Liverpool have been drawn against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals although a date for the fixture has yet to be agreed.

Jurgen Klopp suggested on Wednesday he could pull his side out of the competition if a date cannot be found for the quarter final, after the club reached the last eight via a penalty shoot-out following a 10-goal thriller against Arsenal.

As Champions League winners, Liverpool will be playing in the last four of the Club World Cup in Qatar on 18 December, with the Carabao Cup quarter-finals scheduled for the same week. The English Football League released a statement in reply to the Liverpool manager’s comments, saying: ”The EFL is in discussions with Liverpool to identify an alternative date given the club’s participation in the FIFA Club World Cup competition.” See below for full details of the draw.​

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Liverpool secured their place in the last eight with a thrilling victory over Arsenal … but manager Jurgen Klopp has warned the EFL he will quit the Carabao Cup if their packed fixture schedule is not treated sympathetically.

The Reds moved into the quarter-finals with with a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Arsenal, after a crazy, thrilling 5-5 draw at Anfield.

But there was little time to celebrate before Klopp was expressing his concern about the scheduling of their next tie.

Match dates for the last-eight round are scheduled for the week commencing December 16, when Liverpool will be in Qatar at the FIFA Club World Cup.

And Klopp said if a suitable alternative, the most likely being week commencing January 6, the scheduled date for the first leg of the semi-final, could not be found then they would refuse to play.

”FIFA told us the Club World Cup will be there (Qatar) and we have to come there and we will do,” said Klopp.

”The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously.

”The Carabao Cup, if they don’t find an appropriate place for us – not 3am on Christmas Day – then we don’t play it.

”We will not be the victim of this problem. If they don’t find a proper date for us, then we cannot play the next round and whoever is our opponent will go through – or Arsenal play them.”


Marcus Rashford drew comparisions with Cristiano Ronaldo following his wonder-strike against Chelsea.

The England striker scored with a breathtaking 30-yard free-kick to fire United into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

The technique was certainly reminiscent of former United frontman Ronaldo as the ball looped over the Chelsea wall and dipped under Willy Caballero’s crossbar.

Team-mate Victor Lindelof tweeted that he was ”sure I’ve seen that somewhere before” while manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted: ”It was a Cristiano-like goal.”

Rashford had earlier given United the lead from the penalty spot, before Chelsea equalised through Michy Batshuayi.

”The boy has got nerves of steel. Takes a penalty, no problem. Steps up and hits the ball like he does and wins us the game, fantastic,” Solskjaer added on MUTV.

”Marcus has that strike in him. I’ve seen him in training so many times and it’s got to be hitting the target soon, you think, because he’s had a few efforts. Finally it goes in.”


Mesut Ozil has staked a claim for a Premier League role

Amongst the hectic, fast-paced nature of the tie at Anfield, there was always one point of calm, as it was called this evening, for Arsenal.

Mesut Ozil’s languid style can at times be misinterpreted as a performance lacking in effort, but at Anfield it was exactly what a more youthful Arsenal side required.

He was instrumental of not only playing the delicate final ball as evidenced by Maitland-Niles’ goals, but also breaking up play to trigger attacks, which Martinelli benefited from.

Put simply, Ozil provided impetus, not just creativity, in the final third for the 65 minutes – something that has been lacking not only from Emery’s men in the Premier League, but also at times during the German’s career.

But here was a stark reminder that 31-year-old still has plenty to offer the Gunners – even if his substitution for Matteo Guendouzi was premature.




Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saluted Marcus Rashford’s wonder-strike which rocketed Manchester United into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Rashford crashed in an unstoppable drive from 30 yards to secure a 2-1 win at Chelsea and a place in the last eight.

Chelsea had hauled themselves level through Michy Batshuayi after Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

But the England international’s stunning free-kick ended Chelsea’s seven-match winning streak and made it three wins on the bounce for United.

”We’ve travelled a lot in the last week,” Solskjaer said on Sky Sports. ”We’ve got a good team spirit and camaraderie. It shows the character of the team.

”We get the games where we want them. We’ve been leading 1-0 in many games and not kicked on. Today we were excellent, with fast flowing football. That’s Manchester United. We’re trying to get back to that.

”Marcus has that strike in him. I’ve seen him in training so many times.

”When you give young lads the experience, like Brandon Williams got tonight – and the kid was outstanding – it’s only going to help them.

”We know we’re not the finished product, we’re a work in progress and keep trying to improve.”


Dean Smith last night insisted Aston Villa must target Carabao Cup glory after their 2-1 win over Wolves.

Ahmed Elmohamady’s winner sent Villa into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.

Anwar El Ghazi gave the hosts the lead but Patrick Cutrone’s second-half effort briefly levelled.

Villa have beaten Sky Bet League Two Crewe and youthful Brighton and Wolves teams to reach the last eight and Smith wants the club to win the trophy for the first time in 23 years.

He said: ”For me football is about trying to win something. Why not go all out to win it? You only get three opportunities (a season) if you’re not in Europe.

”You enter three competitions and the title probably slipped away from us on Saturday so we have the Carabao Cup and FA Cup to fight for.

”We want to finish as high as we can but this is a priority as well. We have a proud history in this cup, we’ve won it five times, and want to continue to win it more and have days like we had in May at Wembley.

”There’s still a long way to go but it was a deserved victory.”


Wolves may have lost last night but Nuno Espirito Santo claimed he was satisfied with his young team.

The manager rested several established stars for Wolves’ 21st game of the season as they continue to compete in Europe and the Premier League.

Chem Campbell, 16, became the club’s second youngest player while teenagers Dion Sanderson and Taylor Perry were given their full debuts.

Nuno said: ”It was a tough game, Villa are a good team, we know Dean, he has good ideas and it was hard. We managed well, we stuck to our shape and we balanced ourselves. We had our moments.

”The young players competed and gave everything, you have to give everything you’ve got.

”It’s a building process. Since the beginning we’ve tried to give competition to the young boys.

”We tried to mix experience and talent. Their families should be proud, they are good lads.”


”It’s great technique. It was a stunning strike from him, at a time when I felt we were really in the ascendancy.

”We’ve had seven wins on the trot, with some taxing games in the Champions League. Our form in the league has been really good, and it’s clear they are our priorities.

”I saw a lot of positive things. I hate losing but it’s clear there is a bigger picture.”


Liverpool starlet Curtis Jones admits scoring the winning penalty against Arsenal was a ”dream come true”.

The Reds youngster settled a thrilling contest to see Jurgen Klopp’s side through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday night.

And the 18-year-old claims he was calm in the moment when the opportunity fell his way.

”Being a local lad it’s always been my dream to get an appearance at Anfield. To get an assist to give us a chance and then to score a penalty is just a dream come true,” Jones said.

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They may be the favourites … but earlier this week Pep Guardiola claimed it was too early to start thinking about winning the Carabao Cup for a third successive year, after his team brushed aside Southampton 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals.

Sergio Aguero marked his 350th City appearance with a brace after Nicolas Otamendi opened the scoring at the Etihad Stadium.

Though the Saints showed some fight only days after their 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Leicester, getting a goal back through Jack Stephens, they were always second best in a game where City enjoyed 77 per cent possession.

But though few would bet against City in a competition in which they have not lost in over three years, 14 games and counting, Guardiola said he and his players are not yet thinking about a three-peat.

”They are not playing and thinking about winning the tournament,” Guardiola said. ”It’s only when you play the semi-final or the final you start to think about that.

”For the players who didn’t play it’s good for their rhythm and for myself to see that they are fit, that they are good.”


One positive for Arsenal, after yesterday’s narrow loss at Liverpool? The performance of Mesut Ozil. The 31-year-old, making only his third appearance of the season, had a hand in three of Arsenal’s goals but was withdrawn with Liverpool on top at 4-4.

It was the first time the former Germany international had featured in a match-day squad since the last round of the Carabao Cup, although manager Unai Emery claims he remains in contention for Premier League games.

”We had decided beforehand (to take off Ozil). He worked well in 65 minutes,” he said.

”Ozil played very well. He played a very good match. We are going to play on Saturday and in my mind there’s the possibility to use him again.”

Colchester have secured a lucrative trip to Manchester United, and the League Two club will be looking to cause further upset, having already knocked out top-division sides Tottenham and Crystal Palace in the competition’s earlier rounds.

Manchester City, in search of their third successive league cup trophy, will travel to Oxford, after easing past Southampton on Tuesday in the fourth round.

Leicester will travel to Everton, who have never won the competition, after a 3-1 win at Burton on Tuesday.

The quarter-finals, aside from the Liverpool fixture, are set to take place the week starting December 16.