Jürgen Klopp has threatened to withdraw Liverpool from the Carabao Cup should the EFL and Premier League fail to find what he considers “a proper date” for their quarter-final.

Liverpool reached the last eight of the competition after a penalty shootout with Arsenal that followed a remarkable 5-5 draw at Anfield. The quarter-finals are scheduled for the week commencing 16 December – the same week the European champions will be in Qatar to play in Fifa’s Club World Cup tournament.

The Premier League and Football League have been in talks with clubs over switching a potential quarter-final involving Liverpool to the week commencing 6 January, currently scheduled for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. Klopp insists Liverpool will not play any further part in the Carabao Cup should the eventual date complicate an already demanding workload.

“I’m not concerned, somebody else has to be concerned because we didn’t make the fixture list, we didn’t make the schedule,” said the Liverpool manager. “Fifa told us the Club World Cup will be there [Qatar] and we have to go there and we will do. The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously. The Carabao Cup, what we did tonight, if they don’t find an appropriate place for us, not 3am on Christmas Day, then we don’t play it.

“They have to make that decision. You have to think about these things. If you have a fixture list where one team cannot be part of all the games, then you have to think about the fixture list. Hopefully it starts now. We will not be the victim of this problem. We play tonight, we wanted to win it, we did that, and if they don’t find a proper date, then we cannot play the next round and whoever is our opponent will go through. Or Arsenal play them. We are going to ignore that problem completely for tonight. A lot of people from the Premier League were sitting in front of the television hoping that Arsenal can do it. But – sorry!”

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Klopp’s main focus, however, was on the young players who guided Liverpool into the last eight despite trailing 3-1, 4-2 and, in stoppage time, 5-4 to Arsenal.

Divock Origi hooks in the equaliser to make it 5-5.



Divock Origi hooks in the equaliser to make it 5-5. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Five youngsters made their Anfield debuts in the fourth-round tie and Klopp said: “You know, I just enjoyed it. I enjoyed each second of the game. I don’t know the last time I had so much fun in a football game. I saw so many really good performances. I was so happy for the kids that they will remember the first night for the rest of their lives. They made it a proper, special football night. Everyone who came tonight saw 19 goals – pretty special.

“As a manager maybe I should worry more about the goals we conceded but I couldn’t care less to be honest. I could not care less. The mistakes that we made were obvious but it’s not important. The most important thing for development is that you react in the right way. All these boys need to play in difficult football games – and it was a difficult football game. They worked their socks off and left their souls on the pitch. I really loved it.”



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