Many Arsenal fans have lauded Joe Willock as being a regeneration of Gunners legend Patrick Vieira, after the midfielder struck from range against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.
Willock must have thought he had scored his side’s winning goal in spectacular fashion in the 70th-minute, when the 20-year-old picked the ball up just inside the Liverpool half, glided past Adam Lallana and unleashed a fierce, whipped strike into the top-left corner.
Caoimhin Kelleher could get nowhere near to save his shot, but the Anfield outfit pulled themselves back level when Divock Origi secured his brace by pulling away from his marker to volley home a stoppage-time equaliser.
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Arsenal had overcome an early own goal by Shkodran Mustafi to hold a 3-1 lead over Liverpool approaching half-time, but found themselves initially pegged back minutes before the break when James Milner tucked home from the spot.
The Gunners rallied on with Ainsley Maitland-Niles restoring their two-goal lead, only for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds to fight back and snatch their first equaliser through Origi, following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin lashing home an effort Mustafi ducked out the way of.
Willock’s goal, though, left a lasting impression on many Arsenal fans despite their side going on to lose on penalties, with supporters lauding the 5 ft 8 youngster as a regeneration of Vieira.
The French icon famously struck a similar strike against Newcastle United at Highbury in April 1998, as the North London side went on to win the Premier League title.
Vieira would win the World Cup that summer, and added a further two English top-flight crowns and four FA Cups to his trophy cabinet during his time with Arsenal.
Willock’s appearance vs Liverpool was his 30th first-team game for the Gunners, while his strike was his seventh in senior football.
Here are some of the messages shared…
joe willock gone off the boil lately but his ability to drive through players and shrug them off is insane reminds me of vieira, just needs to improve he’s defensive positioning and pressing. what a goal from the lad yesterday #afc
— ⚡️ℭ⚡️ (@ChiefGooner) October 31, 2019
JOSEPH WILLOCK VIEIRA REGEN
— Kenzo (@_adhisatrio) October 30, 2019
Was so gassed after that Willock goal man. Vieira vs Newcastle at Highbury esque. Trust us to mess it up man.
— The Landmind (@Landmind111) October 30, 2019
Joe Willock, he of the trio of famed brothers, all grew up as Gooners. He strode forward, al la Patrick Vieira and let fly with a scud missile of a strike to send us back to the lead. 5-4 to the Arsenal. #COYG #Arsenal #CarabaoCup #afc #LIVARS
— arsenal-talk (@gunners4all) October 30, 2019
Joe Vieira Willock there
— Stumpy (@Stumpy_Afc) October 30, 2019
Love Joe Patrick Vieira Willock! Beast!
— Darryl Lewis (@Bazilizk) October 30, 2019
— WMD (@WMD_Gunner22) October 30, 2019
Joe willock has vieraesque all over him
— #unaiout ❁ (@milehkevinAFC) October 31, 2019