Liverpool vs Arsenal. The Reds vs The Gunners. A fierce yet unspoken rivalry between two of England's giants. 90 hard-fought minutes without the perception of an antagonistic grudge match. A match which always seems to question both teams' defence whilst complimenting both attacks. It is a fixture which has witnessed a magnitude of goals and has seen the most goals in Premier League history (166).
As Jurgen Klopp's men travel to The Emirates on Saturday night to start the final leg of their race to finish in the top four and save a disastrous season, here is a look back at one of the craziest games the two clubs have endured.
Despite not being a Premier League match, the fourth-round of the Carabao Cup lived up to the fixtures league record. A ten goal thriller including an injury time equaliser settled by penalties. An utter nightmare for any betting accumulator but a dream to watch for any football fan.
Liverpool started off strong going up 1-0 inside the opening six minutes. A calamitous interception by Shkodran Mustafi saw the former Gunner slide the ball past another former player, Emiliano Martinez, in goal. A tragic mistake that Arsenal fans have become far too accustomed to seeing in recent seasons.
Klopp, like usual, lined up with a heavily weakened side for the cup tie. He made 11 changes to the squad which beat Tottenham Hotspur three days before, including five youngsters in the squad. However, it was Unai Emery's youngsters who would show their brilliance first.
After Lucas Torreira - another signing of Emery's - levelled up the scores, Gabriel Martinelli bagged a ten minute brace to see his side 3-1 up at Anfield. Two low driven passes from either side proved to be Liverpool's kryptonite as the young Brazilian scored both his goals from close range.
But despite his ten minutes of heroics, Martinelli quickly became the villain. From showing his attacking brilliance at one end of the pitch he also showed his defensive ineptitude at the other. He carelessly swiped at Harvey Elliot who crashed to the ground inside the penalty box and won a penalty for Liverpool. Without any hesitation, Mr reliable, James Milner, converted from the spot as Liverpool went into the break 3-2 down.
The second half started and like a ticking metronome the game swayed back into Arsenal's favour. Milner had left the pitch sporting the title of Mr reliable and had re-entered to pitch as Mr deficient. The makeshift left back misplaced his back pass to goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher allowing Ainsley Maitland-Niles to swoop in and knock the ball into the back of the net. 4-2 Arsenal.
Liverpool weren't finished yet. Just four minutes later, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain unleashed a rocket from out of nowhere. It set off from 25-yards out and his half volley crash-landed in to the back of net looping over Martinez. Despite all his injuries, Oxlade-Chamberlain has always had a sweet right foot lying around, waiting for a special occasion and what a time to bring it out against his former club.
Another tick passed and now the scores were level, this time it was Divock Origi. An intricate chop on the edge of the box dazzled Rob Holding and opened up the room for the Belgian to blast the ball into the goal and equal the scores with just under 30 minutes to go. The game had heated up.
And so had the competition for goal of the match. Having seen Oxlade-Chamberlain's strike, Joe Willock decided to one up the midfielder's goal. The 20-year-old (at the time) burst forward and released a ferocious shot from another outrageous distance from goal. He watched on as the ball blitzed into the top left of the goal to all but end Liverpool's night. Or so he thought.
When a game is looking all but over and you're chasing a one goal deficit, there is only one man to call on. Four minutes of added time were up and Neco Williams had the pressure of composing the final attack. He swung in a tempting cross. The ball was targeted at an empty penalty spot until the coolest man on the pitch appeared from a huddle of players. Divock Origi tore away from Arsenal's back line and unorthodoxly bicycle kicked the cross into the bottom right corner of the goal leaving Martinez no hope of saving. Anfield erupted as Origi jogged towards his celebrating teammates like he had nothing to do with the injury time leveller. A homage to the calmness he possess. The scores were tied and the game was teed up for a timorous penalty shootout.
The first three takers took their spot kicks and converted for each team. Next up for Arsenal was Dani Ceballos.
Emery signed Ceballos on a one-year loan deal at the start of 2019/20 season. His intentions were to reform the Gunner's midfield and use the Spaniard's creative and technical ability after they lost both Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the summer. On his arrival Ceballos claimed: "I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails."
This responsibility was now being called upon as he stepped up to take Arsenal's fourth penalty of the night. The young Irishman, Kelleher, spread his huge six foot two inched frame and filled the goal as Ceballos stepped up to take his penalty in front of a raging Kop End. He stretched his run and struck the ball to Kelleher's right. The 'keeper anticipated the shot and dived, palming the ball away from his net. He rose and turned to an elated Anfield crowd.
Two more takers scored leaving everything up to Liverpool born and bred Curtis Jones. The young Englishman had a short two stepped runup - something most players usually shy away from. He shot to Martinez's right and similar to Kelleher the keeper anticipated and dived the same way. Jone's shot was hard and precise, skimming off the post and proving too accurate for Martinez to save. He pirouetted and joined his jubios teammates in celebrating in front of the fans. After a mad 90 minutes of plentiful goals, Liverpool had come out victors over Arsenal to progress to the next round of the Carabao Cup.
What to expect on Saturday
Only a handful of players were involved for Liverpool during the international break with the ones who were, playing exceptionally well. This means most of the first team were able to train together and work on what has been going wrong for them this season.
Arsenal's form has been positive with them performing well against teams like Leicester and Spurs, proving that against the big clubs they can still go toe-to-toe.
Saturday nights fixture will undoubtedly have plenty of goals and will look to be Liverpool's final push to try and finish in the top four at the end of the season.