Last-gasp Howard dumps out Reds
Tykes book quarter-final spot with famous win
Last Updated: February 16, 2008 5:33pm
Howard celebrates his late winner
Brian Howard's last-gasp goal earned Barnsley a famous 2-1 win over Liverpool to dump Rafa Benitez's side out of the competition.
The boyhood Liverpool fan struck in the closing seconds with a superb shot from the edge of the box to secure Barnsley a place in the quarter-finals.
Liverpool looked to be on their way to the last eight when Dirk Kuyt fired them in front on 32 minutes with his first goal in 14 games.
Stephen Foster drew Barnsley level on 57 minutes with a towering header and Barnsley were indebted to debutant Luke Steele for denying Liverpool on a number of occasions.
The game looked to be heading to a replay until Howard popped up with the winner in the final minute and pile the pressure on Benitez.
Liverpool left captain Steven Gerrard on the bench and rested Javier Mascherano, Jose Reina and the almost fit Fernando Torres for this tie, with Tuesday's visit of Internazionale clearly figuring in Benitez's thoughts.
Simon Davey's team had tremendous support at Anfield, with 7,000 Tykes making themselves heard in the Anfield Road end.
In the second minute they were almost celebrating a goal when Istvan Ferenczi's header was blocked by Jamie Carragher.
But John Arne Riise and Lucas saw long-range efforts fly wide at the other end, Peter Crouch headed past a post from Steve Finnan's cross, before Kuyt failed to hit the target from Yossi Benayoun's cross.
In the 18th minute Crouch went close with an angled effort that Steele needed to be at full-stretch to touch wide.
Ryan Babel got into the box on the right to fire in a shot that Steele held - but Barnsley had a great chance to opening the scoring in the 28th minute when Daniel Nardiello robbed Sami Hyypia before racing into the box and forcing goalkeeper Charles Itandje into a low save to his right.
Steele was in action again a minute later, clawing away an 18-yard effort from Xabi Alonso - and soon after the Kop let out a roar of relief when they took the lead with Kuyt's first goal since the UEFA Champions League win in Marseille in mid-December.
Xabi Alonso swept the ball out to Babel, who made ground into the box before pulling the ball back for the Dutch striker to sweep home from six yards.
Steele did well to keep out a Crouch header on the stroke of half-time - and the home side started the second period strongly with Benayoun and Babel going close.
Barnsley took off Nardiello and sent on Kayode Odejayi, giving Davey's team more of an aerial threat - and in the 56th minute it worked.
Martin Devaney launched an excellent cross on the run from the right, and defender Foster rose to power a header that Itandje got a hand to but could not stop crashing into the net.
Benayoun and Crouch had shots cleared off the line in quick succession, then Hyypia had two efforts blocked as Liverpool stormed forward.
Lucas saw a header turned onto the bar by Steele, who snaffled the rebound - then made another good save after Benayoun's run and shot.
Gerrard was sent on for Lucas after 75 minutes and the England midfielder's first surging run covered 60 yards and won his team a corner - but at the other end, Itandje was looking anything but comfortable.
The Liverpool goalkeeper clattered into Odejayi outside the box, and then palmed away a Howard effort.
Kewell had two efforts blocked, then clipped the bar from 25 yards - but all the noise was coming from the Barnsley fans.
Steele then made a marvellous save to turn over a Kewell hook, and Crouch had the ball taken off his foot in the act of shooting.
The same thing happening to Kuyt seconds after - with Dennis Souza again the defender with the right timing.
Carragher was booked three minutes from time - a caution which will see him banned against Middlesbrough next weekend.
But worse was to follow in the second minute of injury-time when Howard found space on the edge of the box to drill home the winner.
The Yorkshire fans erupted, and they had just 30 seconds to wait for the final whistle and confirmation of a famous victory.