Arsenal held their nerve to reach the League Cup quarter-finals as Bernd Leno saved two penalties in a 5-4 shoot-out win over Liverpool after Thursday’s 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Mikel Arteta’s side had already beaten Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield earlier this season and they repeated the trick in the fourth round tie.
Joe Willock scored the winning penalty after Leno saved from Divock Origi and Harry Wilson.
Adrian kept out Arsenal’s third spot-kick from Mohamed Elneny, but Alexandre Lacazette, Cedric Soares, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nicolas Pepe all netted before Willock sent the Gunners through.
Arsenal, who haven’t lifted the League Cup since 1993, have won three of their last four meetings with Liverpool in the space of just 11 weeks.
Liverpool beat the Gunners 3-1 in the Premier League at Anfield on Monday, but Arsenal took the spoils against the champions in the league in July and the Community Shield in August.
Arsenal’s disciplined display was another sign that the FA Cup winners are heading in the right direction under Arteta’s astute leadership.
It was also revenge for last season’s League Cup defeat on penalties against Liverpool, when the Gunners led 3-1 and 4-2 in a thrilling 5-5 draw.
There was less drama until the shoot-out on this occasion as Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made nine changes, with only Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah retaining their places.
Arsenal made eight changes as Bernd Leno, Rob Holding and Granit Xhaka retained their spots.
Takumi Minamino should have put Liverpool ahead when the Japanese forward volleyed against the bar from five yards after Diogo Jota’s header was pushed out by Leno.
Leno underlined why Arteta decided to restore him to the team and sell Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa, making a superb stop from Van Dijk’s close-range effort and emerging as the hero in the shoot-out.