10-man Arsenal frustrate Liverpool in Carabao semis

Mueez Ajao

– Liverpool were left frustrated by 10-man Arsenal in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield.

– Granit Xhaka was dismissed after 24 minutes for denying a goalscoring opportunity – the Swiss midfielder catching Diogo Jota with a high challenge on the edge of his penalty area as he attempted to cut out Andrew Robertson’s pass.

– Trent Alexander-Arnold could not punish Arsenal further from the resulting free-kick, however, and the visitors produced a resolute defensive display to leave on level terms.

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– Despite coming under intense pressure it was Arsenal who registered the first shot on target 71 minutes into the contest, but a poor first touch by Bukayo Saka allowed Alisson to smother the England international’s shot at close range.

– Takumi Minamino blazed over the crossbar when faced with an open goal with Liverpool’s best chance of the match in the closing stages.

– The second leg takes place at Emirates Stadium next Thursday.

– The winner will face Chelsea in the final at Wembley at the end of February, after Thomas Tuchel’s side completed a 3-0 aggregate victory over Tottenham on Wednesday.