Young Reds will remember this forever - Klopp on shoot-out win over Arsenal

By Stephen Creek 31 October 2019 25
Young Reds will remember this forever - Klopp on shoot-out win over Arsenal

Jurgen Klopp hailed the performance of his young players as "wonderful" after he made 11 changes to his team and saw Liverpool beat Arsenal in a penalty shoot-out following a 5-5 EFL Cup draw at Anfield.

The Reds twice came from behind to take the match to penalties and teenage midfielder Curtis Jones scored the winning goal in the shoot-out.

Harvey Elliott became the youngest player to appear for Liverpool at Anfield and Klopp handed a senior debut to full-back Neco Williams on a night he felt his young charges would never forget.

"What I wished for the boys is that they have a game to remember and that's what happened," the Liverpool boss told Sky Sports.

"A lot of people see the line-up and assume that we don't take the competition seriously but we cannot do it differently - we have to make a lot of changes - but we only make these changes because we trust the boys.

"What they did tonight, how they played, I loved it really."

Klopp picked out Williams for praise after he provided the cross for Divock Origi to score Liverpool's fifth goal and also hailed the performance of 20-year-old goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher despite Arsenal beating him five times.

Kelleher saved Dani Ceballos' penalty to ensure Liverpool clinched their place in the quarter-finals, and Klopp waxed lyrical about the importance of "being a hero on a night like tonight".

"Caoimhin, who conceded five, yes, but he is an outstanding talent," he said.

"Neco, crossing for Div [Origi], when three weeks ago he would never have thought he would start.

"Curtis Jones, it was not my decision at the end that he takes the last one. Div and Curtis changed it because when I saw the list the last time Div was taking the last one!

"The boys will remember it forever and that's the best thing you can say about a football game."

Jones replaced Naby Keita who appeared to be clutching his ankle after 55 minutes.

Klopp provided an update on the Guinea international's condition, saying: "If Naby's injury is not so serious, which I hope, then it was a nearly perfect night.

"He felt [his ankle] a little bit. I saw it, he slipped when he lost the ball. He slipped away, I saw him limping afterwards and that's why we did it."

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