Liverpool scraped into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday with a penalty shootout victory over League Two side Carlisle United, but it was another dour performance which did nothing to show that Brendan Rodgers remains the right man for the job at Anfield.

The Reds have been pretty poor all season, and they needed that lottery of a shootout to knock out the team three leagues below them.

Danny Ings opened the scoring for Liverpool, heading home a cross from Adam Lallana after some good work from Alberto Moreno.

However, the joy was shortlived as Liverpool's abysmal team defending came back to haunt them again.

The green carpet was laid out by the Liverpool players for Bastien Hery, who waltzed through the middle amid absolutely no pressure, before releasing Derek Asamoah, who provided the needed finish.

Liverpool did their best to find the winner, but very few of their 46 shots in the 120 minutes of play actually troubled the Carlisle goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.

A penalty shootout it was, and Adam Bogdan was the saviour for Liverpool, saving penalties of Danny Grainger, Luke Joyce and Hery to give his team a 3-2 shootout victory, even if the win came at a cost, with Roberto Firmino take off in the first half, while Dejan Lovren suffered a seemingly serious ankle injury right at the end.

"We're delighted with the result," Liverpool assistant manager Gary McAllister said. "There were big sighs of relief in that dressing room and the players are extremely happy.

"Of course, we'd have liked to have won the game within 90 minutes in normal time. I thought we started the game well, passed it well and had a wee bit of rhythm to our play, but I thought then losing Roberto Firmino set us back a touch.

"Again, there were flashes, but we're not up to the speed we're looking at or the passing game we're striving to perform. It's a good night in that we're through to the next round, but we want to perform better and that's what we're striving to do.

"We've shown a bit of character and I'm delighted for Adam Bogdan, he's made the saves to get us through, so maybe this is one of those little things that can bring us together as we look forward to the weekend."