» Sports » League Cup: Liverpool edge Arsenal; United stop Chelsea

League Cup: Liverpool edge Arsenal; United stop Chelsea

Last updated on: October 31, 2019 08:47 IST
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IMAGE: Arsenal's Bukayo Saka in action with Liverpool's Rhian Brewster. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Anfield debutant Curtis Jones scored the winning spot-kick as Liverpool beat Arsenal on penalties after an astonishing 5-5 draw to reach the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old substitute kept his cool in front of the Kop to send Liverpool through after the hosts had trailed 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4 before a stoppage-time equaliser by Divock Origi.


On a crazy evening it looked as though Joe Willock’s screamer had earned Arsenal a memorable victory, but Liverpool proved irrepressible as their barnstorming season continued.

Liverpool scored all five of their penalties while fledgling keeper Caoimhin Kelleher, 20, saved from Dani Ceballos.

It was only the second time Liverpool had conceded five at home in the last 66 years. The other occasion was a 6-3 League Cup loss to Arsenal in 2007.

“We can talk about tactics but who cares on a night like this?” Klopp, whose side have dropped only two points in their opening 10 Premier League games, said.


IMAGE: Liverpool's Curtis Jones scores the winning penalty during the shootout. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

“I hoped for the boys they would have a game to remember. What they did tonight, I lost it really."

“If you don’t win nobody remembers it in three years, if it works out the boys will remember it forever.”

Defeat was a bitter one for Arsenal manager Unai Emery whose decision to give Mesut Ozil only his third start of the season paid off with the German playmaker in dazzling form.

Willock’s long-range effort appeared to have sealed a morale-boosting win for Arsenal after a difficult few days since squandering a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace.

“A crazy match. I am very proud of their work, we had a high rhythm in the first 45 minutes,” Emery said.

“At the end we were winning until the last action. Penalties are 50/50 and we lost. We are sad but our work, we deserve to have more. There are lots of positives to take.”

Klopp and Emery changed their entire lineups from the weekend’s Premier League action with winger Harvey Elliott becoming the youngest Liverpool player (16 years, 209 days) to start at Anfield.

Liverpool took the lead in the sixth minute as Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi scored a comical own goal, his attempted clearance from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low cross going into the net off his knee.

Arsenal levelled after 19 minutes when Mesut Ozil picked out Bukayo Saka in space and after his shot was saved and Liverpool could not clear, an offside-looking Lucas Torreira tapped home.

Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli scored his first goal of the night seven minutes later to put Arsenal ahead, scooping in from close range after a save by Kelleher.

Liverpool self-destructed as Elliott’s poor pass went to Ozil who played in Saka to square for Martinelli to score his seventh of the season and make it 3-1, but in the 43rd minute Elliott tumbled in the box at the other end and James Milner tucked away a penalty.

Milner’s dreadful back pass allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to make it 4-2 after Ozil had performed wonders to recycle the ball but Arsenal old boy Oxlade-Chamberlain’s spectacular effort reduced the arrears soon afterwards.

Liverpool equalised in the 62nd minute when Jones played in Origi who turned superbly before unleashing a shot too powerful for Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez.

Willock’s goal arguably topped the lot though as he advanced forward before launching an unstoppable right-foot shot into the top corner from 30 metres.

But Liverpool have forgotten how to lose and Origi’s shot on the turn, after a cross from 18-year-old Neco Williams, redeemed them at the death.

Rashford stunner stops Chelsea in their tracks

Marcus Rashford

IMAGE: Manchester United's Marcus Rashford scores the winner. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Marcus Rashford’s “bolt from the blue” stopped resurgent Chelsea in their tracks as his sensational free kick fired Manchester United into the League Cup quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

With 73 minutes on the clock and Chelsea beginning to dominate after Michy Batshuayi’s superb equaliser, Rashford lined up a free kick 40 metres out and sent the ball dipping and swerving past a helpless Willy Caballero.

Rashford had given a near full-strength United a deserved halftime lead from the penalty spot after Welshman Daniel James had been fouled by Marcos Alonso.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side held out reasonably comfortably to claim a third successive away victory having previously not won on the road since March.

It was United’s second win over Chelsea this season, having beaten them 4-0 on the opening day of the Premier League.

Since then Frank Lampard’s youthful Chelsea side have responded superbly and had won their last seven matches in all competitions to move into the Premier League’s top four.

United, however, have laboured since but there are encouraging signs that they are beginning to hit their stride and Solskjaer appears to have targeted the League Cup.

He made only four changes to the side that started in the 3-1 win at Norwich City at the weekend, with 19-year-old Brandon Williams the only unfamiliar face.

“We’ve been leading 1-0 in many games and not kicked on. Today we were excellent, with fast flowing football. That’s Manchester United. We’re trying to get back to that,” Solskjaer said. “Marcus has that strike in him."

“I’ve seen him in training so many times.”

Lampard said Rashford’s free kick had been a bolt from the blue.

He felt the game was theirs for the taking after Batshuayi, scorer of the winner at Ajax last week, ran from the halfway line before holding off a tackle and coolly dispatching a low shot into the bottom corner.

“No team can stop that,” he said. “We weren’t at our best in the first half, we were a little slow with our passing, but I loved the first half hour of the second half.”

Chelsea have lost three games at Stamford Bridge in all competitions this season, one more than they did in the whole of the 2018-19 campaign. But Lampard was not too downhearted.

“I saw a lot of things that were good for us for the future, a lot of positives,” he said. “I hate losing, we all do here, but it’s clear there is a big picture and there are a lot of big games for us to come and a busy fixture list.

“Now we move on and focus on what is to come.”

The draw for the quarter-finals is on Thursday in which United will be joined by Manchester City, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Leicester City, Everton, Colchester United and Oxford.

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