Liverpool 3-3 Leicester (5-4 pens): Diogo Jota scores winner in shootout after another Anfield comeback

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (PA)
(PA)

Liverpool held their nerve to beat Leicester on penalties and book their place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals after a thrilling 90 minutes at Anfield.

Caoimhin Kelleher saved two penalties in the shoot-out which Liverpool won 5-4, and they will now face Arsenal in the New Year for a place in the Wembley final.

Substitute Diogo Jota struck the winning penalty, having come off the bench to score in the second half, but the real hero was Takumi Minamino who made it 3-3 with seconds remaining of six added minutes.

Leicester started the match brilliantly and twice cruised into a two-goal lead as Jamie Vardy scored twice against the under-strength Reds.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain briefly made it 2-1 before a brilliant James Maddison strike from range restored the Foxes’ advantage.

However, Liverpool’s introduction of first-team reinforcements for the second half changed the dynamic as Jota and Minamino forced a shoot-out.

Jurgen Klopp, facing five matches in 12 days, made 10 changes with three academy players in the team and another five on the bench.

Leicester, by contrast after 10 days off due to a Covid-enforced break, were virtually at full strength with Vardy returning to partner Patson Daka in a front two with Maddison at the tip of the midfield diamond.

Joe Gomez set the tone in only the fifth minute when his loss of possession saw Daka counter-attack and force a save out of Kelleher.

Liverpool were not so fortunate with their next concession of possession, as when Kostas Tsimikas turned a blind pass inside the visitors seized the opportunity to cut through the centre of defence with Kelleher getting a hand to Vardy’s shot but unable to keep it out.

Four minutes later the former England hitman had doubled his tally as Neco Williams lost the ball high up the pitch and Daka crossedfor Vardy to sidefoot home.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal changed the momentum and for a 15-minute spell it was Leicester who had a wobble.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tsimikas’ long cross was knocked back by Williams for Roberto Firmino to bring down before laying off to allow the midfielder to drill home.

The next goal in a wild half looked like being decisive and it went to Leicester as Maddison unleashed a wonderful strike from 25-yards that dipped under the bar and past Kelleher.

Klopp replaced his three academy players with considerable first-team experience in the shape of James Milner, Jota and Ibrahima Konate - quickly followed by Naby Keita - in an attempt to bring some control to the second half.

When Jota fired home in the 68th minute the tie sprang to life again, with the Liverpool manager doing his best to whip up the crowd.

Kasper Schmeichel managed to parry Jota’s header after he dived into Keita’s long-range drive, and it looked as though the Foxes would hold on.

But one last effort saw Milner lump a ball into the area and Minamino fire home to set up a penalty shoot-out and ultimately an 18th League Cup semi-final, having won the competition eight times previously but not since 2012.

Additional reporting by PA Sport.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting