A quick-fire brace from Jamie Vardy is not enough for Leicester, as Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino star in an epic, Liverpool fightback in the EFL Cup!
Liverpool defeated Leicester City 5-4 on penalties to reach the EFL Cup semi finals, after an enthralling 3-3 draw in normal time at Anfield.
Diogo Jota smashed in the deciding kick of the resulting shoot-out, past Foxes keeper, Kasper Schmeichel, as the Reds progressed in the competition. The Merseyside outfit will now meet Arsenal in a semi-final over two legs.
The match went to penalties after Takumi Minamino’s last-gasp goal in injury time levelled the clash at three goals each, in an instant cup classic.
“I am really, really happy. Really happy with the performance, with the spirit, with the mentality, in a lot of moments with the football,” Liverpool boss, Jürgen Klopp said.
By the 13th minute, Jamie Vardy had netted twice in quick succession, as the Foxes raced to an early two-goal lead. Then, less than ten minutes later, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got one back for the hosts, after good work from Roberto Firmino.
James Maddison restored Leicester’s two-goal advantage just after the half-hour mark, with a thunderbolt from well outside the box, that left Caoimhín Kelleher in the home side’s goal with no chance.
Jota gave Liverpool hope with 22 minutes left to play, with a goal in front of the Kop, after Minomimo’s through ball. The Japan international then went from creator to scorer, with a strike in the dying seconds, that sent the game to the drama of penalty kicks.
Minamino wasted his opportunity to send Liverpool through in the ensuing shootout, as the forward blazed his penalty over the bar. However, Kelleher then saved Ryan Bertrand’s effort, before Jota smashed in his spot kick to propel the Reds into the semi-finals!
With Liverpool facing Arsenal at one end of the EFL Cup draw, it will be Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur at the other. The first legs will be in the week of Jan. 3, with the second legs seven days later.