That’s what you play football for” – an epic Liverpool defeat that made Hector Bellerin smile.


Not all of them revolved around the fact that the Reds finally completed the club’s 30-year hunt for the holy grail of a 19th century.

One could write a book about the epic memories that Liverpool has given its supporters during the unforgettable 2019/20 season – and many people have done so.

A year ago today, Liverpool played in one of the most incredible cup matches that Anfield has ever seen, and even one of the Reds’ beaten opponents became lyrical about the occasion

Due to the turbulent course of the campaign, it is inevitable that some games, which would have been important highlights in other seasons, may fall by the wayside.

And even though Klopp’s men were eliminated in the FA Cup round of sixteen, the performances of the Reds, who defeated Everton and Shrewsbury Town at full strength, may be one of the most precious memories when the Liverpudians look back on a season that felt almost like a blessed dream.

There was the trip to Qatar, where Liverpool were crowned club world champions for the first time ever after three failed attempts.

This was also the case when Liverpool and Arsenal met in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup a year ago today.

5-5 draws are not exactly an everyday occurrence, but when the event is subsequently praised even by one of the players whose team was eventually beaten in the ensuing penalty shootout, it is clear that something special has taken place.

The first foretaste of the season’s Carabao Cup was a comfortable 2-0 away win in the third round at MK Dons, where some of the club’s young talents such as Rhian Brewster, Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever, Caoimhin Kelleher, Sepp van den Berg and Herbie Kane had made their debut in Liverpool.

The Reds already had a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League and, after an opening defeat in Naples, had won the Champions League group matches against Salzburg and Genk to qualify for the knockout rounds again.

Anfield were packed for the fourth-round draw against Arsenal, and many fans were eager to see how the “Klopp-Kids” would fare on home soil. Welsh defender Neco Williams made his debut on this occasion.

The Reds’ midfield was more experienced, with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana forming the trio, while Divock Origi led the line, supported by the young guns Rhian Brewster and Harvey Elliott.

He formed a “father and child” pairing with James Milner on the left, while Van den Berg worked with Joe Gomez in the middle half.

Unai Emery’s Gunners had an indifferent start to the season and were already 12 points behind the Reds in the Premier League standings, naming a fairly strong team in which young players Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock were balanced by first-team stars such as Mesut Özil and Héctor Bellerín.

Curtis Jones, who made his Liverpool debut in the FA Cup with the Wolves in Liverpool last season and started in the previous round at Milton Keynes, had to settle for a place on the bench, where he was joined by a number of other academy graduates including Pedro Chirivella, Yasser Larouci and, for the first time, Billy Koumetio.

The guests, however, reacted strongly to the early setback and were 3-1 ahead nine minutes before half-time, with Lucas Torreira’s equalizing goal scored in the 19th minute by a double from Gabriel Martinelli.

James Milner narrowed the gap from the penalty spot two minutes before half-time after Harvey Elliott had been fouled inside the penalty area, but Ainsley Maitland-Niles made up the visitors’ two-goal lead nine minutes after the break after a rare Milner error.

And it was one of their older heads, German defender Shkodran Mustafi, who started a crazy evening of goals when, after just six minutes, he shot Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s right flank into his own net to give Liverpool the lead.


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