On January 9, 2007, Liverpool and Arsenal played a stunning 9-goal thriller at the Anfield in the 5th round of the Carling Cup.
Four goals from Arsenal striker Julio Baptista saw the reds the being eliminated from the cup competition right in front of their own fans. It all started with Arsenal scoring through Jeremie Aliadiere after the French forward was run through on goal from Kolo Toure’s brilliant diagonal ball from his own half. Liverpool then responded firmly and it was Robbie Fowler who brought them on level terms.
Liverpool were awarded a free-kick right outside the Arsenal area. Fábio Aurélio was – looking to score his first Liverpool goal – fired his attempt right towards Almunia but the only things the Spanish stopper was able to do was to parry it away. The ball fell into Luis Garcia’s way and the former Barcelona man laid the ball into Fowler’s path and bang! Liverpool were right into it.
Arsenal, however, restored their lead seven minutes after Liverpool’s equalizer and it was Julio Baptista who scored the goal with a brilliant free-kick. The free-kick had so much venom that a keeper like Dudek was left red-faced. Five minutes into Arsenal’s second, Song Billong made it three with what can be termed as a lucky finish. Heading into injury time of the first half, Julio Baptista scored Arsenal’s fourth – and his second – after Aliadiere found him unmarked into Liverpool’s area. 4-1
Arsenal almost added the fifth after Aliadiere was brought down to the ground, but Baptista’s penalty was perfectly saved by Dudek. The Brazilian, however, soon made up for his mistake by firing a perfect low drive into Liverpool’s net. And with the goal, hattrick was complete. Liverpool tried making a comeback and they did manage to pull two back from Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia, but that was it for Liverpool. 5-3
Arsenal finally added hammered the final nail in Liverpool’s coffin after Julio Baptista received another tap-in in the 84th minute. 6-3 was the final score at Anfield.
Arsenal then met Tottenham in the semi-final and a two-leg thriller saw Arsenal emerging victorious by 5-3 on aggregate. The Gunners then met Chelsea in the final and a brace from Didier Drogba saw the Blues lifting the League Cup trophy under Arsenal’s noses.