Liverpool’s 5-5 regulation draw and eventual penalty victory over Arsenal in the League Cup on Wednesday was a lot of things. Exciting things, entertaining things, sometimes even very thrilling things. What it wasn’t much of was a high quality game of football.
Technique and tactics seemed to go out the window early on—and they were followed by a whole lot of misplaced passes—as Liverpool’s youth faced off against a more veteran but still somewhat rotated Arsenal side. And in the end, the youth won.
“Today I’m just happy for the young guys,” relative 24-year-old veteran Divock Origi said after it was all finished. “I was in that position once and seeing them enjoying the game, seeing the fans pushing us regardless of what happens, I think is just very special.”
For goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher, who stopped an Arsenal penalty to give Liverpool the edge and Curtis Jones, who scored the one that won it, it certainly was. So too for Harvey Elliott, in another strong performance, and Neco Williams, making his debut.
It wasn’t always pretty, but Liverpool’s youth showed they have the same ability to fight and overcome as their more senior teammates—and by doing so, they know they will now get to play another game. Even if they don’t quite know when they’ll play it.
“In this club that’s one of our values,” Origi added. “We just never give up, regardless of what happens. I’m so happy [the kids] could show it. We obviously see it in training, and they have unbelievable talent. For them to show it, it will make them grow.
“They showed that they are ready. We have a great team in all aspects and the coach knows that he can count on us.”