Liverpool’s young guns showed admirable character to come back from behind and beat Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on penalties.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that his players decided to change their penalty shootout order in the last minute without his permission, as they beat Arsenal 5-4 on spot kicks following a dramatic 5-5 draw at Anfield.
The German did not care though as the Reds booked their place in the quarter-final draw which takes place tomorrow morning at 8:45 on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.
Curtis Jones scored the winning penalty to send Anfield into raptures following a rollercoaster tie they continued to swing in both directions.
After enjoying the celebrations with his players, Klopp was left stunned that his youngster Jones had swapped the order of his side’s penalties with two-goal hero Divock Origi.
He told Sky Sports: “Divock and Curtis must have changed the penalty takers because when I saw it Divock was our fifth taker!”
The late decision left the 18-year-old substitute with huge responsibility, something the midfielder took in his stride as he smashed the ball in off the post.
“What a game of football,” Klopp added. “I loved each second of it!
“We could talk about tactics, but who cares about that on a night like this?
“The boys had to keep going, and they did. We were too open but the boys were not used to playing with each other.
“That can happen, but we have to keep going. We have to stay brave and keep creating.”
Liverpool looked as if they were heading out of the competition until the final minute when Origi equalised with a spectacular acrobatic effort.
The Belgian has built himself a reputation as an icon for the European champions, with a series of late goals to save the day for the Reds.
Tonight was no different, but Origi wasn’t the only hero for Liverpool as goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher also saved Dani Ceballos’ penalty in front of the Kop in the shootout.
Klopp was keen to praise the duo and Neco Williams for getting the Premier League leaders over the line, he said: “It was like a dream for some of these boys, but they had to keep going. Divock Origi – what a goal. It’s just nice.
“Being a hero on a night like this – Kelleher is an outstanding talent.
“Neco crossing for Origi – three weeks ago he would never have thought he would have played tonight. Outstanding.”
Origi paid tribute to his side’s mentality and the power of Anfield, for never losing hope.
“At Anfield we’ve had a lot of special nights but this is another one,” he said.
“For the club and the team it was an important moment because there were a lot of young guys with a lot of energy, and we tried to make it a special night.
“We always keep on going, we said before the game you just have to keep going whatever happens.”