Anfield witnessed another memorable night of football on Wednesday as Liverpool and Arsenal played out a thrilling 5-5 draw in 90 minutes, with the Reds eventually going on to seal victory virtue of a penalty shootout. However it was not the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil Van Dijk stealing the headlines. Instead it was the young kids who proved that they have every right to be considered mentality giants also.
At 4-2 down many at Anfield would have been forgiven for thinking that the game was gone. With no senior outfield players included on the bench it looked like being a painful night for the young players at the club. However Liverpool salvaged the 5-5 draw in the 94th minute thanks to a spectacular finish from the clubs cult hero Divock Origi. The penalty shootout that followed saw Liverpool score all five of their penalties. Despite conceding 5 goals there were plenty of positives to come from the game. Here we take a look at what there were.
Never give up attitude
The first team have been dubbed the mentality giants, not just of England but of Europe also. One thing that would have pleased Jurgen Klopp the most is the fact that the strong mentality runs through the squad. After Joe Willock’s spectacular finish to put the Gunners 5-4 up it seemed to be over. Liverpool fought on though as we have so often seen under Klopp, helped by the Anfield faithful it really should have been surprise that they could complete the comeback. However the fact that so many young players including Harvey Elliott, Sepp Van Den Berg and Curtis Jones were on the pitch and played a role in this tells us that they are far more mature than there age tells us.
Harvey Elliott shines again
16 year old Elliott is one of the players whose potential will excite Liverpool fans the most. He was impressive in his last appearance against MK Dons and carried that form into Wednesday night’s game, causing the Arsenal defence problems throughout and winning the penalty for Liverpool’s second goal. It was not only his footballing ability that was impressive but you can see he has a strong character when he was waving his arms at the Kop in order to raise the atmosphere. He’s certainly a player who can become a superstar in the future.
New options in defence
Sepp Van Den Berg and Neco Williams made their home debuts and completed 90 minutes. Van Den Berg’s calmness on the ball caught the eye and his ability to pass out from the back is something that could prove vital in years to come. Something that would have come as surprise is the emergence of right-back Neco Williams, he made his 1st senior appearance for the Reds having previously played for U19 side and U23’s, he has earned rave reviews for his display and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him play again soon.
Curtis Jones’s impact
Jones was man of the match against MK Dons so it came as a surprise when he was not included in the starting 11 for the game on Wednesday. His introduction though had a big impact on the game, his calmness on the ball and ability to get forward was something that Liverpool needed. He also scored the winning penalty in the shootout to mark a memorable Anfield debut. Liverpool lack a natural creative midfielder so Maybe Jones can be the answer to this problem.
(Author-Zweifüssler, Picture From Wikimedia Commons)