Carling Cup Final 2012: Liverpool Have Greater Goals Than League Cup Glory

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IFebruary 26, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool  celebrates scoring his team's first goal from a penalty with Jordan Henderson and Dirk Kuyt (R) during the Carling Cup Semi Final Second Leg match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on January 25, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ending the club's trophy six-year drought at Wembley on Sunday during the Carling Cup Final against Cardiff City would be a massive accomplishment for Liverpool, but regardless of what happens in the league cup, the ultimate goal for this season is to qualify for the Champions League.

Liverpool star Craig Bellamy told reporters that while winning the Carling Cup would be a bonus, both clubs have bigger goals to aim for:

"Would we choose Champions League over Carling Cup? I think we would. Would Cardiff choose entering the Premier League over the Carling Cup? I think they would as well,” Bellamy told reporters.

"They have promotion to go for, we have Champions League to go for. We're still in the FA Cup. Both teams have got so much to play for this season.

"Cup competitions are a big bonus really but we are looking at Champions League and maybe a win might help us and push us towards what we aim to achieve."

Coming into Sunday, the Reds were six points behind behind Chelsea for the fourth and final Champions League spot but do have a game in hand.

Liverpool has not played in the Champions League since the 2009-10 season, and having Anfield be quiet on European nights is a real disappointment because the atmosphere of Champions League play at Liverpool home matches is extraordinary.

The Reds have improved this season over last year because of several upgrades made in the summer transfer market thanks to the new owners, and as a squad they are really starting to gel.

Liverpool would be boosted by a league cup win, but the most important goal for this season is a top-four finish in the Premier League table.

Even if the club wins the Carling Cup, if they don't qualify for Champions League play next season, then this year should be labelled as a failure.