Liverpool’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over Arsenal sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after 10 goals were scored in a thrilling contest at Anfield.
Celebrations broke out in front of the Kop after Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, 20, saved Dani Ceballos’ penalty to seal a 5-4 shootout win.
Divock Origi’s 94th-minute scissor kick sent the game to penalties after Liverpool had twice come from behind to draw level.
Arsenal’s Joe Willock thought he had given his side a memorable victory with a sensational long-range strike in the second half but there was more to come on an unforgettable night at Anfield.
The celebrations were wild from Liverpool’s players at full-time as teenager Curtis Jones coolly thumped the final penalty in off the post to make it five from five in front of the Kop.
Arsenal were minutes away from victory after Joe Willock’s stunning long-range effort had put them 5-4 up, before Origi pulled off what seemed the inevitable in stoppage time.
Liverpool led just once during the match and that was after five minutes when Shkodran Mustafi slid in and diverted the ball into his own net.
Midfielder Mesut Ozil, given just his third start of the season, then set-up Bukayo Saka, whose shot was rebounded in by Lucas Torreira to make it 1-1.
Teenager Gabriel Martinelli continued his impressive goalscoring form, pouncing on a loose ball at the near post before slotting in from Saka’s pass to make it 3-1 to Arsenal.
But Liverpool cut their lead to one goal on the stroke of half-time through James Milner’s penalty after Harvey Elliott – who became the youngest Liverpool player to start at Anfield (16 years, 209 days) – went down in the box under minimal contact from Martinelli.
It took just nine minutes for the goals to start flowing again in the second half, when Milner uncharacteristically gave the ball away in his own area and Ozil teed up Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired in an excellent long-range effort for Liverpool and Origi’s smart turn and powerful finish made it 4-4 – all this before Willock and Origi’s late goals left the teams level at 5-5.
Liverpool will find out their quarter-final opponents when the draw takes place at 08:45 GMT on Thursday, live on BBC Radio 2.
Young boys deliver thriller
This had everything.
From long-range goals, to Origi’s injury-time equaliser and Kelleher’s heroic penalty save – it was another thrilling encounter between two sides who have produced the highest-scoring fixture in this competition.
Excitement was evident before kick-off – fans pouring over social media to discuss the young talent given an opportunity to impress.
There were four teenagers named in Liverpool’s starting XI – their youngest in any competition since January 2017 with an average age of 23 years and 122 days – and they were involved in some of the magical moments.
Sixteen-year-old Elliott won a penalty, academy product Neco Williams, 18, set-up Origi’s stoppage-time equaliser and fellow home-grown teenager Curtis Jones netted Liverpool’s winning spot-kick in the shootout.
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The young Reds celebrated in a manner befitting the chaotic emotions fans felt throughout the match, but it was a heavy blow for Arsenal who also had several impressive individual performances.
Brazilian Martinelli, who signed a long-term contract with the Gunners this summer, netted his sixth and seventh goals of the season and Ozil was instrumental on a rare start.
Origi lives for big moments
While the young players impressed, a Liverpool comeback at Anfield would not be complete without Origi.
The Belgian lives for the big moments and his two goals in the second half – a slick turn and strike and an exquisite scissor kick volley – always seemed likely.
Origi secured legendary status among Liverpool fans last season when he scored the winning goal on aggregate against Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final second leg.
He then secured Liverpool’s victory in the final against Tottenham, putting his side 2-0 up with three minutes to go.
And after his heroics at Anfield on Wednesday night, the home fans sang his name as the players prepared for the penalty shootout.