Ten-man Arsenal survive Liverpool onslaught after Xhaka red card

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Despite naming his strongest side possible, Jurgen Klopp couldn’t mastermind a win in Liverpool’s rearranged League Cup semi-final with Arsenal.

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In a game that saw Granit Xhaka sent off for hauling down Diogo Jota, the Reds struggled to break down the ten men of North London, who defended resolutely to ensure that the aggregate score line of this cup tie remained goalless before the reverse fixture at the Emirates next week.

Liverpool dominated proceedings, as one would expect with a man advantage. However, they never really carved out the opportunity to really bare their teeth, as the absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in that electric front three was evident.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson were instrumental in most of the hosts’ approach play, but the right-back was sacrificed in the last quarter of an hour as he continues his recovery from COVID-19.

It was a game of few chances for either side really; Bukayo Saka came closest for Arsenal as Alisson smothered an opportunity at his feet after a good burst from left-back Kieran Tierney.

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Ben White made a crucial interception on an Andy Robertson cross that looked like it would be turned goalward by Roberto Firmino, and Takumi Minamino dragged a shot wide of Aaron Ramsdale’s far post as the hosts kept knocking on the door.

Minamino skied an open goal opportunity right at the last with the net at his mercy, but as the ball landed high in the Kop, it just summed the Reds’ performance up.

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But nothing would materialise for them; Arsenal held firm in their back five shape, and escape from Anfield with a goalless draw.

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