City beat Norwich 6-1 at Carrow Road to reduce United’s lead to two points, but by 5 p.m. on Sunday evening United had stretched the lead once again to five points after a 4-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford. For the second week in a row United went ahead with a Wayne Rooney spot-kick after yet another questionable penalty secured by Ashley Young going down easily in the penalty area. Wolves, who drew 0-0 with Sunderland on Saturday, are now five points adrift at the bottom of the table and seem certain to be relegated. But the other two relegation places will be a dog fight between Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan and QPR.

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In Scotland Hibernian, who are managed by Dubliner Pat Fenlon, qualified for the Scottish Cup final, beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the semifinal at Hampden Park on Saturday. Hibs have not won the Scottish Cup since 1902 and they face Edinburgh neighbours Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final for the first time since 1896. Hearts ended Celtic’s hopes of a League-Cup double when they won the second semifinal 2-1 on Sunday.