Reduced to ten before the half hour mark following the expulsion of Xhaka, Arsenal stood up to Liverpool and returned from Anfield with a 0-0. The road to the final will be decided in a week at the Emirates.
Who from Liverpool or Arsenal will join Chelsea in the final of this League Cup? Qualified yesterday at the expense of Tottenham, Thomas Tuchel’s players will only know their opponents next week. Blame it on the Covid-19 which was invited to the debates. The semi-final to go to the Emirates seven days ago has finally been postponed to this Thursday … at Anfield. For reasons of tight schedule and not to waste time, the officials decided to reverse the two matches.
It is therefore time for the first round of this double confrontation with a typical team for the Reds, Mané and Salah who left for CAN in less. Conversely, Arteta made a little turn, establishing for example Soares or Lokonga and Nketiah. On paper, this meeting could seem slightly unbalanced but the desire to win was very present on both sides. The first duels spoke volumes about the intensity, while White was close to the gross error (13th).
Minamino misses the match point
Xhaka, as often, did not hesitate to commit the irreparable position as the last defender on Jota (24th). Quickly ten to eleven, Arsenal adopted a rather effective defensive strategy. The Reds were up against an insurmountable wall throughout that first period. When they got back from the locker room, they tried to speed up the game a bit but were penalized because of a certain technical clumsiness that was unusual for them.
During this sterile domination, opportunities were rare, like this off-target shot from Minamino (68th). The Japanese especially missed a huge match point alone against goal (90th). The Liverpool players occupied the opposing half of the field without ever succeeding in worrying the authoritarian Ramsdale, who pushed a huge relief on this last center-shot from Williams (90th + 3). On the other side of the field, Alisson had to work in the face of an error in the concentration of his defense which Saka (72nd) could not take advantage of. This goalless draw (0-0) leaves every chance for the two teams to qualify for the final in a week.