Limp Liverpool Crash Out Of League Cup After Shootout Agony

Join AI Pro

Liverpool exited the League Cup at the fifth round stage after a 5-4 penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal at Anfield.

A drab and forgetful 90 minutes ended scoreless and the Gunners — through Joe Willock — won the shootout after Divock Origi and Harry Wilson missed their spot-kicks.

Jurgen Klopp elected to make a raft of changes from the Reds’ Premier League victory over the same opponents on Monday night, but Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk — surprisingly — were selected to start. Alongside van Dijk was Rhys Williams and the youngster did his burgeoning reputation no harm with a strong showing.

The other Williams, Neco, can be happy with his 90 minutes as he put the torrid internet abuse — from a gaggle of virgins — that accompanied his last showing in the League Cup behind him with an admirable performance.

Arsenal, meanwhile, picked a more experienced team with the likes of Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, and Leno — their first choice number 1 — all selected.

With all the changes for both teams, there was very little in the way of attacking rhythm or familiarity in the opening quarter.

The closest it came to a goal was when Eddie Nketiah attempted to round Adrian, but the Spaniard was equal to it and a frankly boring half of football continued without a goal.

While Arsenal were the better team for the opening 25 minutes, Liverpool — with midfielder Marko Grujic pivotal in central midfield — began to warm to their task and make their own mark on proceedings.

Bernd Leno — who would prove to be extremely busy throughout — kept the visitors in the affair with some strong first-half saves, but was fortunate — as were his team — to escape with his clean sheet intact when he pushed Diogo Jota’s header away only for Takumi Minamino to slam a rebound off the crossbar.

The Reds were much improved in the second half, with Jota and Grujic — in particular — their best players in a truthfully awful spectacle.

Liverpool manufactured a raft of half chances but each of these opportunities — a few of which came as a result of the clever movement of Jota — were saved by Leno, easily — when all the candidates are weighed up — the man of the match.

Clearly planned beforehand, Klopp withdrew both Salah and van Dijk — for Origi and Joe Gomez respectively — on the hour mark as the Reds pushed in search of a winner without their elder statesmen.

Curtis Jones, who added a rabona cross to his ever-expanding personal highlight reel, was a willing attacking option for the Reds and tried his luck from distance on a number of occasions but to no avail.

Had there been crowds in Anfield, they would have welcomed the final whistle and penalties because — one way or another — it would signal that the end of an awful contest was nigh.

James Milner, who started the game at left-back, Minamino, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Jones — just as he did at this stage of last season’s competition — were all successful from 12 yards out.

Adrian, who was solid throughout, meanwhile, also denied Mohamed Elneny from the spot.

But with Origi and Wilson missing, the English Champions exited a competition that was probably viewed as more of a hindrance than an opportunity to win more silverware.

Liverpool team: Adrian; Williams, R.Williams, van Dijk, Milner; Grujic, Jones, Wilson; Salah, Minamino, Jota.

Replacements: Gomez for van Dijk, Origi for Salah, Wijnaldum for Jota

Join AI Pro
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Subscribe to AI Pro!

AI iPhone App!

PARTNERS

non GamStop bookmakers

 

 

 

betting sites in the uk

 

Betting sites

 

https://www.parissportifaucanada.ca/

 

New bonuses at Justuk.club non Gamstop casinos

 

Gamblingpro.pro lucrative casinos without Gamstop

 

Play at top casinos not on Gamstop on Thegamepoint.io