Arsenal clinch their spot thanks to unlikely hero

Arsenal were unable to break the deadlock during the 90 minutes tonight, but beat their rivals Liverpool in another penalty shootout to make sure.

Arsenal fielded an exciting line-up, changed their setup to a 4-3-3 for the fixture, and I was certain that we would get the better of Liverpool’s much-changed team, but the game certainly didn’t go as I had expected..

Both sides kept their opponents at bay mostly, restricting most shots to be taken on from outside the box. Although Liverpool definitely carved out the best chances of the game, that accounts for nothing if you don’t get on the scoresheet, and they didn’t.

I definitely was not expecting this encounter to end 0-0, especially not after seeing the two team-sheets, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

We then had to try and beat our rivals in a penalty shoot-out just as we did in the Community Shield around five weeks ago, and Adrian gave his side the advantage when Mo Elneny failed to find the corners.

Bernd Leno got us straight back into the tie however, and Maitland-Niles scored the 10th penalty to send us into sudden death at 4-4.

The hosts gave Leno a near-identical second save to give us the chance to clinch the tie, and youngster Joe Willock did just that.

He sent the ball into the goalkeeper’s left, and despite making contact, the ball dribbled over the line.

For anyone still watching, the draw for the quarter finals is about to go ahead, and we will know our fate for the next round any moment.


Tags Arsenal v Liverpool Liverpool


  1. That was a very poor game.. Obvious MOTM has to be Leno.
    I’m pretty sure people will still tell you he’s still bad from playing at the back. Truth is I’ve never been worried about his playing from the back.
    Someone asked me that question if I wasn’t worried on Monday, I told him no, and today I wasn’t worried. I’ve never been worried about how Leno uses the ball.
    The problem is how 3-4 played of ours always line up too close to him waiting for him to pass.
    Leno is a Sweeper Keeper, Shit, let me rephrase, Leno is a German Sweeper Keeper. I’m yet to see one German GK that can’t play the ball with his feet.
    The huge difference is, Leno prefers to take risks and likes waiting for the opposition to get closer before he passes the ball.

    I couldn’t stomach watching that overall performance though.
    I defended Pepe a lot last season, but I ain’t defending him this season.
    Jesus!! Saka could calm control a diagonal ball from Cedric, and Pepe can’t even do that too!
    At this rate I don’t mind giving him to Crystal Palace to get Zaha or giving him to Brentford to get Said Benrahma who again scored a beautiful goal tonight!!
    I want Benrahma more than I want Zaha or any other winger but it’s a pipe dream.
    Thank God that horrible football has ended.. Now onto Sunday’s game

    1. Whhat were we doing with the ball today?? All our play was unintelligent like it was serious. It would take some guts for Arsenal to field Kolasinac after such a showing. Thank goodness he’s off. Leno’s reflexes has always been world class but he’s just an error prone keeper which is fine as long as he ain’t making mistakes or the defense can help him out.

      1. It’s why I said I couldn’t stomach that performance.
        Damn how senior players will be relaxes if they look at this squad and see these guy are the competition they have to face.
        Pepe isn’t even a competition to William. Maybe I’m going way overboard here but he’s absolutely poor.
        The whole team were poor today… We really need to switch out of this formation too much as it starves our attackers a lot.
        A lot, most of our goals from last seat were from the wings.
        What wouldn’t I give to have Benrahma with us, I’ve been saying it since the window opened.
        Yeah today should be Kolasinac’s last game I think. Fabrizio said it would be completed within 48 hours.
        I think Gabriel did well, didn’t put a foot wrong at all

        1. Youre not overboard about Pepe. Auba skinned Neco Williams alive last time. Pepe got destroyed by him. It’s hard for me to think of any fullback or defender that has actually struggled with this guy. And please nobody say say VVD because Pepe dribbled past him one time…. This season is make or break for him, and league cup was his time to shine. Next league cup match is City and it’ll be another game we expect a lot from him. I want this to work out, but he leaves me wanting much more every time I see him.

      2. Arsenal did very well except some minor errors. We have beaten Liverpool FC again. It was a great show foe Arsenal.

    2. like i said on the other thread, i thought pepe had a fine game today

      he’s a not a defender but i thought he gased out defending today, and still making those runs to win the game during the last 20 minutes

    3. Pepe is highly inconsistent, not good in one-on-one situation and often dispossessed, but he’s the only left-footed RW specialist at Arsenal. If Arsenal want to sell him, they have to find another inverted RW specialist, not a right-footed LW like Zaha and Benrahma

      He is still in his prime, very quick and pretty good in the air as well, so he’s still sellable. He’s not as useless as Thomas Lemar at Atletico Madrid though

        1. I don’t think so, because he is bad in duels, he lacks tactical awareness and he can’t keep the ball well. I can understand it if he were 19 years old, but he’ll be 26 soon

          Despite all his weaknesses, he is only left-footed RW we have. So we shouldn’t sell him until we find a better one

      1. I hear sellable,lol….NOT going to happen!If Arteta didnt trust him,he wouldnt have put Nelson up for loan offers

    4. Leno was definitely my MOTM today as he saved us a lot of times But i still maintain my stance that Martinez is still the better goalkeeper of the two. Leno still has some things he needs to improve, and Understandable Martinez is no longer our player, Leno is, so he definitely has my full support and hope he keeps putting more displays like this but hope it doesn’t even make it to that in the first place and he coordinates his defence better so he doesn’t have to concede too many shots to be saved.

      1. And I still maintain my stance that I won’t buy whatever everyone else is selling.
        Leno remains the better goalkeeper for me

      2. get a life bro
        Emi is long gone and I can’t believe you’re still on this.
        Even with Leno’s performance today
        Shame on you

    5. I don’t think Leno didn’t do anything that we didn’t know already
      He is always a super good shot stopper that is his strength he has good reflexes no one is disputing that we only said Martinez was all round a better keeper we talked about things Leno had to improve on but i never saw Martinez single weakness…
      Let’s just be honest we are know that Martinez is gone, and we all support Leno but we also know Martinez was that better in many aspects

    6. Eddie I said last season Pepe is not a EPL player and never will be that is why he is not in the team what a waste of £72 million

  2. Leno to the rescue again!…This man needs to be supported and respected…
    If we go on to win this Cup and I believe we can,seeing only Man city could Prolly stop’s gon be down to Leno’s masterclass today

  3. Woohoo!!!!! I do feel sorry for Elneny though…
    I could watch Ainsley’s pen all day long, that guy is super cool!!
    Now who will we draw?!!

        1. Some bad news PSG in gor Aquar only be 1 winner there and it’s not Arsenal!! Think partley would give us more in what we need in the team a proper box to box midfielder think he would be a great signing!!

          1. Tomorrow will surely be judgement day?! Lot of deals on the verge of happening….
            One good thing – looks like PSG will get Alli 🤣
            Yeah I’ll be really disappointed if we miss out on TP…

          2. PSG ain’t getting Aouar.
            Yesterday when it Juventus he was being linked with I said it was bait and bûllshît.
            Today L’Equipe confirmed and said that Juventus interest was just a ‘smokescreen’.
            PSG want Aouar on loan with obligation to buy, but it’s not even going to happen for a couple of reasons.
            1: Aouar wants to go abroad, you don’t need to look hard all over the net to see that he prefers a move abroad. Ding! Ding!! It’s the EPL

            2. Lyon won’t accept no loan offer. They need cash, and they didn’t sign Paqueta just to be able to loan out Aouar.

            3. Lyon need money to balance their books. They wouldn’t sign Paqueta if
            the offer they got for Aouar was what they can walk away from.
            Aulas only likes ranting as usual, trying to look like a chief negotiator.

            Today’s game is over, so we’ll know the whole thing tomorrow

  4. Leno went ultra with the saves today. Nothing was getting past him today. 100/10 for him. I knew we would win from how he performed in normal time. He was simply magical. Surely this should be Kolasinac’s last match?? I wont even go into his performance. We won and I’m glad but If I may ask what were all our players doing with the ball today??

    1. Kev, I watched the match with a Liverpool fan and I kept telling him you guys are not going to score with those long shots, I know Leno can save shots, he’s brilliant at saving shots. But please what formation exactly did Arteta used today.

      1. Still the normal 3-4-3. I thought it would be 4-3-3 but it was 3-4-3.
        Front three of Pepe-Nketiah-Willock.
        It’s why there wasn’t a single threat from the right wing.
        This formation limits the services the likes of Nketiah and Laca gets

      2. 4-3-3,its a nice formation MA came prepared oh Gabriel is too good,nice composure,thanks to Leno and the defence.

  5. It’s getting really boring watching arsenal play, why do we always play defensive against all teams, I mean we could have easily attacked this Liverpool team and win comfortably. This Liverpool team were there for the taking, Liverpool had more than 5shots on target but we only had 1shot on target. I am still waiting for the transfer window to close before saying anything about the team.

  6. One word LENO……

    Easily man of the match……….

    Some players were really frustrating today but I won’t go further today….

    Arteta will take this club to greater heights. We need to be patient with him….its gonna take Time

  7. Thank god. Arteta’s plan worked. I knew he prefer to win Carabao match against Liverpool than EPL. Hmmm Pepe..

  8. Didn’t expect Arteta to come up with the same formation, but at least our B team could keep up with Liverpool B. Liverpool are toothless without Mane

    We were wasteful in the previous EPL match because of Luiz’s speculative passes and our attackers kept dispossessed, but this time Magalhaes’ long passes were pretty good, Nketiah/ Willock worked hard and Leno deserved to be MOTM

    1. I thought Kolasinac was quite good, apart from the one brain fart in the first half. Unlike Tierney, he didn’t let Salah bully him

  9. Emi saved a pen for Villa the other day and suddenly we had several articles about how we’ll regret selling him and keeping Leno. They refused to mention how he conceded all 5 pens in the CS. Today that Leno has saved two, I’ll be waiting to read what the Leno haters have to write.

    1. Nobody hates/hated Leno, just think Martinez was better and deserved to keep his place at No. 1. Also feels a bit dirty the guy was held back for so long, proves himself a very capable keeper and still doesnt even get a fair shot.
      Everyone knows Leno is a brilliant shot stopper – so is Martinez – it’s the other side’s to goalkeeping that are in question (namely dealing with crosses and ability with the ball at their feet).
      It’s probably a coincidence as it’s a new season, some new players and different challenges, but the defence looks less secure now EM has gone. Whatever – hope Leno proves me/us wrong but hopefully he doesn’t need to play like this all the time.

      1. Granted, Emi is a brilliant GK. Personally, I think he deserved to be #1, but from a management perspective, he had no right to threaten the manager to either make him number one or he walks. That would take the authority away from the manager and hand it to the player. What if MA had yielded, that would have potentially opened the door for other players to carry out similar threats.

        Even if the manager had really wanted him as number one, he couldn’t do so, since that would make it look like he was simply acquiescing to the player. I stand with MA on this.

        In any case, his departure was good for all concerned. Arsenal got a decent fee, Emi got his wish of being number one and Villa got themselves a very good keeper….ad btw, we still got our super Leno.

        1. hope this Emi vs Leno debate is done and dusted. Leno had a bad day in office on Monday but redeemed himself yesterday.Let us support him and march forward. Also the debates on Ozil should be over, we win important matches without him.
          Well done MA, Leno and the lads.Come back stronger Elneny.

      2. spot on Davi. Nothing Truer. funny thing is these fans would criticize any other player they didn’t like while others are “no-go areas” when it came to criticizing, namely; Leno, Ozil, xhaka etc. but a kolasinac gets the stick when he doesn’t perform well but is ignored when he had a fairly decent game today like the game against Leicester.

      3. Tell me which other department of the team is playing well. The problem is not just the defence, but MF as well. Even Auba and Willian are fairly average so far. You can’t single out Leno.

        And btw, just because you prefer Emi because of his superior handling of crosses doesn’t mean that’s Arteta’s prioritiy. MA is probably more focused on playing from the back, for which Leno is superior. Leno delays his passes to attract one or two players, so he can take them out of the equation with his pass. It’s the other defenders and MFs who really don’t have a clue what to do when they receive the ball. Our passing out from the back is frustrating and painful to watch, but they need to continue doing it so as to develop competence in it (if that’s exactly how MA wants to play).

        1. FFS!! THIS IS IT!! THIS IS THE COMMENT!! this right here is the comment Maxis.
          Finally someone who really knows what it is and the exact purpose of playing out from the back!
          I said up there that Leno only prefers doing it under pressure when oppositions are on him.
          He’s good at plying from the back, I’ve never seen him fail at that.
          The whole point of playing out from the back is drawing out your opposition so you can start picking them out of the equation while you move the ball up the pitch.
          Playing from the back with a sweeper keeper isn’t just about recycling passes at the back.
          With your passes, what players are you taking out?
          It’s exactly what Arteta saw.
          Martinez is good with passing also, but he does it way too early and the ball moves around them at the back like they’re just recycling passes back there, it’s why when you see some of the goals we scored from playing at the back, we actually drew pressure from the opposition and took out a couple of forwards.
          Only thing is Leno does that better and confidently.
          That annoyance that comes with being a German GK. They all do it, from Neuer and Ter Stegen down to Leno.
          Inviting pressure before passing

          What Leno and the defenders need are actually smart midfielders who can get the ball quick and turn it into attack instead of plating it back to the goalkeeper again.

          I really think fans don’t know this about playing from the back, and fans don’t really know about the insights of Mikel Arteta’s game and preferences. But I’m glad you know this.
          I dropped my phone and gave you a round of applause after reading your comment bro

          1. Exactly! The midfielder is the safety valve that releases the ball to the offense. Xaxha while he tries hard is not fast enough to find space, receive the ball and pass it forward. Ceballos plays in circle and does not have the vision to link the offense and defense.

    2. Come off it Maxis
      No-one has slated or hates Leno.
      What the Martinez ‘lovers’ have highlighted is that he took over half way through a game and never looked back. Sorry, I don’t buy the hate stuff at all. I would have been more than happy for Martinez to have stayed but I’m not unhappy that Leno stayed either.

      1. I get it SueP. It’s just annoying the constant moaning by a section of the fans even after the decision has been made by all parties concerned.

        Emi did brilliantly during the last few EPL matches, the FA Cup later stages and the CS. But tell me which other player didn’t do brilliantly during that period, from the usual suspects like Xhaka, Louis, Elneny, AMN, etc. Right now, the team is playing poorly and that is reflected in everyone’s performance. Emi would have equally been average during this period.

        1. I’m fine with your comments
          It’s just so many have jumped on the bandwagon that Martinez ‘supporters ‘ somehow hate Leno which is absolutely not the case
          The other issue of course is that the Leno v Martinez articles have been plentiful

    3. They are all blind to it all of a sudden.
      don’t be surprise to hear “its just a carling cup penalty” Leno saved

  10. Finally Liverpool have suffered a defeat at An field. Who could have done it but Arsenal. Thanks to everyone that played today. You win some and you lose some, that’s football.

    1. They were beating there last season by Atletico madrid. But they haven’t lost in the league at home in 61 matches

  11. Smiling faces at Afc beaten Leicester,now Liverpool and next…..Man City !
    Good to have easy cup draws…..

    1. How nice it would be if we could see the same opposition you mentioned as “Easy” fixtures during EPL matches this season.

  12. Cant believe we got rid of Martinez!!!!!

    But seriously, more positive vibes heading towards arsenal. A fighting win.

    After beating Klopps liverpool 3 times out of 4, surely someone has to say to klopp ‘you say you were the team to deserve to win, but at what point do you accept you lost?!???!’

    Need a confident win on sunday to sign off.for internationals.

  13. Cannot argue the lads gave 100%. It’s now time to bring some players in….it’s getting close to the wire.

  14. I think MA showed the league how to beat Liverpool. If I were Klopp, I will be concerned because this is a copycat league.

      1. Yes Val agree! but can you imagine Liverpool fighting and scratching for 2 hours game after game while having 65% possession ? They don’t have the players to do that.

    1. lcw, “copycat league” ? There’s not a league in the world, where good managers don’t pick up on and follow what works on their opposition.

  15. Only walking deads say Leno is not good enough..and Arsenal didn’t get rid of Martinez, he ran away from competition. The guy was scared of Leno. Why can’t he stay and prove himself,how do you ask a German international to be benched for you that played 11 times!! The momentum was with him, even he started the community shield game while his senior was on the bench. Why did he chicken out. He’s better at crosses but he ain’t got Leno’s skill. Leno’s reflexes are like casillas… and I know I’ll take casillas over Buffon any day

    1. Martinez has proven himself by getting us two trophies in a short period, but he was still not given the chance to be main GK for EPL

      He didn’t run away. He moved because he’s running out of time to be Argentina main GK due to his age and he still has to compete with Heaton at Villa

      1. Gotanidea, is it not the same Martinez that came out twice to the media telling the whole world he’d leave if he doesn’t continue playing?
        Is it not the same Martinez that was asking to be the guaranteed number 1 while the coach said he wants both of them to stay and push each other to be better?
        The Martinez that chose to leave even after starting the community shield because he wasn’t too sure he could displace Leno?
        Or which of the Martinez are you talking about?

        It’s not even a secret that he was ranting to the media about playing or else leaving.
        Let’s not make it seem like the club didn’t want to keep him and like he didn’t choose to make it easy for Leno.
        Like Maxis said, I’m glad Arteta didn’t give in to his demand of being the guaranteed starter.
        No player should call the shot

        1. I don’t believe in what the likes of The Sun and Daily Mail said about Martinez’s demand. The sale was a mutual decision by Arsenal and Martinez

          Arsenal need money to buy both Aouar/ Partey and Martinez needs EPL games to be Argentina’s no 1. Martinez could’ve stayed to collect his salary like Ozil, but he chose to pursue his career

          1. It was in goal and it was in talksport, Everything he said.
            How do you thinking the Sun would’ve made that statement up?

            Also yes the transfer was mutual, because I read on the Athletic he told the club to please accept even if it’s 10M a club bids for him

  16. How did we pay 72mil for pepe,he’s just so freaking frustrating to watch and kola just don’t me started.. we really need to sign aouer and partey to compete well cos our midfield is sh*t. it was a boring game but am happy we won..

    1. Pepe didn’t play well in AFCON and many of his goals for Lille were scored from penalties, but we didn’t have better option for left-footed RW at that time. That’s why Arsenal have to scout Aouar and Partey thoroughly before splashing the cash on them, especially because they’re just central midfielders

  17. Overall I am a very happy old fart tonight.
    People keep saying were playing boring unattractive football.
    I for one don’t give a rats arse how we play if it means we’re winning games, qualifying for the next rounds of cup comps etc.
    The boys done well tonight, they dug deep and are now in the qtrs.
    MA and his staff are doing a fabulous job at the moment with what they have to work with.
    I think fans should remember how long it took Klopp to get Liverpool to the standard they are today.
    For us moving forward, the signs are there that we’re improving as a team. Our defensive resolve since MA took over has been a breathe of fresh air for me and no team can win trophies by having a shoddy defence.

    1. Val, this is the best comment here today, I know some names here, arsenal loose, they will complain, arsenal win, they will complain, someone wont actually know what they want.

    2. Totally agree, a Manager or head coach can only do the best he can with the players he has at his disposal. Maybe some people will reconsider how unfair they were on Emery.
      A win is a win.

  18. David Seaman
    Jens Lehmann
    Pat Jennings
    Fank Moss

    To our long and illustrious list of great goalkeepers let’s welcome the latest addition BERND LENO!!!

  19. Well done leno,he did wonderfully well today&how is it that it’s only arsenal getting the tough draws…don’t be surprise we draw tottemham or man u if we manage to defeat man city…wishing the team all the best for the games ahead

  20. Ainsley Maitland-Niles turns into prime Pele when he gets to the penalty spot. Cold as ice – love it!!!!

  21. Well gooner p 4-3-3 worked better than the last match no 3-1 this time and Leno is improving I want him continue to do so. I do think lacazzette should have been put on before 82 minutes though it may have been different 12 minutes is a lot to ask for a goal or maybe I am wrong we will never know. The main thing is it was a win isn’t that all that matters?. As for the next team arsenal face I hope arsenal crush them.

  22. Battling display from the boys tonight, obvious MOM Leno produced a typical Leno performance, shot stopping could not be faulted. He was abley assisted by Pepe, Ceballos and Saka in that order for me. The rest battled but didn’t manage to show too much in the way of quality. Its only the cariboo cup but it is still good to go through at the expense of Liverpool at anfield. Well done!

    1. Reggie, Leno showed the benefit of more games under his belt; he must have have been rusty and down on confidence after being out for 2 months.

  23. I hope the board and owner wake up after the performances we have seen in last three games specially. This squad is weak and we need to add quality specially in middle of park. In order for MA to succeed he needs to be given proper tools. We need to buy Aouar and Partey, if we are inspiring to finish in top 4. Come on Arsenal spend some money and get the deals over the line. I know it is tough in today’s situation but we can do it and will recoup most of the money if we finish in champions League spot with another FA cup and UEFA cup along with shirt sales based on reading comments by a lot of fans here who are in love with Partey. We can not be serious if we think a midfiled of Xhaka, Ceballos, Elneny and Willock will achieve top 4 for us but with 2 quality players we can.

    1. @Mohsan
      We may buy Aouar and/or Partey and they fail to adapt like Torreira and Pepè. These days am sceptical on whether any player can guarantee anything. If we spend £45M a piece on Aouar and Partey that’s a £90M outlay. We’d have to win the league or finish 2nd to recoup the investment.

  24. Can we stop playing from back and giving heart attack to most of us fans. I don’t mind if we do against teams of lesser quality and less pressing then Liverpool. But to do it against city, liverpool and lescester it is suicide. It invited unwanted pressure and bound to produce mistakes. Why take such high risk when reward is nothing, atleast take risk where reward might be higher….further up the pitch when instead of passing forward or playing expensive through balls we playside ways and backwards. But then you need quality in middle which we don’t have. For Pepe …”you are just shiti mane, you are just another shiti mane”. For all of the people who were saying watch Pepe fly in second season as players need time to settle in EPL, come out from under the rock. I said at that time as well we are going for cheaper option bec Lille agreed to receive payment over 5 year installments, we the hell did we signed Mari and Cedric on permanent basis as well is beyond me. If their loan was a trial then they must be smoking some strong shit in Emirates because no other club would have signed them. Then top it all we signed over the hill, well passed his best and grandpa from Chelsea first in form of Luiz but then he was feeling alone so we signed Willian. Atleast he is not error prone like Luiz and won’t cost us points directly in season. Then we cry why we have so much dead wood on our books.

  25. Hehe. Have to say I was not sure we would win this game. We did it though. Good job to the boys and good job to the manager!

  26. I agree somewhat but emery may be a good manager but not for arsenal. Arteta played for arsenal and played consistently not alway great but he done his best now he came done better than emery did in a shorter space of time he gets shit from fake fans give him a break will you? Feel free to reply but know I will crush anything you have to say look at the statistics and the bigger picture.

  27. Klopp saying this match was important. Never a less convincing liar. When football people start talking like politicians you know the sport’s in deep doodoo

  28. Leno an “unlikely” hero? Pass me whatever you’re smoking. It seems like some “fans”, as they claimed(to me they’re not fans, just a bunch of Leno haters or Martinez fanboy), have memories which are worse than cats and forgot how many times Leno saved our arse aginst the big teams in the past two years.

  29. I heard that we got 35 players instead of on earth will we manage the team by buying 2 other expensive lads with high wage demands? The board resolve is we first sell then buy.

  30. Arteta on AMN penalty: “I told him in the dressing room, ‘I’m going to have a heart attack’, because with his body language it was like ‘Jesus Christ!’… and then he puts it in the net.”

  31. Anyway, who was “the unlikely hero” in the end as it still hasn’t been explained?🤔Was it Ozil because he didn’t play?🤫
    Lights blue touch paper, stands back……..😳

  32. Ladies and gentlemen, may I respectfully suggest that we all refrain from making comparisons between our GK and a former Arsenal GK but focus on assessing our team and making positive constructive recommendations as to how we can improve going forward.From my perspective, the most important thing I learned from last night was that after some considerable time, we now have a top quality centre back in the team.Gabriel is the man who will add much needed steel to the spine of the team and if we can add Partey to the squad I am confident we have a real chance of retaining our top four status.Regardless of how you feel individuals performed, nobody with an ounce of intelligence, could deny that every player worked their socks off and overcame the mental barrier which has been a sad feature of our team when playing away against top sides.In particular I would like to highlight the prodigious work out in by young Willock.I am not a fan of stats, but I am willing to bet that they will show that he covered more ground than anyone on the pitch.He deserved the good fortune he got with his winning penalty and for him, this match could be a watershed for greater things to come.

  33. Unlikely! I still like Emi more but this guy saved Arsenal like 100 time under Emery.
    He is not a complete keeper but he is definitely a great one and a usual hero.

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