Ten-man Arsenal displayed all the resilience and fighting that was missing in their weekend FA Cup exit as a goalless draw at Liverpool led them into the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals next week.
Runit Zaka’s second red card in only 13 appearances this season gave Liverpool the numerical advantage for 71 minutes of this tie, but they were well below their best before that and against an organized 5–3–1 formation. fought even more.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp later told Sky Sports: “I thought we had a good start. That’s how we wanted to start. I would have preferred to score a goal rather than get him a red card.”
“With some changes in the second half we clarified the situation. It was looking better but not enough for a better result.
“But it’s a two-stage game and it’s half-time. I’ve never been 0-0 at half-time and thought ‘we have no chance’.”
Arsenal actually did better with one less man and Bukayo Saka’s thrust went right down to ensure that their hosts would always be aware of their threat.
The England midfielder also forced the best defense of the night from Alison Baker – notably making her League Cup debut after three-and-a-half years – in the middle of the second half.
Liverpool had a possession of 78 percent, but only managed to force Aaron Ramsdale to save in an extra time – out of 17 attempts he had.
Jurgen Klopp wanted a one-off game and he has effectively got it now, although Liverpool’s advantage after the original first leg postponement in London last week due to the Covid outbreak now favors Mikel Arteta.
Klopp had brought back his recognized first team, or as many as possible, to this tie, but still only had 71 previous League Cup appearances for the club among the entire side – and captains Jordan Henderson and James Milner included them. Was responsible for 37. ,
Arsenal also came strong after losing to Championship side Nottingham Forest on Sunday, but still found themselves facing significant Liverpool dominance in the opening 25 minutes, not helped by an early injury injury from Cedric Soares.
Ben White nearly turned Takumi Minamino’s cross into his goal before the pressure was finally revealed when Zaka Andy Robertson’s pursuit crossfield stretched to reach the ball and only Diogo with a waist-high challenge at the edge of the field. Was successful in bringing down Jota.
Referee Michael Oliver had no hesitation in showing the Swiss midfielder his third red card in the past 18 months.
Eddie Neketia’s immediate return for Rob Holding switched Arsenal into damage-limit mode with the last five, but it gave them renewed purpose.
Crafted by an animated, arm-waving Arteta, he put his opponents at ease, who struggled without top scorers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who are in the Africa Nations Cup.
Saka nearly snatched the winner when it broke once again, only to be denied by Alisson’s outstretched arm, but when the midfielder limped from nine minutes of time, Arsenal did whatever it takes. He deserved it.
Minamino, who had shown a shot in the first goal, fired a half-volley on an open goal with the game’s last real chance.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta claimed he has not seen a repeat of Zaka’s departure.
He told Sky Sports: “He showed great fighting, determination and camaraderie. He never gave up, although it’s extremely difficult against this opponent.
“I told the players before the game that you have to have a certain attitude and you have to react in difficult moments, and I think the boys did very well. We played the game we had to play.
“I haven’t seen it back, but if they checked it it’s probably a red card.
“I hope now our fans will create a better atmosphere than today (in the second leg).”