FA Cup

Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0: Klopp is frustrated as his Reds fail to break into the Gunners' 10-man defense after Xhaka's early dismissal.

Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0: Klopp is frustrated as his Reds fail to break into the Gunners’ 10-man defense after Xhaka’s early dismissal.

Jurgen Klopp has gone from 40 false positives to one massive negative.

The Carabao Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Arsenal is proving to be everything from straightforward.

Ten-man Arsenal kept Liverpool at bay in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final showdown

Despite playing with ten men for 66 minutes at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s side were unable to overcome a tenacious Arsenal side that saw Granit Xhaka sent off for a foolish charge on Diogo Jota.

And you have to give Arsenal a lot of credit for defending brilliantly and fighting tooth and nail to frustrate Klopp’s team.

Arsenal showed some great courage away from home with Ben White and first-half substitute Calum Chambers both brilliant in defense.

Mikel Arteta’s side now appear to have the upper hand ahead of next Thursday’s semi-final at the Emirates, where they will face Chelsea in the final

Granit Xhaka was sent off after 24 minutes but the game ended in a 0-0 stalemate

This was supposed to be the second leg until last week’s first leg was postponed due to the 40 false positive tests at Liverpool.

Despite Mo Salah and Sadio Mane being away on Afcon duty, the hosts chose a formidable team for their first domestic Cup semi-final in five years.

Alisson made his first appearance in the EFL Cup since joining Liverpool from Roma in 2018.

Despite their one-man advantage, Liverpool failed to make it a memorable evening for the Brazilian.

In the 90th minute, though, Liverpool’s lack of skill in the final third was summed up when Taki Minamino blasted over when he had an open goal.

Arsenal had one or two opportunities themselves to score but were also denied

And Arteta’s night would have been made a lot easier if Xhaka hadn’t been sent off for Arsenal for the sixth time.

Because his lunge was at Jota high and he was also the last man, he managed to effectively manage two red cards with one challenge on.

The Swiss midfielder will now miss the north London derby against Spurs on Sunday, as well as the second leg of the Champions League tie against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Xhaka was sent off for a challenge on Joao Cancelo against Manchester City in August, but he believes he starts games “closer to a red card” than other players.

Xhaka is probably correct, but he is to blame, not the referee.

Arsenal suffered an early injury blow with Cedric Soares limping off

And Arsenal’s task would have been made much easier had Xhaka not lost his cool when attempting to cut away a long cross from Andy Robertson.

Despite the fact that it was not the first time he had lost his cool throughout the evening, keeper Ramsdale was about to sprint off his line.

Xhaka was in a bad situation when he panicked and delivered the foolish challenge, for which referee Michael Oliver had no qualms in issuing a straight red card.

There are also fears for Bukayo Saka after he was forced off late on

Gabriel, the central defender, did little to help his team by pushing up into the Liverpool half in an attempt to close down Bobby Firmino but failing to get near enough to the Brazilian striker to stop the move.

Gabriel was caught hopelessly out of position after Robertson’s long punt, forcing Xhaka to protect his teammate.

In the 11th minute, Arsenal made a substitution, with Chambers replacing the injured Cedric Soares.

So, with the game still under 30 minutes old, Arteta was obliged to make a second tactical change, with Eddie Nketiah being replaced by defender Rob Holding.

Jurgen Klopp will have been left frustrated with his side's inability to score

Bukayo Saka, with his great technique and vision, looks like a real star for Arsenal even on a night like this.

Alexandre Lacazette, who started the game as a No10 before being replaced by Nketiah, did a lot of running.

Even though Ramsdale appeared to have a fingertip to it, Minamino produced a shot that went for a goal-kick after Liverpool struggled to rip through Arsenal until midway through the second half.

There is all to play for at the Emirates with Mikel Arteta's 10 men keeping a clean sheet

Arsenal put Alisson to the test after 70 minutes, with the Brazilian blocking a strike from Saka, who was later substituted after a club medic gave him some tablets and water.

Despite Liverpool’s pressure and Minamino’s miss, Arsenal remained disciplined at the back and conceded relatively little.

And, in many ways, this draw was even more encouraging than some of Arsenal’s other performances this season in their unexpected Champions League bid.

Arsenal are sure to miss Xhaka's presence in midfield next week

Despite being knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest, they still have a chance to win something at the end of the season.

The one bright spot for Tottenham fans following their midweek defeat by Chelsea is that Arsenal’s players, who covered so much ground, may be exhausted on Sunday.


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