Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was a proud man as his players defeated Liverpool again on Thursday. This time on penalties in the pre-quarters of the League Cup.
With Thursday’s win, Arsenal, who haven’t been crowned the League Cup champions since 1993, have now won three of their last four meetings with Liverpool in the space of just 11 weeks.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, meanwhile, had defeated Arsenal 3-1 in Premier League at Anfield earlier this week. Thus it was a sweet revenge for the London side to take within a span of three days.
Speaking about the success, Arteta revealed that Arsenal players were ready with their training of penalties. “We do practice but then at the end of the day it’s down to the players and how calm they are, and whether they make the right decision on the day,” he said.
While Mohamed Elneny missed the third spot-kick, Alexandre Lacazette, Cedric Soares, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nicolas Pepe all netted for Arsenal, who had already beaten Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield earlier this year.
Joe Willock scored the winning penalty for the Gunners after keeper Bernd Leno had denied Divock Origi and Harry Wilson from the 12 yards spot.
Leno, who proved to be the towering difference between both the teams, earned special praises from Arteta.
“I am really happy for Bernd and for his performance, the character that he’s shown tonight. It was really helpful to get us through to the next round,” the Arsenal boss said.
“I think the biggest pressure is coming from the players individually. I don’t think they read that much about what other people are saying. He’s very stable, he works, he has his routines and I don’t think he’s very bothered about what’s going on outside,” he added.
After beating Liverpool, Arsenal will next face presumably the second-best English team Manchester City. Likewise, Arteta has admitted that it will be “another massive challenge” for his team.
“I was enjoying the victory a little bit in the dressing room and I got the news. It’s another massive challenge for us and we’re not getting very lucky with the draws at the moment, but we’ll prepare for the game and of course try to win,” he said.