After the postponement of this tie the previous week due to Liverpool’s supposed covid cases, today is the long awaited Carabao Cup semi final between Liverpool and Arsenal is cleared to go ahead. The other semi-final ties saw Chelsea knock out Tottenham 3-0 over two legs for their first final following their triumph over Manchester City in the Champions League. Arsenal go into this game on the back of a disappointing defeat, and to add insult to injury they are without Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith-Rowe and Martin Odegaard – three of their best performers this season. Despite the major losses of Salah and Mane to AFCON, Liverpool are able to field essentially a full strength team. We anticipate an action packed match today.
1 – The Gunners kick off at Anfield looking to bounce back from their FA Cup loss against Nottingham forest. This should be a lively game, especially considering how electric the crowd is.
2 – Flying cross from Cedric Soares is swung in to Eddie Nketiah who flings himself at it however concedes a foul on Alisson who returns for his first game in a while.
4 – A lovely cross field pass from Van Dijk finds Trent on the right hand side who controls it brilliantly although its cleared for a corner by Kieran Tierney
5 – An over the top through ball by Trent is miscued but in an attempt to pass the ball back to Aaron Ramsdale the Brazilian centre half Gabriel miscues it and it flies out for another Liverpool corner.
9 – Cedric Soares falls to the ground holding his hip and proceeds to punch the floor in anger. He fears his game is over.
11 – And it is, Cedric Soares is replaced by Calum Chambers to be the first substitution of the game.Embed from Getty Images
12 – Ramsdale makes potentially his first error of his Arsenal career so far, misjudging how close Firmino was. Another corner to Liverpool right infront of The Kop. The Liverpool fans are going wild with excitement.
13 – Best chance of the game so far however a slight touch from Ben White knocks the ball just wide of the goal and Arsenal clear.
20 – Within the beginning of the game it seems to be all Liverpool. They have had the majority of possession and also created multiple clear cut chances as a result.
24 – RED CARD – A beautiful lobbed through ball is recieved by Jota as Granit Xhaka swings his boot recklessly into the air and catches the Liverpool forward on the chest.Embed from Getty Images
28 – A forced substituion from Arteta to reshuffle the formation as forward Eddie Nketiah makes way for Rob Holding.
34 – Becoming a one horse race this game as Arsenal are barely able to get a hold of the ball. Liverpool just outclassing now especially with the man advantage.
40 – Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson bossing the flanks for Liverpool and are at the forefront of every chance they get, as well as Joel Matip being responsible for some tricky runs at the Arsenal defence.
43- Arsenal very slowly upping the tempo as they get a couple of sights at goal but no shots, Bukayo Saka doing most of the offensive work for the Gunners.
45 – HALF TIME – Liverpool 0 – 0 Arsenal.Embed from Getty Images
46 – Second half begins with an instant error from Liverpool as Van dijk’s pass is behind matip and goes put for a throw in .
47 – Beautiful full pitch run from Minamino and his attempt at a cross looks more like a shot as it goes over Ramsdale and narrowly wide of the right post.Embed from Getty Images
52 – The second half is a mirror image of the first, with Liverpool dominating possesion and constantly attacking the Arsenal net. No giving up from Arsenal though.
57- YELLOW CARD given to Andy Robertson for a pull on Saka’s shirt. Free kick in a dangerous position but it is punched clear by Allison.
61 – The first Liverpool substitution sees James Milner replaced by youngster Curtis Jones.
64 – Liverpool look devoid of ideas at this point, frequently trying to go directly through the middle of the 5 man arsenal defence rather than through the wings.
67 – A rare counter attack from Liverpool here after some twinkle toes footwork from Curtis Jones, as Minamino yet again drags his shot wide.
71 – Best chance of the game for Arsenal here as a curling cross from Tierney lands at Saka’s feet who tries to steer the ball goalwards but is saved nicely by The Liverpool keeper.
72 – Gabriel is booked following a cynical foul in order to stop Diogo Jota from being set free one on one against Ramsdale.
75 – TRIPLE Substitution for Liverpool as Neco Williams, Oxlade Chamberlain and Joe Gomez replace Fabinho, Joel Matip and Alexander Arnold.
78 – Bukayo Saka, who has been Arsenals best player so far, is being treated for a hip injury by the looks of things but can carry on.
80 – Saka is now unable to continue and so will come off and Nuno Tavares is coming on in his place. Lets hope he can have the same effect in attack as the Hale End boy.
82 – Liverpool are using their last resort plan now and shooting from long range whenever they get the chance. Henderson and Oxlade Chamberlain the culprits.
88 – Alan Smith declareds MOTM to Ben White who has been at the heart of all the good defending from Arsenal over the 90 minutes.
90 – A misjudged punch from the Arsenal keeper sees the ball drop perfectly to Minaminos feet but he slices it over the bar. 5 minutes of extra time is awarded.Embed from Getty Images
94 – Liverpool just now have stepped up the final product and have begun to pepper the Arsenal Goal but yet again Aaron Ramsdale has been superior this game, making another full stretch save.
95 – FULL TIME – LIVERPOOL 0 – 0 ARSENAL.