JAMIE CARRAGHER admits he may never have recovered had his mistake sent Liverpool FC tumbling to FA Cup semi-final defeat against Everton.
Carragher’s error in blasting a clearance against Tim Cahill allowed Nikica Jelavic to nip in and put Everton ahead in Saturday’s derby showdown at Wembley.
But a stirring second-half revival from Kenny Dalglish’s men saw Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll score to book a place in the May 5 final and keep alive hopes of a domestic cup double.
“I was probably close to tears at the end, to be honest,” said Carragher. “I think if we’d lost that game I don’t know if I’d have ever recovered.
“As an Everton fan as a kid, this was the biggest derby I’ve ever played so I’m delighted the lads have done it and helped me out.
“It’s one of the biggest games I’ve played in, right up there with the Champions League final. The thought of the stick me and Stevie (Gerrard) would have got on the streets of Liverpool if we’d lost that game.”
Carragher believes Carroll has ensured a permanent place in Anfield history with his 87th-minute winner.
“He’ll be remembered forever for scoring in a game like that in a game of that magnitude,”said the centre-back.
“People talk about the fee but that was nothing to do with him and there was nothing he could do about it.
“He is still a young lad finding his feet. Before he’d joined us he’d only played six months in the Premier League, let’s not forget that. It should be massive for his confidence.”
Of Carroll’s strike partner Suarez, Carragher added: “I thought he was brilliant, our best player.
“I wouldn’t swap him for anyone in the league. He is a fantastic player and I’m delighted we’ve got him and hopefully he will take that forward into the cup final.”