Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher made a crucial save in the penalty shootout as Liverpool defeated Arsenal on spot kicks after a 5-5 cup classic at Anfield.
Kelleher, who made his full competitive debut in the win against MK:Dons in the competition’s earlier round, kept his place in the side and saw Liverpool take the lead inside six minutes thanks to an own goal from Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi.
The young keeper was in the thick of the action shortly after however as, after making a strong save from Bukayo Saka’s edge of the area effort, he could do nothing to stop Lucas Torreira following up to fire home the equaliser.
It was soon 2-1 to the away side as again Kelleher failed to get enough power on an initial save low to his left, this time from Torreira, as 18-year-old striker Gabriel Martinelli was there to put The Gunners into the lead.
Ten minutes later Arsenal had a third and Martinelli a second as some sloppy play led to Liverpool giving the ball away before Saka slid the ball into the Brazilian who finished past Kelleher with ease.
Jurgen Klopp opted for a very young side for this clash but it was one of the more experienced heads who got Liverpool back into the game as James Milner slotted home a penalty after Martinelli’s foul on Harvey Elliot.
Milner though quickly went from hero to villain as less than 10 minutes later his back pass sold Kelleher short and allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to slip in and after some good work from Mesut Ozil, the English midfielder eventually found the net.
Liverpool were far from out of this one however and found a response in spectacular fashion as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lashed home a volley from 25-yards out before Divock Origi’s tidy turn and finish on the edge of the 18-yard box levelled the game.
The home side had their tails up but it looked as though it would be Unai Emery’s men who would provide the final sting in the tail as Joe Willock burst from midfield and lashed a wonderful strike into the top corner out of the reach of Kelleher.
In a game littered with twists and turns another was in store as, right at the death, Origi popped up once again to brilliantly meet a cross from the right hand side and take the game to penalties.
The spot kicks began perfectly from both sides as Bellerin, Milner, Guendouzi and Brewster all found the net before Kelleher came up trumps to save Dani Ceballos’ penalty and give Liverpool the edge.
Origi and Maitland-Niles exchanged penalties before Curtis Jones stepped up to give Liverpool the victory and send them into the last eight of the League Cup.
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) October 30, 2019