English League Cup: Arsenal resist Liverpool in semi-final first leg

While the verdict had fallen on Wednesday in the other semi-final, with the qualification of Chelsea who twice beat Tottenham (2-0, 1-0), everything remains open between Liverpool and Arsenal before the return to London, in one week.

This meeting was initially supposed to be the return leg of the confrontation, but a combination of injuries, cases of Covid-19 and departures to the Africa Cup of Nations had allowed Liverpool to obtain a postponement of one week, for a reversal of the matches.

Also deprived of several players, including Martin Odegaard, tested positive for Covid and last-minute package, Arsenal fully intended to show that he was able to resist a team in the English Top 3.

The Gunners however complicated the task from the 24th minute with the expulsion of Granit Xhaka, already guilty of having put Manchester City back in the saddle during the defeat (2-1), on January 1, by offering him the equalizer on penalty, while Pep Guardiola’s side suffered 57 minutes.

This time, on a long ball of the Reds, the Swiss midfielder threw himself in to intercept it without taking the information and his foot landed in the belly of Diogo Jota who was arriving behind him, prompting Michael Oliver to come out directly. red, without much protest from the Gunners.

After striker Eddie Nketiah came out to let in on Rob Holding, the Londoners rounded their backs even more, often playing clustered in their last 25 yards to close off as much space as possible.

If the absences of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané, gone to CAN and replaced by Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino, were felt, they are not enough to explain the offensive difficulties of rough and stereotypical Reds.

Hero of the previous round, by equalizing in the last minute against Leicester to send the two teams to the penalty shootout won by his team (3-3, 5-4 at the tabs), the Japanese symbolized the offensive awkwardness of the Reds , resulted in 0 shots on target in 15 attempts.

He crossed his shot too much after a nice serve in the box from Andrew Robertson (68th), before sending the ball into the skies when the goal was open after a failed exit from Aaron Ramsdale in the 90th minute.

Arsenal even came close to an excellent operation when Alisson, back in goal, had to make a decisive exit in front of Bukayo Saka at the conclusion of a well-conducted counter (72nd).

However, it will still take a big performance from the Gunners at home to validate their ticket for the final on February 27, especially as Liverpool are in pursuit of the record of victories in the competition that they currently co-hold with Manchester. City (8), eliminated in the eighth.

Leave a Reply