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Anfield Online
Tuesday 9th January 2007
at Anfield
Carling Cup Quarter Final


Liverpool 3 - 6 Arsenal scoreboard

Julio Baptista notched four as Arsenal routed Liverpool to seal a Carling Cup semi-final clash with rivals Tottenham.

Jeremie Aliadiere ran on to Kolo Toure's pass to score the first, before Robbie Fowler flicked in to level.

But a Baptista free-kick and tap-in either side of Alex Song Billong's smart finish made it 4-1 at half time.

Two more from Baptista, the first from 20 yards, sealed it after he had missed a penalty, though Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia notched late consolations.

It was the first time in nearly 77 years that Liverpool had conceded six goals at home and followed a remarkable contest, one that few would have predicted even despite the fact that, against expectations, Rafael Benitez opted to field a weakened starting XI.

Despite the Reds' weekend FA Cup exit, only Gerrard and Jerzy Dudek survived from the team that lost 3-1 to Arsenal on Saturday, and the selection proved key to the hosts' downfall, with Lee Peltier and Gabriel Paletta in particular exposed in defence.

The hosts' cause was not helped by the fourth-minute withdrawal of winger Mark Gonzalez, who sustained a serious shin injury in an innocuous challenge on Theo Walcott.

And, despite the early threat of Craig Bellamy, the writing was on the wall from the moment Aliadiere tapped home the opener, finishing at the second attempt after showing fine skill to pull down Toure's long pass.

Liverpool were level minutes later, Fowler clipping home his 31st League Cup goal behind his legs from Luis Garcia's cross-shot, but Arsenal's youthful pace and endeavour continued to cause the Reds all sorts of problems and the game was beyond doubt before half time.

Firstly, Baptista curled home a free-kick from 25 yards for only his second Arsenal goal, and then in injury time the Londoners scored two in quick succession to stun the hosts.

Song Billong made it 3-1 from close range after benefiting from a ricochet off Sami Hyypia and then Aliadiere was controversially ruled onside before pulling back to Baptista, who slid into an empty net to cap a remarkable end to the half.

A resolute start to the second half from the hosts lasted just 10 minutes as Arsenal continued their rampant display, and the Gunners could even afford Dudek's penalty save from Baptista after Hyypia had clearly hauled down Aliadiere.

No sooner had the Anfield crowd found their voice again, that Aliadiere cut back to Baptista from the left and the Brazilian drilled into the corner from 20 yards to complete his hat-trick.

Gerrard interrupted Arsenal's goal-fest with a stunning volley from 20 yards from Paletta's knock-back, but a disastrous evening for the hosts got even worse on 70 minutes when Garcia became the second player to be stretchered off with a serious-looking injury.

Still the goals continued to roll in though, Hyypia further reducing the deficit with a near-post header before Liverpool's mini-revival was halted by Baptista's tap-in from another cross from the impressive Aliadiere.

There was still time for Hyypia to have an effort correctly ruled out for offside and Manuel Almunia to deny Jamie Carragher's drive from range as an extraordinary encounter continued into the latter stages.

But, despite the choruses of "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the home fans, it was the visiting support that were cheering at the end as Arsenal sealed their first League Cup win at Anfield in stunning fashion.

BBC Sport

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Liverpool: Dudek, Peltier, Hyypia, Paletta, Warnock (Alonso 58), Guthrie, Gerrard, Aurelio, Gonzalez (Luis Garcia 11), Fowler, Bellamy, Luis Garcia (Carragher 75).
Subs Not Used: Reina, Crouch.

Goals: Fowler 33, Gerrard 68, Hyypia 80.

Arsenal: Almunia, Hoyte, Toure, Djourou, Traore (Connolly 88), Walcott (Diaby 74), Fabregas, Song Billong, Denilson, Julio Baptista, Aliadiere.
Subs Not Used: Poom, Lansbury, Randall.

Booked: Song Billong.

Goals: Aliadiere 27, Julio Baptista 40, Song Billong 45, Julio Baptista 45, 60, 84.

Att: 42,614

Ref: M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

- LFC Stats/Goalscorers


Rafa Benitez

"We did use a lot of players from the first-team squad, but they also changed many players.

The problem was conceding goals like we did.

We used senior players and young players, I do not point the finger at anyone.

We tried to do our best, but we conceded goals and you cannot change the result now. All I can say is `sorry' to our supporters."

Arsenal did not have too many chances, and it was very much like on Saturday in the FA Cup when they scored from virtually every chance they had,

This time was the same, they scored six from as many chances. We can always talk about players and tactics, but you need to score goals and that is what they did.

It was a bad game for us. But in a lot of years managing and training teams you learn to accept these things and put them behind you as soon as possible and think now about the Premier League and the Champions League.

It is easy to talk afterwards, but we conceded a goal every time they came forward."


Disgrace. They can go and apologise to all 40,000 odd who turned up at Anfield tonight. Jabba

Heads up, good luck Arsenal. We have been well beaten tonite.
I'd much rather see Arsenal win this trophy than Chelski.... Mr Tommo

Rafa don't bulls**t us mate, you gave us two s**t perfomances and all we want to know what went wrong, we pay, were the fans...Liverbird

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