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Home   /   Arsenal vs Liverpool- As It Happened

It’s the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, where Arsenal take on Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium for what promises to be a nail-biting fixture, after a goalless first-leg with all to play for. My name is Ishaaq Mangera and I’ll be taking you through the team news of both sides as well as a live blog of the game so enjoy!

The Gunners were down to 10-men at Anfield after 24 minutes in the first-leg, with their former skipper Grant Xhaka receiving his 5th red card of his Arsenal career, taking-down Diogo Jota who was baring down on goal. That Xhaka red meant that was Arsenal’s 13th red card under Mikel Arteta. However, Arteta’s men stayed resolute as they had their backs against the wall for the majority of the game. Liverpool struggled to break down Arsenal, with a brilliant defensive display from the whole team to keep themselves in the tie.

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The Reds finished the game with a total of 17 shots, only testing Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale once. Despite Liverpool’s domination, the Gunners had a chance to gain a surprise lead late in the second half, with winger Bukayo Saka on the receiving end of a Kieran Tierney cross, but his shot could not beat Alisson who rushed out very well. The biggest chance of the game fell to Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino with Ramsdale caught in no-man’s land, leaving an empty net for Minamino to score his opener, but his effort ended up high in the Kop.

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With the first-leg ending in a stalemate, all is still left to play for at the Emirates.

Team-news

Following their postponement of the North London Derby last Sunday, Arsenal are without Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe due to their AFCON commitments. Thomas Partey arrived back in London today from the competition so is a heavy doubt. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also back from AFCON after he returned from Cameroon due to heart issues, so he will also not feature tonight.

Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu missed the first-leg due to injuries, along with Martin Odegaard after a positive Covid case but all could play tonight.

Granit Xhaka will also not feature due to suspension, after his first-leg red card.

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Liverpool are without their exciting wingers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as a result of AFCON, alongside Naby Keita. Former Gunner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also miss out on the fixture after suffering a ankle injury on their weekend during their 3-0 win over Brentford.

Divock Origi has recovered from a knee injury and returned to training this week, but is a high doubt for the game.

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Starting line-ups

https://twitter.com/Arsenal/status/1484235602035986435
https://twitter.com/LFC/status/1484235573309198336

4th MIN- The Gunners have started the game the brighter side, with wingers Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka getting into good wide areas, however no real chances to threaten Kelleher’s goal.

6th MIN- CLOSE! Alexandre Lacazette’s effort from a free-kick on the edge of the box crashes off of the crossbar, following Joel Matip’s careless pass giving the ball away to Saka who was resultantly fouled. Liverpool have began the game sloppy.

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9th MIN- The Gunners appear to be dominating the game, with Martin Odegaard controlling the midfield despite playing the number 6 role which is unusual for the Norwegian. Arsenal need to make the most out of this spell and try grab a goal before Liverpool wake-up.

13th MIN- Liverpool are now growing into the game but very slowly. The first corner resulted to a disallowed goal due to Joel Matip being in an offside position.

19th MIN- GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Diogo Jota received the ball on the left and drove into the box with promise, with Jota running across the box and a scuffed right-footed effort wrong-footing Aaron Ramsdale to give Liverpool the lead. Assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

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25th MIN- Despite the goal Arsenal still look the livelier side, but are unable to create any chances to worry the Reds.

29th MIN- WHAT A CHALLENGE! Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli was played through on goal but was terrifically challenged by fellow Brazilian Fabinho to keep Liverpool in the lead.

35th MIN- BORING! Both sides seem reluctant to attack and get at each other’s defences, with Liverpool keeping possession for long periods and Arsenal hardly pressing.

41st MIN- What promised to be a cagey affair has become a dull encounter. Liverpool look more than happy to keep the ball and protect their lead, with Arsenal showing no real intention of scoring the equaliser.

45th MIN- Lacazette is the first to receive a booking after a poor challenge on Liverpool’s Curtis Jones.

46th MIN- The second-half is underway and let’s hope for a more entertaining one! Joel Matip was brought off for Ibrahim Konate after a sloppy first-half display.

50th MIN- BIG CHANCE! Sami Lakonga plays through Lacazette with only the keeper to beat but the ball ends up in Row Z. Biggest chance of the game for the Gunners and a let off for Liverpool.

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52nd MIN- WHAT’S IN THE AIR?! Jota does brilliantly to breeze past Ben White and cuts it back for Kaide Gordan on the edge of the six-yard area who skies the ball into the crowd! What a chance for the Reds to double their lead.

56th MIN- Takehiro Tomyasu goes into the book after being dispossessed by Jones and being cynically dragged back.

60th MIN- HITS THE WOODWORK! The substitute Konate rises superbly from an Alexander-Arnold corner and strikes the post. Jordan Henderson tries to tap in the rebound at the far-post but his efforts straight at Ramsdale. Liverpool have started the half the brighter side.

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64th MIN- Alexander-Arnold with a vicious ball into the box but Gordan can’t quite get there. That was the last of Gordan’s action as he has been replaced by Takumi Minamino. Konate also joins the book for pulling Lacazette’s shirt.

70th MIN- Arsenal have been poor this half, with Liverpool creating many chances. Alexander-Arnold with another delightful ball which fell to Minamino but his shot was blocked by Arsenal’s Martinelli.

73th MIN- Thomas Partey, who only returned back to London a few hours before kick off comes on to replace Emile Smith Rowe. A sign of desperation from Mikel Arteta perhaps? Lacazette is also replaced by Eddie Nketiah. For Liverpool, Henderson is replaced by James Milner.

76th MIN- Andy Robertson blasts the ball across the six-yard area but the ball is too quick for anyone to reach. You feel it’s only a matter of time until Liverpool put this game to bed.

77th MIN- AND THERE IT IS! Jota gets played through by Alexander-Arnold yet again, who delicately dinks the ball over a rushing Ramsdale. The linesman disallowed the goal but VAR confirms Jota was onside and gives the green light.

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82nd MIN- Martinelli, who has certainly been Arsenal’s most threatening player, produces an amazing scissor-kick effort which goes over the bar. Is there enough time for the Gunners to scrape their way back into the game? I mean we saw what their North London rivals produced last night!

86th MIN- Neco Williams comes on for Roberto Firmino, who produced a rather average performance.

90th- RED CARD! Partey receives a second yellow after a late challenge on Williams’ ankle which could’ve been a lot worse. Reckless decision from the Ghanian who looks a frustrated figure. This is the 14th red card Arsenal have received under Arteta.

FULL TIME ARSENAL 0 LIVERPOOL 2

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Diogo Jota’s emphatic brace knocks Arsenal out of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final. Liverpool will play Chelsea at Wembley on the 27th of February.

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