Liverpool 5 Arsenal 5

Mustafi (6, og), Milner (43, pen), Oxlade-Chamberlain (58,) Origi (62, 94)  Torreira (19), Martinelli (26, 36), Maitland-Niles (54 ), Willock (70 )

Arsenal bowed out of the Carabao Cup after a ten goal thriller against Liverpool at Anfield. Joe Willock’s spectacular long range effort was on course to put the Gunners into the last eight of the competition until deep into time added on when Divock Origi’s scissors kick at the Kop, sent the game into extra time. The Reds had taken the lead after Shkodran Mustafi tried to clear the ball, only for it to go in past Emiliano Martinez. Both sides had a youthful look about them, while Mesut Ozil was given a rare start under Unai Emery. The German was coolness and calm personified in the Gunners’ midfield and had a hand in everything Arsenal created. His pass to Bukayo Saka enabled Lucas Torreira to slot in the leveller, and then the visitors took the lead from Gabriel Martinelli. The Argentine teenager struck high past goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher on 26 minutes. Ten minutes later and Martinelli had his second after a swift move from the left to sweep in Saka’s cross. Hold onto the two goal lead before the break? Arsenal can’t seem to hold onto any lead. Although Harvey Elliot went down with minimal contact from Martinelli, James Milner struck homer the resulant penalty.

 

Ozil’s class and determination set up Arsenal’s fourth and that should have been their cue to consolidate. Milner’s underhit back pass was seized on by the speeding Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The ball however squirmed wide, but there was Ozil to back heel back off the dead ball line, into the path of Maitland-Niles and goal number four. 4-2 to Arsenal at Anfield on 54 minutes, and that should have been that.

However, four minutes later and Maitland-Niles lost possession deep inside his own half, and in pounced former Gunner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to hit a  vicious drive past Martinelli. Another four minutes elapsed before Origi made it 4-4 with a smart turn and shot past the tight marking of Rob Holding. With 20 minutes remaining, Willock ran from deep to power in a superb long range effort for a 5-4 scoreline to Arsenal, and that should have been that. Origi thought otherwise deep into stoppage time to make it 5-5.

So the tie would be decided on penalties. When Dani Ceballos saw his effort saved by Kelleher and Liverpool had successfully converted all their spot kicks, the game was decided by Curtis Jones whose decisive fifth penalty meant that the Reds would be in the hat for the last eight.

More cause for  concern for this Arsenal side who just cannot defend or see out a period of opposition domination. Emery’s penchant for five captains? It’d be great just to have one leader out there.