Liverpool comeback led by 8/10 Divock Origi as Reds beat Arsenal in Carabao Cup
Liverpool booked their place in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals thanks to a dramatic penalty shootout win over Arsenal, following a remarkable 5-5 draw at Anfield on Wednesday night.
The Gunners established a 4-2 lead in the second half after going into the break 3-2 up, but were unable to finish their hosts off as Liverpool forced a shootout thanks to Divock Origi's late volley. Substitute and local boy Curtis Jones was the hero as he dispatched the winning penalty to send his side through.
Despite coming up against an Arsenal team that boasted a lot more top-level experience, this youthful Liverpool lineup showed an abundance of grit and character that played a huge part in this memorable victory.
It was a new-look back four, and the defensive unit certainly looked like one that had never played together before. There was a distinct lack of cohesion, and four of Arsenal's five goals came as a result of some seasonally scary defending on the eve of Halloween.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Jurgen Klopp deserves plenty of plaudits for playing so many youngsters against high-class opposition, and his bold selection was duly rewarded with progress.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Caoimhin Kelleher, 6 -- It was a tricky evening for the young keeper, who was punished twice for failing to parry shots away from danger, and was then sold desperately short by James Milner's poor backpass for Arsenal's fourth. A great save from Dani Ceballos' shootout penalty set Liverpool on their way to victory.
DF Neco Williams, 6 -- The Wales Under-19 international played his part in the opener with a lovely floated ball through the Arsenal midfield for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to run on to, but the youngster had an uncomfortable time dealing with tricky Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka.
DF Sepp van den Berg, 5 -- The 17-year-old started confidently but struggled as Arsenal turned the screw midway through the first half. The Dutchman looked a tad hesitant, and often one step behind the slick north London forward line.
DF James Milner, 6 -- As reliable as ever from the penalty spot to get his side back into the game just before half-time, but a terribly under-hit pass failed to reach his goalkeeper, allowing for an Ainsley Maitland-Niles tap in to make the score 4-2. Confidently opened Liverpool's account in the penalty shootout.
MF Adam Lallana, 5 -- Booked for scything down Maitland-Niles as the Arsenal forward bore down on goal, and the England man failed to stamp his authority on a game that needed a touch of seniority in midfield. Stroked his penalty home in the shootout.
MF Naby Keita, 5 -- The Guinean showed some occasional flashes of quality, but needs to show more if he's going to break past the likes of Jordan Henderson and Giorginio Wijnaldum for the regular midfield berths. Brought off for youngster Jones for his home debut after 55 minutes.
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 7 -- Provided the cross for Shkodran Mustafi to clumsily knock into his own net for the opener, but his overplaying in midfield led to Arsenal's equaliser. The former Gunner then fired home a stunning volley from distance to get his side back into the game at 4-3. Subbed off for Pedro Chirivella after 80 minutes.
FW Harvey Elliott, 6 -- The 16-year-old looked the brightest of Liverpool's front three in the first half, but a poor pass deep inside his own half was intercepted and clinically punished by Martinelli for 3-1. Won a penalty under minimal contact that Milner converted for 3-2.
FW Divock Origi, 8 -- The Belgian was on hand to provide an excellent finish from the edge of the penalty area to make the score 4-4, before a brilliant volley restored parity at 5-5 at the death. Confidently crashed home his spot kick in the shootout.
FW Rhian Brewseter, 6 -- Liverpool's main attacking focal point showed plenty of enthusiasm and gave the visiting defence something to think about with his movement, but had no clear sight of goal all night. Yellow-carded for blocking Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez's boot upfield, before drilling in an excellent shootout spot kick.
Curtis Jones, 6 -- Looked bright in his cameo, and played a good pass into Origi for the forward to smack home for 4-4. A great moment for the youngster as he scored the decisive penalty in the shootout.
Pedro Chirivella, N/A -- Failed to make an impact.