Liverpool and Arsenal’s Carabao cup round of 16 clash on Wednesday night, which ended with a win for the Reds at Anfield on penalties 5-4, after the original time ended in a 5-5 draw, brought mportant conclusions for both teams that may draw some future milestones.
The game was absolutely crazy, saw 10 goals and a host of other opportunities to score, a spectacular offensive offer made by both teams and contained missiles in the most beautiful beauty.
A game with concealed defects, but also determines the ability of young players to live up to expectations in the near future.
Jürgen Klopp relied on a rival line-up, with goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher standing between the three woods, and the presence of Dutchman Sepp van den Berg (17 years) along with Joe Gomez deep in the back line, backed by backs James Milner and Neco Williams (18 years) who made his first-team debut.
Guinea's Naby Keita was the pivotal player behind Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, with the front line being 16-year-old Harvey Elliott (who became the youngest player to ever feature for the Reds at Anfield), 19-year-old Ryan Brewster and Divock Origi.
It should be noted that the defensive lapses committed by Liverpool, especially when trying to move the ball from the defense to the midfield, in addition to dealing with the few cases of high pressure exerted by Arsenal
The heterogeneity between Gomez and van der Berg was evident in the defense, and the latter looked very confused, unlike right-back Williams who made a very acceptable performance.
Liverpool's midfield looked lost even though the players had a lot of experience, partly because Liverpool always relied on the 4-3-3 plan, with the attacking force of the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, which was not available on that game.
Anyone who have watched the game will mention Elliott's remarkable efforts on the right flank
On the other hand Brewster needs to break the psychological barrier, or perhaps a goal to end his confusion, especially as everyone is aware of his outstanding scoring abilities that gave England U-17 World Cup two years ago.
Curtis Jones role was massive as he gave a breath of fresh air to the Reds midfield after joining the pitch in the second half.
The gaffer overlooked Liverpool errors, the excitement and beautiful goals of the game dominated the feelings of Klopp, who was proud of the satisfying appearance of promising players
"We made some mistakes and made some regular passes," Klopp told Sky Sports after the game. "We were very open to them at times, We can talk about the tactical aspects, but who cares about it on such a night? I wished for the young people to have a night of remembrance, what they did tonight, I lost the appropriate words to describe it.”
The boss also said:
"I enjoyed pretty much each second of the game. I don't know when I had as much fun in a football match. I was so happy for the kids that they will remember the night for the rest of their lives”.
Post reactions from the Reds
The striker told Sky Sports: "We just tried to give it our best and it was an unbelievable night. The fans also made it a special night”.
"We want to win every title, we all love football and we just want to make it special tonight, all the emotions were there at the end."
"It is an important moment for the team, the presence of many young players, Our mentality is to always keep on going, regardless of what happens. We said it before the game, whatever happens, we just have to keep on going. We're just very happy."
And about his goal The Belgian striker said: "I felt like we were pushing, it was an open game, the cross was great. It was about keeping my eyes on the ball. I am grateful that I had a good shot, it was important for us."
The Reporter continued asking Origi about his opinion on the best goal of the night, and about that he Answered : "I think OXs goal was amazing, the whole team made an amazing performance, everybody fought."
He told Sky Sports: "It's what dreams are made of, winning a shootout in front of the Kop. The atmosphere was amazing, I've never experienced anything like it."
"I did a lot of work with the goalkeeper coach on penalty kicks, it was a crazy match to be a goalkeeper, I didn't think I could blink."
“As soon as the final whistle went, all the focus was on trying to save in the shootout,” the 20 year old told Liverpoolfc.com
“It was a bit of a whirlwind. I’m obviously happy but it’s just hard to sum it up at the moment. It has all gone by quite quickly. It’s just unreal, to be honest.”
“We have a never-say-die attitude and we showed that once again, coming from behind on a few occasions. Divock scored an unreal goal to keep us in it. It just goes right through the whole squad that we’ll never give up.”
Other Post-game reaction from The Boss:
"Those who came to Anfield tonight, they saw 19 goals! Perfect night."
"Playing for the first time in Anfield is like a dream, but things may not go right and you have to stay focused. All of our goals were fantastic."
Klopp praised the performance of his young players, an called Kelleher a special talent.
“Curtis has no issue with self-confidence, he absolutely doesn’t struggle in that department. It’s good. It’s absolutely nice. I cannot say more about it really. I’m really pleased for him, like I am pleased for Caoimhin saving that penalty, pleased for Neco, who played an incredible game and giving the assist to Div’s goal. Caoimhin in general, 90 minutes, being there, conceding five, cannot do a lot in most of the situations – maybe the second, I’m not sure, I think the first one was offside. But how I said, when you lose the balls where we lost them then it’s difficult to defend the counter-attack. Sepp van den Berg, he played an incredible game, but in these situations it’s not easy to defend and then you are a centre-half that concedes five. But stay on track, play football, pass the football and all these things, that’s the most important thing – and I really liked that.”
On Origi stepping up to take the fourth penalty
“You need to be born in Liverpool probably to do that. It was not my idea. When I saw the list the last time, Divock was on five and Curtis on four. When I saw the number four coming and it was Divock then I thought, ‘OK, obviously they changed it’. Good situation”
On Naby Keita
The only little shadow on the night. We are not sure. He slipped, I saw that, and afterwards he was limping a little. We have to see. Hopefully not too serious.
“It was a great game, We showed character, we showed belief and we showed heart. We’re happy we finally won. It was for the fans….I know from this being my boyhood club, and being a fan, how big the fans are on nights like this. That’s what drove us until the end.”
“As I was warming up, I knew if I came on, I had to make an impact. And that’s what I did. I got the assist for Div. The lads performed well and we came away with the win.”
On his penalty Curtis said : “I work on them every day in training. That’s my preferred place – I stuck to that and I was lucky enough that it went in.”
“We’re happy that we got the win for the fans and we’re looking forward to the next round.”
WHAT’s NEXT ?
Quarter-finals The draw takes place tomorrow at 8.45am GMT.
Joining Liverpool in the hat are:
Leicester, Colchester, Oxford, Everton, Aston Villa, Man City and Man United.
Liverpool have won eight penalty shootouts in the League Cup - more than any other team in the competition's history. Nerve.