Arsenal held Liverpool to a battling goalless draw regardless of Granit Xhaka’s early pink card within the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.
With the tie lastly getting underneath method seven days after its authentic date, following final week’s postponement, Xhaka managed to final simply 24 minutes at Anfield earlier than being despatched off for a reckless last-man problem on Diogo Jota.
However because of an excellent defensive show, and a considerably underwhelming Liverpool efficiency, Arsenal could have an actual spring of their step forward of the second leg on the Emirates Stadium in seven days.
Xhaka pink card ‘a ridiculous problem’
One lengthy go from Andy Robertson discovered the run of Jota, and as he tried to race into the field he was caught by Xhaka with a excessive boot to his chest. It was reckless, and Oliver had no selection however to ship him off.
Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports activities Soccer:
“Xhaka did what Xhaka does. He makes a fully ridiculous problem when Jota nonetheless has a lot to do.
“The way in which he has taken him out and with the power he does it. There is not any doubt it is a pink card.”
- Jurgen Klopp named as robust a facet as he feasibly may, with Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino coming into assault for the absent pair of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.
- Mikel Arteta handed an extra begin to Eddie Nketiah up entrance, whereas Cedric Soares performed at right-back. Martin Odegaard missed out after testing optimistic for Covid.
Most inside Anfield would have anticipated an onslaught from the second of Xhaka’s dismissal. However with out Mo Salah and Sadio Mane there was a worrying lack of incision in Liverpool’s assaults. Alternatives created had been few and much between, and Aaron Ramsdale was hardly ever examined within the Arsenal objective. Takumi Minamino and Roberto Firmino struggled to have a lot of an affect of their place.
One of many few clear probabilities after the pink card most likely fell to Arsenal on 72 minutes, as Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney mixed earlier than the latter discovered Bukayo Saka within the field, however he was denied by the fast considering of Alisson – as he raced off his line to stop him changing.
There was time for Liverpool to grab the win on 90 minutes, however Minamino by some means conspired to blaze over the bar and into the Kop with the objective at his mercy.
Man of the Match: Ben White
“There’s a lot battle on this group and it confirmed as we speak,” White advised Sky Sports activities. “We dug deep and received the consequence we would have liked.
“The boys did nicely as we speak. It is exhausting sufficient to return right here with 11 males, to get one despatched off immediately is just not good, however it was an outstanding efficiency. We had been assured coming right here and we’ll give it our all within the subsequent recreation.”
Carabao Cup schedule
- Second leg takes place on the Emirates Stadium subsequent Thursday, January 20. Reside on Sky Sports activities Soccer from 7pm; kick-off 7.45pm.
- The winners of this tie face Chelsea within the ultimate at Wembley on Sunday, February 27
What’s subsequent for Liverpool and Arsenal?
Forward of subsequent week’s second leg each side are again in Premier League motion on Sunday. Liverpool host Brentford in a 2pm kick-off, whereas Arsenal head to Tottenham for an enormous north London derby, reside on Sky Sports activities Premier League from 4pm; Kick-off 4.30pm.