A look back at Liverpool v Arsenal cup classics ahead of Thursday

A 10-goal thriller which the Reds won on penalties, the Gunners’ two victories at Anfield just three DAYS apart, and the ‘Michael Owen’ FA Cup final… Liverpool and Arsenal have offered up plenty of domestic cup classics down the years

  • Liverpool against Arsenal is the highest scoring Premier League fixture ever
  • The Gunners have suffered drubbings at the hands of the Reds in recent times 
  • But it is a different story in domestic cups, where both sides have dazzled
  • Sportsmail looks back at the great League and FA Cup clashes between them 

Arsenal v Liverpool has seemingly meant one thing during recent history between the two sides, expect goals.  

At the time of writing, it is the highest-scoring Premier League fixture of all time, with 173 goals coming in matches between the sides.

The Gunners have frequently been on the end of drubbings in the league against the Reds in the last few years, with November’s 4-0 defeat at Anfield in November the latest.

Jurgen Klopp (L) and Mikel Arteta (R) will meet again on Thursday as Arsenal face Liverpool

But in the FA Cup and League Cup, it has been a different story, with the north London outfit managing to demonstrate their attacking prowess too.

This high-scoring history has left fans salivating at the prospect of another thriller when they meet at Anfield in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash on Thursday.

Their most recent clash in the competition was by no means a classic, with the Gunners winning in a penalty shootout in October 2020 following a goalless 90 minutes at Anfield. 

But prior to that there had been several matches which saw plenty of twists and turns, and here Sportsmail looks back at some of the best clashes between the two sides in domestic cup competitions. 

The last Carabao Cup game between Arsenal and Liverpool saw the former win on penalties

Liverpool 5-5 Arsenal (Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties) – League Cup, October 2019

Where else could we really begin than that infamous ten-goal thriller at Anfield more than two years ago now?

Gunners fans were expecting little against a side they trailed by 12 points in the Premier League table at the time, with Jurgen Klopp’s men top of the pile.

That pessimism appeared to be justified when Shkodran Mustafi put the ball into his own net just five minutes in. But it would be the only occasion in the game when the hosts would lead.

The Gunners reacted by equalising through Lucas Torreira, before Gabriel Martinelli’s double saw them storm into a 3-1 lead. James Milner kept the Gunners within touching distance with a penalty just before half time, but the second half was littered with wonderful goals.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted a fine strike from outside the box in the 5-5 draw in 2019

First, Ainsley Maitland-Niles restored Arsenal’s two-goal advantage from close range after a delightful backheel from Mesut Ozil, but it soon became the game’s second-best goal after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came back to haunt his former club and smash home from outside the area.

Divock Origi’s smart turn and powerful finish then restored parity, but the piece de resistance came when Joe Willock drove at the Liverpool defence and smashed home a sensational long-range effort.

That appeared to hand Unai Emery’s men victory but there was one final twist in normal time, when Belgian Origi produced a stunning scissor kick in the 94th minute to send the game straight to penalties.

And just as he was in their latest Carabao Cup penalty shootout against Leicester last month, Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was the hero by producing the only save of the shootout to deny on-loan Gunners midfielder Dani Ceballos.

It sparked delirious scenes in front of the Kop end, and after the game they had just witnessed, who could blame them? 

Joe Willock (right) also scored with a stunning effort but the Reds would win on penalties 

Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal – League Cup, November 1996

Arsene Wenger was only two months into his eventual 22-year reign at Arsenal when he suffered arguably the first heavy defeat in charge of the north London club.

The Frenchman had already tasted defeat at Anfield in just his second Premier League game in charge, with Steve McManaman scoring both goals in August 1996.

And the former Real Madrid midfielder and current BT Sport pundit would find the net again two months later in a League Cup fourth-round clash to cancel out Ian Wright’s opener from the penalty spot.

Ex-Reds striker Robbie Fowler then netted once in each half to put Liverpool in a commanding position, but after Wright reduced the deficit with another spot kick, Patrik Berger made sure of the points with a fourth. 

Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal – FA Cup, January 2007

Tomas Rosicky’s name is one that warms Arsenal fans’ hearts to this day, with many having fallen in love with the ‘Little Mozart’s’ style of play during his decade-long stay at Emirates Stadium.

But the former Czech Republic midfielder really announced himself as an Arsenal player eight months after joining from Borussia Dortmund in a third-round FA Cup tie against Liverpool.

Exchanging passes with Alexander Hleb down the right-hand side, Rosicky was eventually found by the Belarusian on the edge of the box, after which he swept home over Jerzy Dudek’s head.

Tomas Rosicky (centre) announced himself at Arsenal with an FA Cup double at Anfield in 2007

His second however – just seconds before half time – demonstrated even more individual brilliance when he jinked his way through the lines and held off challenges on the edge of the box to squeeze a shot into the far corner.

Dirk Kuyt made things interesting with fewer than 20 minutes to go when he headed the ball past Manuel Almunia inside the six-yard box after Peter Crouch had nodded a corner on target, but Thierry Henry would have the last laugh.

Holding off the challenge of Jamie Carragher, the Frenchman cut inside from the left and delivered a trademark low finish to seal Arsenal’s progression into the fourth round of the competition. 

Liverpool 3-6 Arsenal –  League Cup, January 2007

Just three days later, Arsenal were back at Anfield and arguably achieving an even greater feat. The surprise was their victory came courtesy of a player who would struggle during his time at Emirates Stadium.

Julio Baptista joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day the previous summer, but he would struggle in the Premier League, scoring just three goals in 24 appearances.

However, the Brazilian scored six League Cup goals during his time in England, four of which came in this fifth-round tie against Liverpool.

After Jeremie Aliadiere’s opener had been cancelled out by Luis Garcia, Baptista stepped up just five minutes before half time to curl a free-kick past Jerzy Dudek at his near post.

Three days later, Julio Baptista scored four in a League Cup win for Arsenal at the same venue

It began a sequence of three goals in five minutes, with Baptista’s second – a tap-in to an empty net from Aliadiere’s cut-back – coming either side of Alex Song’s rather fortuitous goal from a corner.  

But as you might expect, the drama was far from over. Baptista’s penalty – won by Aliadiere – was saved by Dudek in the second half, but the Brazilian was not to be denied his hat-trick, scoring the harder chance of beating the Pole from range.

Steven Gerrard’s rasping volley and Sami Hyypia’s near-post header set up a potentially difficult last 10 minutes for Arsene Wenger’s men, only for Baptista to put the game beyond all doubt with another tap-in six minutes from time.

Arsenal would go on to the final before their defeat by Chelsea, but it remains a game etched in League Cup folklore despite their heartbreak in Cardiff. 

Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool – FA Cup final, May 2001

While the 2007 cup clashes were dominated by individual brilliance by Arsenal players, the FA Cup final between the two sides six years earlier saw a well-known Liverpool striker take centre stage.

The Gunners looked on course for an eighth FA Cup trophy when Freddie Ljungberg put them ahead at the Millennium Stadium after rounding Sander Westerveld with just 20 minutes remaining following some relentless pressure.

But Gerard Houllier’s men somehow managed to pick themselves up and turn the game on its head within eight minutes, with Michael Owen netting both goals.

Michael Owen scored twice in the final 10 minutes to hand Liverpool the 2001 FA Cup trophy

A fantastic half-volley from a free-kick gave David Seaman no chance with eight minutes remaining, but his second was even more special.

Latching on to Patrik Berger’s long ball, Owen held off the challenges of Lee Dixon and Tony Adams to slot the ball home into the opposite corner to his equaliser in a stunning piece of centre-forward play.

It really was third time lucky for Liverpool, who had lost two previous FA Cup final to the Gunners in 1950 and 1971, and gave them their second domestic cup of the season following the Worthington Cup triumph earlier in the campaign.  




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