Arsenal proved too strong for Liverpool as they beat the Reds in an absorbing Carling Cup fourth round tie.
Fran Merida thundered in an 18-yard shot to put Arsenal ahead.
Emiliano Insua equalised with a superb 25-yard dipping strike but Nicklas Bendtner shot into the roof of the net for what proved to be the winner.
Alberto Aquilani impressed after coming on for his Liverpool debut and felt he should have had a penalty when Philippe Senderos blocked his overhead shot.
Referee Alan Wiley waved away the Italian's appeals for a Senderos handball but, after the long wait to see the £20m summer arrival, he showed some nice touches and energy in a 15-minute cameo appearance as his side pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages.
Andriy Voronin put a shot wide for Liverpool and Ryan Babel missed a Dirk Kuyt cross with the home goal gaping as Arsenal held on for the win.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has always used this competition to plunge some of his youngsters into action but, on this occasion, his side also had a more experienced look as he included several senior players needing first-team football.
His counterpart Rafael Benitez had a similar blend of experience and youth as he tested the depth of his squad by giving his supporting cast the chance to shine.
The Reds' fringe players almost took their chance when Voronin found David Ngog and his clever backheel put Philipp Degen through on goal only for the right-back to angle a shot wide.
Arsenal's fluidity and slick passing is a feature of their game no matter who is in their line-up, and they upped the tempo before being rewarded with a stunning goal.
Merida scored with a powerful left-foot strike after 18-year-old Gunners debutant Craig Eastmond, who put in a promising display in central midfield, had won a tackle on the edge of the Reds box.
But the visitors hit back with an equally superbly struck effort when Babel nodded the ball down to Insua and he chested the ball down before sending a dipping shot past keeper Lukasz Fabianski for his first Liverpool goal.
The sense of attack from both sides and a vulnerability about both defences made for a captivating and open game.
Aquilani makes his return after an ankle injury
A swift Arsenal counter-attack masterminded by the skill and vision of Aaron Ramsey provided an opening for Merida and, despite chipping a shot over on-rushing keeper Diego Cavalieri, Reds defender Martin Skrtel headed the danger away.
Cavalieri had another escape when he missed a cross and, after a goalmouth melee, gratefully gathered Bendter's close range shot on the turn.
However, the Denmark international gave Cavalieri no chance when he latched on to a Gibbs ball and powered a strike into the roof of the net.
Liverpool had chances to equalise but Voronin angled a shot across goal wide and a well-struck Babel free-kick was saved.
Babel should have scored from a Kuyt cross but he missed the ball completely as Arsenal continued their impressive record of not having lost to Liverpool at home since February 2000.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "Overall it was a game of top quality with two teams who really went for it, played at a high pace.
"We gave people what they paid for - top quality. The experienced players played well, so did the young players.
"Liverpool came back to 1-1, and we still managed to win, that shows we have also mental resources."
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez: "The worst thing was the result, but the players showed passion, character and quality - Aquilani was one of these players.
"You can see he can pass the ball and make a difference in the final third.
"He is getting closer every day, but he needs games to improve his match fitness. It's a question of time."
90:00+4:27 The referee signals the end of the game.
90:00+3:58 Samir Nasri challenges Yossi Benayoun unfairly and gives away a free kick. Diego Cavalieri restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+3:31 Sanchez Watt takes a shot. Blocked by Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Da Silva Eduardo decides to take the corner short.
90:00+2:46 Martin Skrtel challenges Da Silva Eduardo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Da Silva Eduardo.
90:00+2:00 Shot by Alberto Aquilani. Mikael Silvestre gets a block in.
90:00+1:33 Da Silva Eduardo is caught offside. Jay Spearing restarts play with the free kick.
89:19 Corner taken short by Samir Nasri.
86:57 Lukasz Fabianski restarts play with the free kick.
86:57 Substitution Nathan Eccleston joins the action as a substitute, replacing Philipp Degen.
86:57 The assistant referee flags for offside against Andriy Voronin.
86:17 Substitution Francis Coquelin comes on in place of Fran Merida.
85:24 Foul by Alberto Aquilani on Samir Nasri, free kick awarded. Mikael Silvestre takes the direct free kick.
84:32 The ball is sent over by Emiliano Insua.
82:40 Unfair challenge on Kieran Gibbs by Dirk Kuyt results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikael Silvestre.
82:11 The ball is crossed by Aaron Ramsey, clearance by Emiliano Insua. Mark Randall has an effort at goal from outside the penalty
area which goes wide right of the goal.
80:53 Andriy Voronin takes a shot. Comfortable save by Lukasz Fabianski.
80:10 Effort on goal by Da Silva Eduardo from inside the box misses to the right of the target.
79:25 Alberto Aquilani takes a shot. Lukasz Fabianski makes a comfortable save.
79:14 The ball is sent over by Dirk Kuyt.
75:59 Substitution Alberto Aquilani comes on in place of Damien Plessis.
74:51 Substitution Nicklas Bendtner leaves the field to be replaced by Sanchez Watt.
74:51 Substitution Craig Eastmond goes off and Mark Randall comes on.
73:17 Corner taken right-footed by Andriy Voronin from the left by-line to the near post, Effort from outside the penalty box by
Jay Spearing goes wide left of the goal.
73:17 Substitution Yossi Benayoun is brought on as a substitute for David Ngog.
73:17 Shot by Damien Plessis. Blocked by Mikael Silvestre.
72:53 Kieran Gibbs sends in a cross, Sotirios Kyrgiakos makes a clearance.
71:32 Fran Merida takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Philipp Degen.
70:50 Emiliano Insua gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicklas Bendtner. The free kick is swung in left-footed by
Fran Merida, Dirk Kuyt manages to make a clearance.
70:28 The ball is crossed by Ryan Babel.
69:25 Philipp Degen fouled by Da Silva Eduardo, the ref awards a free kick. Martin Skrtel takes the direct free kick.
66:38 Dirk Kuyt sends in a cross, comfortable save by Lukasz Fabianski.
65:47 Pass corner from left by-line crossed in by Andriy Voronin, blocked by Samir Nasri.
64:22 Andriy Voronin fouled by Samir Nasri, the ref awards a free kick. Andriy Voronin takes the free kick. Ryan Babel takes a shot.
Comfortable save by Lukasz Fabianski.
63:24 Foul by Mikael Silvestre on Dirk Kuyt, free kick awarded. Andriy Voronin takes the free kick.
60:00 Da Silva Eduardo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Skrtel. Martin Skrtel takes the free kick.
59:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fran Merida on Dirk Kuyt. Martin Skrtel restarts play with the free kick.
56:06 Foul by Andriy Voronin on Kieran Gibbs, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Mikael Silvestre.
54:06 Effort from the edge of the area by Andriy Voronin goes wide of the left-hand upright.
53:15 A cross is delivered by Kieran Gibbs, Diego Cavalieri makes a comfortable save.
51:27 Craig Eastmond gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt. Philipp Degen restarts play with the free kick.
50:25 Philipp Degen is ruled offside. Kieran Gibbs takes the indirect free kick.
49:15 Fran Merida provided the assist for the goal.
49:15 GOAL - Nicklas Bendtner:Arsenal 2 - 1 Liverpool Nicklas Bendtner finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-1
47:59 Jay Spearing has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
47:09 A cross is delivered by David Ngog, Mikael Silvestre manages to make a clearance.
45:31 The offside flag is raised against Nicklas Bendtner. Free kick taken by Sotirios Kyrgiakos.
45:01 The referee starts the second half.
45:00+1:11 The first half comes to an end.
45:00+0:34 Corner taken left-footed by Fran Merida.
44:11 Damien Plessis takes a shot. Blocked by Philippe Senderos. Corner taken right-footed by Andriy Voronin from the right by-line,
A cross is delivered by Damien Plessis, comfortable save by Lukasz Fabianski.
43:10 Corner taken by Andriy Voronin from the right by-line played to the near post, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance. Andriy
Voronin takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Aaron Ramsey.
41:56 Corner from the left by-line taken by Samir Nasri, David Ngog manages to make a clearance. Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot.
Diego Cavalieri makes a comfortable save.
41:22 Centre by Craig Eastmond, clearance made by Philipp Degen. Inswinging corner taken by Craig Eastmond, Dirk Kuyt manages to
make a clearance.
40:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Damien Plessis by Nicklas Bendtner. Direct free kick taken by Emiliano Insua.
39:45 Nicklas Bendtner delivers the ball.
38:04 David Ngog gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Eastmond. Craig Eastmond takes the direct free kick.
37:51 Foul by Damien Plessis on Kerrea Gilbert, free kick awarded. Aaron Ramsey takes the direct free kick.
36:49 The referee blows for offside. Nicklas Bendtner takes the indirect free kick.
36:01 Centre by Samir Nasri, Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Save made by Diego Cavalieri.
34:46 The ball is crossed by Nicklas Bendtner.
34:20 Unfair challenge on Kerrea Gilbert by Ryan Babel results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Aaron Ramsey.
33:10 Nicklas Bendtner fouled by Emiliano Insua, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Fran Merida, save made by Diego
30:44 The ball is delivered by Ryan Babel, Philippe Senderos gets a block in. Short corner worked by Andriy Voronin. The ball is
delivered by Emiliano Insua. Ryan Babel is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Mikael Silvestre.
28:59 Samir Nasri crosses the ball, clearance made by Martin Skrtel.
26:53 Centre by Dirk Kuyt, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.
25:37 Ryan Babel provided the assist for the goal.
25:37 GOAL - Emiliano Insua:Arsenal 1 - 1 Liverpool Emiliano Insua gets on the score sheet with a brilliant goal from long range high into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 1-1
25:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fran Merida on Philipp Degen. Direct free kick taken by Philipp Degen.
24:21 David Ngog gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Eastmond. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Ramsey.
23:34 Unfair challenge on Ryan Babel by Craig Eastmond results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Andriy Voronin, save by Lukasz
20:09 The ball is swung over by Damien Plessis.
18:21 GOAL - Fran Merida:Arsenal 1 - 0 Liverpool Fran Merida finds the net with a goal from just outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool.
17:57 Da Silva Eduardo delivers the ball, Martin Skrtel gets a block in.
13:20 The ball is sent over by Dirk Kuyt, save by Lukasz Fabianski.
11:30 Jay Spearing takes a shot. Craig Eastmond gets a block in.
9:45 Martin Skrtel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Samir Nasri. Samir Nasri has a direct shot on goal from the
Correction - 8:38 Philipp Degen produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
8:38 Jay Spearing produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
7:28 Long range shot by Fran Merida goes wide right of the target.
4:11 Aaron Ramsey takes a shot. Sotirios Kyrgiakos gets a block in.
2:43 Dirk Kuyt produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.
0:26 Foul by Ryan Babel on Kieran Gibbs, free kick awarded. Mikael Silvestre restarts play with the free kick.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.