Thursday 14 November 2019

Jones clinches shoot-out win for Reds after 10-goal thriller

Memorable night for Irish stopper Kelleher as save helps Liverpool advance in chaotic game

Liverpool’s Divock Origi scores his team’s fifth goal, his second, during last night’s League Cup fourth-round win against Arsenal. Photo: Getty
Liverpool’s Divock Origi scores his team’s fifth goal, his second, during last night’s League Cup fourth-round win against Arsenal. Photo: Getty

Sam Wallace

As the champions of Europe, and the leaders of the Premier League, Liverpool are supposed to be above such preoccupations as the League Cup, but when you have shared 10 goals over 90 crazy minutes of a wonderful absurdity of a match then why not just go for it?

Their winning penalty in the shoot-out was dispatched by Curtis Jones, one of five teenagers who figured for Jurgen Klopp.

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The home team just kept on coming back, from 3-1 down all the way back to 4-4 and then 5-5 when, for the second time, Divock Origi equalised.

No such joy for the beleaguered Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who saw all his team's penalties in the shoot-out scored apart from that fourth taken by Dani Ceballos and saved by Irishman Caoimhín Kelleher.

The 4-4 Premier League scoreline between these two clubs from April 2009 was equalled before the hour and there was more to come, including a brilliant fifth for Arsenal dispatched by 20-year-old Joe Willock.

For Emery, this was the night when he had already relented and brought back Mesut Ozil for just his third appearance of the season. The crowd sang his name and Ozil played a decisive role in the second and third goals for Gabriel Martinelli.

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher celebrates following the penalty shootout. Photo: PA
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher celebrates following the penalty shootout. Photo: PA

It was a delightful bit of improvisation from Ozil that made the fourth, keeping the ball in for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to score this time.

When the No 10 was summoned to the touchline with 25 minutes left there was a hand of friendship offered and accepted on both sides of the manager-player divide.

Prolonged

A place in the last eight of this competition would have meant a lot to Emery. Klopp certainly doesn't need prolonged involvement in it. That said, Liverpool hung on in there, with fine second-half goals from his older heads, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the two from Origi.

Liverpool's Curtis Jones scores the winning penalty. Photo: Reuters
Liverpool's Curtis Jones scores the winning penalty. Photo: Reuters

Much entertainment was served up in the first half. Martinelli is the first Arsenal player since Ian Wright to notch a goal on all four of his first starts. Then the Brazilian was the man chopping away at Harvey Elliott to give Liverpool the penalty from which they scored their second.

Elliott, who only turned 16 in April, was starting his first game at Anfield and looks the part, although these are the difficult early days of a career. A lesson was dealt him by Ozil with 36 minutes played when the Arsenal No 10 had anticipated Elliott's shaky ball in from the right to the extent that Ozil had already decided where he was going to play it first time.

That was onto the run of Bukayo Saka down the left who crossed for Martinelli to score his second. Arsenal had by far the more experienced XI and bench although by half-time they were only one goal to the good.

Klopp made his priorities clear with a team that featured Elliott as well as Kelleher (20), Dutch centre-back Sepp Van Der Berg (17) and Neco Williams, a Wales Under-19 international.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates. Photo: Action Images via Reuters
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Alongside those, the 19-year-old Rhian Brewster looked reasonably experienced in first team terms.

The hapless Shkodran Mustafi got the touch that took Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross into the Arsenal goal on six minutes. The former Arsenal man was one of the grown-ups, along with James Milner, Naby Keita and Adam Lallana. Arsenal's equaliser was offside, Lucas Torreira scoring from the rebound to Saka's shot having been beyond the final defender.

Martinelli's first goal came when Maitland-Niles crossed at the second opportunity and Van Der Berg and Kelleher could not get the ball away. His second was from Saka's cross when Ozil stole the ball from Elliott. Making amends later, Elliott sold Martinelli with a dip of the shoulder and won a late penalty from which Milner made the score 3-2.

Milner gave the ball away to Maitland-Niles, who overran it before Ozil retrieved it and flicked it back into his path. That was 4-2, and then Maitland-Niles was caught out by Oxlade-Chamberlain who dispatched a fine right foot shot. Origi made it 4-4 from Jones' ball. Willock ran free and hit a superb fifth. Another substitute, Pedro Chirivella, made Origi's second as time ran out, and so to penalties.

Telegraph.co.uk

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