Arsenal booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory at Anfield on Thursday night.
Bernd Leno – who made a series of fine stops during the normal time – pulled off two saves in the shoot-out, before Joe Willock kept his nerve to send Arsenal through.
Just three days on from Monday’s Premier League clash at Anfield, Mikel Arteta made eight changes to his side for this clash and the team made a confident start.
There were little more than seven minutes on the clock when Arsenal carved out their best opportunity of the opening period as Granit Xhaka’s superb pass set Nicolas Pepe free down the left.
The Ivorian entered the box and cut the ball back for Joe Willock, who found Eddie Nketiah but the striker hesitated as he tried to go around Adrian and the chance was gone.
In truth, there was little of note during the first half, but right on the stroke of half time Leno was called into action to push away Diogo Jota’s header and Takumi Minamino’s follow-up hit the underside of the bar.
It was a let-off, and after the interval, Arsenal goalkeeper had to be alert once again to get down low and palm away Virgil Van Dijk’s close-range effort.
Leno was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the second period, and was called into action on the hour mark to keep out Marko Grujic’s firm strike, and then again moments later to palm away Diogo Jota’s fierce effort.
Arsenal again had a golden chance to take the lead as Pepe picked out Rob Holding in the area but Adrian pushed the centre back’s header away.
Neither side could make the breakthrough, and for the second year running Arsenal Carabao Cup fourth-round tie at Anfield go to penalties.
Leno was once again the hero, saving from Divock Origi and then Harry Wilson before Joe Willock converted the decisive spot-kick to send Arsenal through.
The victory means Arsenal will now face Manchester City at home to battle for the semi-final ticket.