It came down to a penalty shootout to decide the Carabao Cup last-16 tie between Liverpool and Arsenal after a bore draw at Anfield.
A year or so on from their spectacular 5-5 thriller, the two sides produced a damp squib just days after meeting in the league.
Takumi Minamino had the best chance to break the deadlock in the first half, but thundered a volley off the bar when it looked easier to score.
Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno pulled off a string of saves to keep it goalless, eventually forcing the game to spot kicks.
Mohamed Elneny and Divock Origi both had efforts saved, but it was Leno’s stop from Harry Wilson’s penalty that proved to be crucial as Joe Willock scored to send Arsenal through to the quarter-finals.
Here are the talking points from Anfield.
1. Minamino’s sitter
The first half in terms of chances was a case of few and far between – but the best of them fell to Takumi Minamino.
Leading Liverpool’s line in attack, the Japanese forward was in the right place at the right time as Bernd Leno could only parry Diogo Jota’s header in his direction.
Cue Minamino volleying against the crossbar from a matter of yards as the ball cannoned down and away.
It came at him a little quickly in fairness, but it’s the sort of opportunity he should be burying if he wants to get in his manager’s good books.
2. Leno inspired
There were few positive Arsenal performances for Mikel Arteta to get excited about, but goalkeeper Bernd Leno did produce a top class display to keep his side in the game.
The German stopper was at full stretch to parry away Jota’s close-range header, and was rewarded when Minamino could only clatter the rebound off the woodwork.
Later he got down low to turn Virgil van Dijk’s flick round the post, before denying another Jota effort after the Reds forward had caught it sweetly on the bounce.
Shortly after the Gunners’ no.1 was in acrobatic form – perhaps somewhat needlessly – to keep out Grujic’s looping header, but by that point he’d earned the right to show off a little.
3. Jota looking sharp
On an otherwise uneventful evening, Jurgen Klopp will have been buoyed by the performance of new boy Diogo Jota.
The forward followed up his debut goal with another impressive showing against The Gunners.
He looked lively and was involved in pretty much all of Liverpool’s good work going forward.
Jota almost got his name on the scoresheet too, but for the superb interventions of Leno.
A promising start to his Reds career.
4. Shaqiri on his way
Xherdan Shaqiri looks set to depart Liverpool before the transfer window shuts after being left out of the Reds’ lineup.
The Swiss midfielder has struggled to force his way into regular first-team contention at Liverpool after signing
He was expected to start the encounter with Arsenal though, having scored in the last round win over Lincoln.
But Shaqiri was omitted from the squad entirely amid reports of interest from two other clubs in his services as Monday’s deadline approaches.
5. Wilson in the shop window
While Shaqiri was kept out of action, Harry Wilson started the fixture despite links with a move to Burnley.
The 23-year-old appears to have no future at Liverpool, who are keen to offload him before the window shuts.
He showed some good touches on the ball and flashes of his talent which will have caught the eye.
But what could be his final game in a Liverpool shirt sadly ended in disappointment, as his penalty was saved as the Reds crashed out.
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