CARABAO CUP – Liverpool 5-5 Arsenal (5-4 pens): Gunners out after thriller on Merseyside
PUBLISHED: 21:39 30 October 2019
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There was a goalfest at Anfield as Arsenal lost 5-4 on penalties against Liverpool after a 5-5 draw in normal time in a thrilling Carabao Cup last-16 tie on Wednesday night, dumping the Gunners out.
The Reds took an early lead when Shkodran Mustafi turned into his own net with six minutes played, but the Gunners battled back and equalised through Lucas Torreira's close range finish.
They were then in front on 26 minutes as Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher failed to hold onto a shot, and Gabriel Martinelli was on hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
Martinelli then made it 3-1 with another close range finish on 35 minutes after some superb play from Bukayo Saka, but he then gave away a penalty as he tripped Harvey Elliot just before half-time, and James Milner slotted home to make it 3-2 at the break.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles made it 4-2 just after the interval following superb work from Mesut Ozil, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi got Liverpool level before the hour mark to make it 4-4 as the goals continued to flow at Anfield.
The Gunners went back in front once again when Joe Willock's driving run ended with powerful strike from range that nestled in the top corner.
But, with 93 minutes on the clock, Origi scored a superb overhead kick from Curtis Jones' cross to make it 5-5 and send the game to penalties.
With the score at 3-3, Dani Ceballos missed the all-important penalty, with Jones netting the winner in a 5-4 shootout victory for the Reds.
Unai Emery made 11 changes to the side that drew with Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the inclusion of Ozil the most notable of those, while Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin started in a strong team.
They made the worst possible start though as they found themselves behind inside six minutes.
A cross from ex-Gooner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was aimed for Rhian Brewster, but Mustafi, sliding in to try and clear only managed to turn into his own net, putting the home side ahead.
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But, to Arsenal's credit, they fought back to level on 18 minutes.
Good work from Martinelli down the left ended with a ball in that Torreira couldn't turn home, but the Uruguayan stayed in the box and when Bukayo Saka's effort was saved by Kelleher, he was there to tuck home the rebound.
They were ahead just eight minutes later as Kelleher spilled another shot after a good ball in from Maitland-Niles, and Martinelli was on the spot to drive the ball into the net from close range.
The turnaround continued when the Brazilian was on hand to make it 3-1 with 35 minutes on the clock after Saka pressed, won the ball and squared for the striker to smash into the top corner.
But, Liverpool where back in the game as Martinelli turned villain by tripping Harvey Elliott as he burst into the area and Milner tucked away the penalty to end a thrilling first-half at Anfield.
Arsenal restored their two-goal advantage just eight minutes into the second-half after some superb quick-thinking from Ozil allowed Maitland-Niles to score.
After picking off a short back pass, Maitland-Niles' chipped effort was about to role wide, but Ozil's clever backheel flick kept the ball in play and gave the Englishman an easy finish to make it 4-2.
But, former Gunners man Oxlade-Chamberlain reduced the deficit on 57 minutes as he smahed home a superb volley from 30 yards which left Martinez with no chance.
Liverpool then made a comeback in a topsy turvy game at Anfield, with Origi allowed too much time and space to turn on the edge of the box, as he smashed home to make 4-4 on 57 minutes.
The goalfest continued though as with 71 minutes played, with Willock driving at the Reds defence from deep, riding a couple of challenges before hitting a powerful shot that curled into the top corner.
The away side looked to have ridden the storm with the seconds ticking down, but with 93 minutes on the clock, a cross from Jones found an unmarked Origi whose overhead kick found the bottom corner to send the game to penalties after breathless 90 minutes of football.
Hector Bellerin, James Milner, Matteo Guendouzi, Adam Lallana, Gabriel Martinelli and Rhian Brewster all scored to make it 3-3, but Dani Ceballos missed the crucial spot kick, with Maitland-Niles and Origi converting before Jones scored the winner in the shootout to send Liverpool through.