Arsenal lost on penalties after a crazy game at Anfield, as both club’s reserve sides took each other on in the League Cup.
The tone was set early on, as Shkodran Mustafi scored an own goal to give Liverpool the lead. Arsenal responded with goals from Lucas Torreira and Gabriel Martinelli to go up 3-1, before a penalty given for a Harvey Elliott dive helped the hosts bring it back to 3-2 by half-time.
Arsenal increased the lead back to 4-2 thanks to Ainsley Maitland-Niles, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi levelled the scores.
Joe Willock thought he’d scored the winner at 5-4 with a fantastic effort from distance, but Origi scored again to make it 5-5 and the Gunners lost 5-4 on penalties to exit the cup.
Let’s have a look at our player ratings for the match.
- Emi Martinez 4 – Will be disappointed with some of the goals he conceded. He’s had some good performances this season but this was not his night. Did make a few good high claims though.
- Hector Bellerín 7 – Should have had an assist after setting up one of the best chances of the match for Martinelli. Definitely the best performer of the shaky backline.
- Shkodran Mustafi 5 – The first 10 minutes of the game Mustafi looked incredibly nervous. The own goal was just one of a few moments he looked all over the place. He did grow into it after that.
- Rob Holding 5 – Conceding five goals was harsh on both centre-backs given the quality of finishing involved. Still a fair bit of room for improvement for Holding though, on a tough night.
- Sead Kolašinac 4 – Struggled in and out of possession. He wasn’t a threat going forward and didn’t look comfortable at the back, whichever one of Liverpool’s players he was up against. Ended up forcing Emery to waste a sub he could’ve used on Alexandre Lacazette.
- Lucas Torreira 7.5 – In his favoured position Torreira did a really good job of getting about and making those challenges to force turnovers. Also added another goal at Anfield.
- Joe Willock 7 – Scored a fantastic goal that should have been the winner, and created a couple of chances as well. The only issue was he got dribbled past a bit easily.
- Mesut Özil 8 – Back in the team at last, Özil was heavily involved in a few of the Arsenal goals, although he’ll only get official assist credit for the Maitland-Niles one. Arsenal looked much better with him on the pitch.
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles 7.5 – A couple of stray crosses aside, this was much better from Maitland-Niles, playing as a winger again. His goal was a tap-in, but one he forced by pressuring the Liverpool keeper into a mistake.
- Bukayo Saka 6.5 – Provided an excellent assist for Martinelli, putting it on a plate for the striker. Perhaps didn’t affect the rest of the game as much as he would’ve wanted.
- Gabriel Martinelli 8.5 – Scored a couple of goals once again, probably should’ve scored one or two more again too. Martinelli’s goalscoring record this season is crazy for his age, and he stepped up to the task at Anfield working really hard as usual.
- Matteo Guendouzi 6 – Assisted Arsenal’s fifth goal, but that’s being generous, given Willock’s finish did all the work. Didn’t offer any more defensively than Özil had. That sub will only make sense if the German features at the weekend.
- Dani Ceballos 6 – Missed the crucial penalty in the shootout, which happens. Had a pretty good cameo before that.
- Kieran Tierney 6 – Did fine defensively in his limited minutes, but didn’t have a chance to go forward and show what he can do at the other end.