Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Arsenal vs Liverpool – EFL confirm postponement of Carabao Cup semi-final first leg

Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Liverpool has been postponed after the Reds successfully argued that they haven’t got enough players to fulfil the fixture.

Liverpool claimed that a Covid outbreak in the squad, which has affected players and staff and forced the closure of their training ground, coupled with existing injuries and the loss of three players to the African Cup of Nations had left them down to the bare bones.

The Gunners home leg, which was due to take place on Thursday, will now take place on 20 January (between Premier League games with Sp*rs and Burnley). The Anfield leg remains scheduled for Thursday 13 January but will now be the first game of the double-header.

A statement from the EFL reads: “Having now fully reviewed the circumstances involved, the League has accepted Liverpool’s request after determining, albeit reluctantly, that a postponement was the only option as the Club looks to mitigate against the further risk of infection amongst its squad and staff alongside ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London.”

It was strange from the off that the EFL decided to push ahead with two-legged semi-finals given the ongoing Covid situation. Now the decision just looks foolish.

This is the second Arsenal game in the last two weeks that has been postponed due to issues in opponents’ camps. We’re still waiting for confirmation of when the Premier League game with Wolves will take place.

Through no fault of our own, we’re now facing a fixture logjam.

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Arteta-tinted Glasses

Might not be the worst thing. We may have enough time to sort our midfield by then. We can prepare well for NLD after recovering from a physically exhausting match against City.

Eazy Deezy

Unfortunately it’s the Nottingham Forest game that we’re going to get more rest for. Sp*rs is after the second leg
The rearranged match will probably be mid-week before a PL game in Feb (when Liverpool’s Africa cup players will be back)


Nope, it gets worse…
The rearranged schedule goes this way

Liverpool fist leg (a) – Jan 13
Spurs (a) – Jan 16
Liverpool second leg (h) – Jan 20

Presumably Burney (scheduled for Saturday, Jan 22nd) will be pushed back to the Sunday.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

It would be incredibly harsh if the Burnley game isn’t pushed back to the Sunday.


Arsenal should have been pushing for this game to be put back to Sunday 23rd January’22 as soon as there was a possibility of a delay to the League Cup semi-finals impacting on the proposed home game with Burnley in the league.

Hopefully the authorities will see sense, but I won’t hold my breath on this.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Salah and Mane could both return for the 20th

Crash Fistfight

So it worked the way they wanted it to, then?


FA: “Dearest Liverpool, please have our sincerest condolences. As always you know we will do anything and everything to ensure conditions are pandered to your every need”.

Eazy Deezy

They play their last AFCON group games on 18 and 19 Jan, so it’s unlikely they will be available for the 20th


Love that they “had to close the training ground” – because they know those ambiguous rules state if the team hasn’t been able to prepare properly that helps the case for postponement.
But who chose to close it, clearly Liverpool.
3 Covid cases is not a valid reason we had more than that just right backs out for a game the other week.


Bet they’ll have no problem putting out a team at home to Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Sunday

A Different George

Egypt will almost certainly get beyond the group stage (as will, unfortunately for us, Ghana).


Not really. Mane plays on the 18th, Salah on the 19th.


And concocting the misconduct charge just to put Arsenal on the back foot before announcing the postponement. I don’t care to be unbiased in this summation.


So does this now mean Gabriel misses the NLD instead? That would be by far the most annoying thing about this.

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Fuck, forgot about the red card.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Relax. There’s still 2 matches to play before the NLD


2 yellow cards means only 1 match is missed. Gabriel would serve his ban in Sunday’s F.A cup fixture


Chill out, he will miss the game against Forest on Sunday


Assuming that goes ahead as Forest have Covid…!

Woolwich Tiern time

We can trust that theyll dump on forest in a way that they wont on liverpool




Bummer , but I only just met her ?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

That’s a different type of arse blog.


Accept it and move on!
IMO we are in a stronger position mentally atm. Facing our hungry youngsters will be a massive challange for Klopp’s side, no matter how they procrastinate the moment

Jeremy DG

Sorry I won’t accept it. When rules are applied equally to all teams all of the time I will be more inclined to forgive


What can we do about it, Jeremy?
Maybe I’m too pragmatic here, and god knows how much room Arsenal have in this case to appeal?
The level of injustice (double standards) we have been treated with in the past 20 years is beyond comprehension and I wish we could do something about it!
Looking for a precedent, where the higher authority actually revised it’s original decision thanks to an appeal…

Billy bob

Man Utd backhanders, now Liverpool and Man City backhanders – like it isn’t difficult enough already

Alan Sunderland

It would be interesting to see what would happen if arsenal have an outbreak before the game at Anfield. Would we have to forfeit? It would mean there wouldn’t be much chance of getting both legs played before the final.


I’m sure they will all be fine for their match with Shrewsbury on Sunday though in the FA Cup …

Horse breath

Absolutely. And next Thursday

Eazy Deezy

That’s a really good point. The lack of transparency on the decision making is just terrible, and anti-competitive.


Burnley game is on 22nd. How come we play this game on 20th. Surely there will be another change in date.

Horse breath

Not likely the authorities will say already a backlog blah blah

Tankard Gooner

Burnley game most likely to be pushed to Sunday. At least most of us are hoping!

Malcolm Alden

Is this going to be like every day life where people start using COVID as an excuse to postpone everything or not show up to work?


If everyone stopped testing and we just dealt with actual sick people, like we’ve done since forever, then we could stop a lot of this madness. Players used to play with colds all the time I have no doubt. I’m obviously respectful of the situation but I’m starting to think our obsession with this mild illness is the only thing keeping it buoyant. 


It’s not very mild for people who die from it

Woolwich Tiern time

Fairly sure this post wont land but much of rhe research is showing that the vaccinated are not being severely impaced by the Omicron variant

What was entirely prudent at an earlier time is not neccesarily the answer now


Not saying how we view it shouldn’t change/develop, but a conservative estimate is that 5.5m people have died across the world from it. That’s a lot. And a lot of families impacted forever.

It’s great when it is mild for those who catch it, but not everyone is so lucky so to dismiss it as a mild illness isn’t right.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Does that 5.5 include people who were already dying and caught covid on their death beds?
Or the people who died of other causes but have covid on the death certificate, because they had tested positive 28 days earlier?
Nobody knows the true numbers, just like nobody knows how many have died from the vaccine.
People have had covid and survived, they hadn’t been tested, so aren’t part of the official numbers.
So if true that it has a 98%/99% survival rate, that does seem pretty mild

Wrighty’s hats

I know it must seem very abstract to be talking about such large numbers of people, and after such a long period of being exposed to news coverage it can be desensitising. But when you’re talking about what is now approaching 300 million people (as a conservative estimate given that not nearly everyone is formally tested) infected across the world, a survival rate of 98-99 percent, using your argument, means a lot, a lot of people have died. Just because most people only develop mild disease, doesn’t mean that this disease is mild or that this pandemic has been mild.… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

I got it and didn’t notice. I’m a smoker by the way. My younger sister is still struggling with it 6 months later, she’s a non smoker who has never had a drink in her life. I don’t get how people still try to make light of this.

Non flying dutchman

I don’t think I am making light of it, I’m not with some of the other commenters that fail to recognise the impact the virus has had over the course of two years now. However we do now find ourselves in a different situation from the winter/spring periods of 2020 and 2021. Our collective response should reflect that, but doesnt. It doesn’t matter in comparison to a single human life but still the integrity of the sport is being brought entirely into question by ineffective authorities both within and outside of the game. They appear to have failed to prepare… Read more »


Your ignorance is astounding

Dennis Elbow

Some people already do.

Alan Sunderland

Maybe people are using COVID to postpone on you because they don’t like you.

Malcolm Alden

well, this comment section turned into a bit of a shitshow. I was just taking the piss. You can all calm down now.


Press Box Gooner

Game rescheduled for Thursday January 20 – two days before we play Burnley and THREE before Liverpool take on Crystal Palace

Now you’re getting it.
FA = F*ck Arsenal.
EFL = Everything For Liverpool.

Woolwich Tiern time

Good but how comes we are sk good at the f*ck Arsenal cup? I suppose we are quite adept at screwing ourselves

Non flying dutchman

I thought it was quite a good self deprecating joke that still reflected our record breaking efforts in the tourno…. Some people


I know I’m biased and all , but so are FA handing out postponements inconsistently postponing benefits one team only and creates a logjam that the cretins will unlikely manage badly. Just play the games and it will be the same for all of your team is down with illness, bad lucky. Theoretically this is more controllable than injuries, but that’s tolerable regardless how many are out.


I feel like the only decision making process the FA uses is “does this fuck Arsenal?”

If it’s a yes, even slightly, then their decision is obvious.


Well said.

Time for heads to come out of the sand – we are a club that, once again, are the subject of an agenda.


I’m not convinced that, since Arsene left, we’ve ever ceased being a club that’s the subject of an agenda. But maybe that’s just me.


I’d rather play the 2nd leg at the Emirates I just wonder about the away goals rule if it goes into extra time?


Away goals rule for semi finals was abolished in 18/19. Straight to pens if level after the 2nd leg.

Woolwich Tiern time

That was in UEFA compertitions no?or perhaps that was only last year as i recall us all being befuddled by the implicarions of ijr Athens and Rome games against Benfica


Thanks 👍🏼


Away goals rule does not apply any more


Thanks 👍🏼

Nainsley Aitland Miles

There is no away goals rule in the League Cup.

Woolwich Tiern time

Are we sure? I distinctly remember Villa beating us by away goals ,albeit i think back in 97


Yeah, I think you’re right but only after extra time in the 2nd leg


And again 👍🏼


Can I suggest that if any Liverpool player comes back from the AFCON competition before the 20 January they are not allowed to take part otherwise suspicions may be raised??


Very annoying, but at least we now have second leg as the home game.
I really don’t see how Scousers game v Shrewsbury can go ahead and I do not understand how “potential positive cases” works. Injuries are a fact of life in football and shouldn’t come into it, AFCON absences should not even be an agenda item!
This should never have been a two-leg semi final – just toss a coin to see who plays at home and get on with it especially as all are PL teams.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

The “potential positive” in their statement leaves a lot of wiggle room for no one to have Covid.

Vaibhav Pandey

Clubs are gaming the convoluted rules set by the FA and EFL. Adding injuries to potential/existing covid cases is just plain wrong. FA must ask teams to field youth/reserves if they are short by few players. In this case Liverpool was fairly capable of fielding 18 players yet they tried to take advantage of the situation.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

A very inconvenient development. Hopefully we can find a way to make it work in our favour. I am a little annoyed at LFC & Klopp because since Jurgen joined, they’ve never taken the League Cup seriously.
It feels like they’re just buying themselves more time for their other fixtures.

djourou's nutmeg

it’s the best decision. it’s a semifinal and they have the right to be in the same condition as their opponent. any other thing would not only be unfair, but also risk their and our player’s health. really sad to see most comments flaming liverpool and accusing them of cheaters. the only thing worth of flaming would be them risking infecting our players or more of their own just because of a football match. and in any case i prefer playing second leg at home, always.


I have a question for James from Gunnerblog.

Does he still no longer subscribe to the idea of an anti-Arsenal fraternity gaining momentum once again…..???

A Different George

I hope so. Because, of course, he is completely right. Unless you think they are also anti-Chelsea, whose coach has screamed the loudest for postponements and single-leg semis.


Saturday’s events completely escaped you then…..

Merlin's Panini

hmmm… surely if you postpone it you keep the legs in the order they were originally drawn, instead of making us play at home after. That said, with Salah and Mane now potentially available again for the 2nd leg we could do with any advantage we can get for that game.

A Different George

Think about it from the point of view of supporters–of both clubs. That would just double the problem: it would add massive unnecessary inconvenience for Liverpool supporters (and Arsenal supporters traveling to Anfield) to the unavoidable inconvenience to supporters who were intending to attend at the Emirates. And at least they have a bit more time to make alternative plans.


If the players’ physical health is our number 1 priority here, maybe it’s time to look at postponing covid testing rather than matches.

Crash Fistfight

Just seen that Liverpool have 7 injuries, plus the players away at AFCON, but only 3 (!) Covid cases. How can that possibly be a justifiable reason to postpone the game? If they were injuries rather than Covid cases they’d have to get on with it.

This is outrageous.

Jeremy DG

And you know What the answer would be if we asked for the same thing. Bent as usual. Cant wait to see what bent ref we get for the Spurs game

Vaibhav Pandey

That is what most clubs are doing. Injuries clubbed with Covid should never be allowed as a reason for postponement. Clubs have reserves for a reason, put them on the squad sheet just like Leeds did few matches ago.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t Leyton Orient kicked out of the competition early on in the season for not being able to field a side against Spurs?

Wheres the consistency? Arsenal should be appealing this on these grounds.

Woolwich Tiern time

It was in 2020 so last season. As was Villa having to field a team of kids. But there is a lot happening at this time that really is bringing the integrity of the game into question


“Rule 5.1 of the Carabao Cup competition states a club has to forfeit a match should they not be able to complete it before the next round is scheduled.
However, Liverpool avoided forfeiting due to the final being scheduled for February 27. Effectively, Arsenal and Liverpool had until that date to schedule in both legs.”

wonder what happens if we get COVID and can’t play the second leg, surely it’s not our fault if we could field a team for the initial scheduling then things change, but I bet we get the punishment.


Complete joke. We have injuries and players at the afcon. They can train at some other shithole.

If Xhaka would of asked for it….

Woolwich Tiern time

Hed have been given a 10 match ban for the sheer timerity of doing so

Woolwich Tiern time

Whats the deal with away goals and extra time in the second fixture? I guess if it does go to penalties it will be at our house


Screw Liverpool and Klopp.


I shall never drink Carabao again

A Different George

I think this will be an unpopular view, but I find a lot of the views expressed in the comments quite disturbing because, like much that is being said in the world beyond football, they have the whiff of paranoia. There is no anti-Arsenal plot. There is no pro-Liverpool cabal. Yes, the EFL and the Premier League have both been inconsistent, not transparent, and often stupid in their decisions (like Boris Johnson, of course, and a lot of other governments around the world). Every one of those stupid decisions ought to be loudly criticised; every inconsistency pointed out. And that… Read more »


But of course.

Anyone But Arsenal.

Brady’s bunch

Sounds like they got away that so.

Billy bob

Could we have the Burnley game Thursday? I know very short notice but would make sense 👍


One rule for Arsenal and a different rule for everyone else, it seems. Spurms were awarded a bye earlier in this competition because Leyton Orient couldn’t field a team due to having too many Covid cases. If Liverpool are going to use this same excuse, why don’t Arsenal get a forfeit in the first leg? One rule when it’s Arsenal, a different rule for everyone else. At the start of the season, Arsenal had to play Brentford, Chel$ki, and Man $chitty with 10-12 players either injured or sick with Covid. Why weren’t Arsenal allowed to reschedule those matches? One rule… Read more »

Nickerless Bender

Well thats a load of bollox … do the scousers realise this means I have to spend another night in ignoring the wife and pretending to be interested!!?

This smells of a secret agenda.


Let’s face it. This decision has nothing to do with the FA making a decision based on footballing nor player health reasons. Instead it is a financial decision. The broadcasters and sponsors will have put pressure on to make sure the big ticket games with lots of viewers and lots of revenue get played.

Gervinho is Driving

Liverpool is one of the leading clubs in the world. They can’t dig up 11 players for one leg of a third rate competition?

Same goes for our lot. If we drop out of a fixture-congesting, obsolete, meaningless cup because we have to field 16-year-olds and the boot man, so be it.


What pisses me most is that we wont see this great team playing tommorow.
Right now they are so exciting that it makes me hungry for more games ..


“……..club looks to mitigate against the further risk of infection amongst its squad and staff alongside ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London…….

” I asume that means Liverpool fans. I remember the early 80’s and just on that basis the “pool were always a bunch of see you next Tuesdays . Long may they stay the F away .

The above does not apply to Everton fans .


After watching Chelsea and Spud,i am very much confident that we have better team than both,it just unfortunate that Chelsea is ahead of us


Premier League clubs will play youth players not in their 25 man squad for earlier rounds and then when it gets to the semi-final suddenly they don’t have enough players?

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