Despite a Granit Xhaka red card, Arsenal dug in to come away from Anfield with a 0-0 draw in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
It took an incredible rearguard action to keep Liverpool at bay, and while the home side weren’t at their best, it was our hard work which played a significant part in that.
It’s all to play for in the second leg.
Here’s how the players rated this evening.
Read the Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal match report and see the goals here
Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal – Player Ratings
The ratings are hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Aaron Ramsdale. Also, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.
Saka was a problem! Xhaza is a different kind of problem
Down to 10 men we were excellent, Saka and Martinelli worked their socks off especially. But they shouldn’t have had to. Hopefully we finally have a moratorium on “how much we miss Xhaka” and some such. He’s not our most important midfielder, he’s just a naughty boy!
I thought it was a reflexively stupid foul until I watched it a couple of times in replay. Now I think it was a considered stupid foul. Whether it was a smart move or not, I believe Xhaka purposefully killed a pretty certain scoring opportunity. It probably doesn’t pass a cost benefit analysis but he stopped a likely goal.
In hindsight, does Xhaka in a North London Derby give you St. Vitus’ Dance?
Sorry to beat that drum but if its Henderson in front of that crowd its somehow given as a yellow.
Your argument is a bit null because Henderson rarely does anything like that, and that’s the thing I can’t defend when it comes to Xhaka. The Xhaka treatment is actually real (case in point Kane’s tackle on Robertson). But Xhaka consistently put himself in a position where the ref can dish out these cards, and that is indefensible. Especially nowadays with VAR, I really don’t see why he keeps making these “grey area” challenges.
True. No matter how one’s views Xhaka – few players over the past decade have so polarised our fan base. Few players are repeatedly found wanting in tackle situations. No player (to my 53 year Arse knowledge) has ever petulantly tossed the privilege of captaincy into the turf. On balance, it is patently clear that Xhaka – whatever his ‘skills’ on the long ball, etc – is a narcissist who cannot supress his own ego over the needs of team, club and fans. Watch any of the (sadly numerous!) reels of his reds (and most of his yellows)… the fouls… Read more »
I was going to include another line to say that…probably should have done
Hopefully we finally have a moratorium on how much we miss Xhaka…”
Oh, if only…
That just earned him another year extension.
Is it my imagination or has Saka recently become quite a bit more physical? Watching him bump and hip check Milner today was very satisfying. Then seeing him successfully shield the ball with his body, make the turn in control and take off toward their goal with it was unbelievable. He did it twice that I can picture. It appears that the staff are showing Saka tools that might mean yet another jump in effectiveness for him. Our young one grows up and improves before our eyes. Yowsah!
Think that’s just experience mate, plenty more to come from him and martinelli.
We have some weapons on this team. Seriously though, arteta just needs to go cold turkey on his xhaka addiction.
Takes time to change the whole squad, the massive wages some bit part players are on is probably the biggest stumbling block. Thought your boy sambi was poor in 1st half, and very good second half. When he puts on a bit of weight and gets a bit stronger in the tackle he’ll be a great player.
Thought he was great all game baring one early error that luckily wasn’t punished. He’s shows fight, bounces back, oozes talent, and can outrun a tortoise. Win win. Why did we loan AMN again?
Sambi is on a different level to ainsley, wouldn’t have minded amn playing rb tonight to be fair.
In fairness to Calum, he inherited a real poisoned chalice courtesy of our resident carthouse, Calamity. Not played in ages and being chucked into the cauldron of Anfield to run his bollocks off in the back 3 with a man short. The lad did bloody well – pretty much error-free.
He’s consistently pretty good and I’ve got no idea why we don’t see more of him. He should be ahead of cedric every day of the week
Why was he the last man in a 4 man defence. All our defenders where 30 yards off. Credit to him, he could have ignored that chase. Unlucky
Why? Because sometimes players make runs from deep and midfielders have to cover them. Xhaka is simply incapable of doing it, but very capable of doubling down on his incompetency. Really how can we still be relying on a DM that cannot prevent direct/coutner attacks in any way shape or form?
Why? Because that’s how the team is set up to play. When Tierney goes forward to join the attack, Xhaka, or whichever player is in that position for the game, drops in to cover. White and Gabriel naively assumed the guy within a yard or two of Jota would hold him up effectively, perhaps without realizing it was Xhaka and not fully functioning professional footballer.
Butt muscles are really important in football, developing the butt muscles can really improve a players ability. He is still only 20 years old and are far from being physically mature.
Watching Gabi get into VVD on multiple occasions (one of which resulted VVD hilariously trying to deceive the ref and win a foul) was fantastic. What a guy.
He’s always been prodigiously strong but he’s throwing his weight around with greater effect now. It’s one of the hardest aspects of the game for young players to pick up imo, but he’s a natural.
He’s naturally bulking up as he matures – just looking at his shoulders and upped torso area, one can notice that extra substance there. And that’s compounded by the ever-growing confidence that experience and pitch-miles brings.
Brilliant response to the rotational fouling he has to endure every game.
Have also noticed how everyone on the pitch likes him? Klopp hugging him afterwards. Michael Oliver helping him up. Some red chec
I go back to the 70s supporting arsenal, saka is the best player we’ve produced since liam brady in my opinion. I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with him.
Been around since the ’71 glory year mate – and have to agree. This may well border on heresy but dare I say Saka is more 2-footed than the Irish God.
Wilshere was the best player in the team at 16 years old.
That fukka Kopp is just trying to sidle up snidely to put in an offer… Mik shoulda told him to keep his hands off our players – literally AND figuratively!
Xhaka is still our most important midfielder and that’s our problem.
The problem is that’s what mikel arteta thinks.
We should have replaced him in the summer. With his reputation for rashness and lack of dynamism he shouldn’t be our first choice midfielder. It’s on us that we did not take needed action last summer.
What is equally disturbing – just looking at the red/green thumbs on this forum – is that there are still so many fans who blindly believe he’s a worthy Arsenal player!
How many more cock-ups? How many more points pissed away? How many more 10-man reshuffles and exhausting of team-mates before we finally get rid of this reckless liability who simply refuses to learn!
He’s not even that good when he’s not doing something mad! Like when Vieira was overly rash at the start of his career and kept picking up stupid reds, he was worth keeping faith in because he had the talent and attitude to be world class. What is Xhaka to us that he’s worth overlooking so much for? Take away his idiocy and he’s about good enough to be a squad player in a top 4 team, or a starter in an upper midtable team. He’s not going to improve or change at his age. What does Arteta see in… Read more »
Maintland-Niles would have had the pace to defend that properly. So weird that we let him go.
I suspect we didn’t have much choice.
It’s never a good thing to keep a player when they don’t want to be there – remember Traore in the 8-1 drubbing at OT?
Yes, but *why* does AMN not want to be here – because Arteta sees him as having to prove he’s better than Xhaka. That’s crazy – he was better than Xhaka 2 years ago.
He’s flawed AMN, but he’s better than that. Xhaka isn’t flawed, he’s just not good enough, and an ass to boot.
Xhaka is about as flawed as they come, which is exactly why he isn’t good enough. 5 years of this shit!
Xhaka isn’t as terrible as many make out, but his reputation is costing us red cards.
Do we need to stick with him until Azeez is ready to make the step up though? Perhaps we could have Chambers in midfield? I remember him doing well there for Fulham
Xhaka is actually more terrible than he’s made out to be.
Before this first leg, I figured our chances were pretty slim to go through against LFC.
Now? I want to beat them so badly in the 2nd leg. 11v11, let’s go!
I think Merson said it best in the post match discussions on Sky there, when a team goes down to 10, the roles and team tasks are simplified dramatically. So provided you keep your head on a swivel and stay switched on for 90 minutes and don’t get caught ball watching, you can make a fight out of it and make it so difficult for the attacking side. I guess one of my biggest gripes is — where the fuck has that sort of performance been for the last 5 years at Anfield? Just dont absolutely whiff it, be disciplined,… Read more »
We play better with 10 men and no Xhaka, it’s telling..
Hard not to give tens all round bar one.
Xhaka. ‘No more red’.
He evidently missed that game
Once in a while a perfect comment comes along…
10/10 for everyone for the sake of the effort and result, except the cunt.
I have so much damn pride after that, we’re certainly not that soft team as often as we have been. Just get rid off players such as Jackie Chan who let us down constantly and we will be fine
That’s really fucking harsh on Jackie chan. He has a couple great movies…
Yeah the one where he stuck his middle finger to the fans was particularly riveting
Saka is a legend already. I hope he stays for many years. We also have the best Japanese player in England. Our non-injured back 4/5 are potentially future greats of Arsenal and the premier league. COYG!
Kagawa n Okazaki, Mina mino, even Inamoto win trophy and Asu still not yet..
Maya yoshida was decent n generally solid for many years
Iwabuchi has been excellent for us in the women’s team too.
we just got a find a way to play without xhaka anyway,, and maybe it’s not the worst we now have to.
wouldn’t mind having AMN around
Why did we do that? Why?
Wish we accepted the 20 quid in the summer. We won’t even get two Bob for him now.
AMN never convinced as a DM so Xhaka is probably the lesser of two evils
I know I’ll get slammed but it wasn’t his worst or most stupid red… at least he was tracking back… where was the rest of the defence? I think at least a little bit unlucky with timing… in a strange way brought out the best in the rest of the team… looking for positives not false ones though 😉
Agreed with this. I’ve been a Xhaka defender for a while but this was the card that broke the camels back.
Not his most stupid red, if not for the foul I’d say we’re 1-0 down. But he’s too dumb too consistently.
Wow, someone else who thinks this. 100% agree.
Definitely, it seems like he didn’t see the player and had eyes only for the ball, but a red nonetheless. For once though, it seems like an unlucky one rather than the “moment of insanity”-type ones he usually does. I’m more worried about why Xhaka is left one-on-one in such a position, no defenders in sight and no sweeping from the keeper. We got caught with our pants down and it resulted in a sending off and, of course, it would be Xhaka! We probably lose that if the mugsmashers score there, as I don’t think we had enough in… Read more »
“…didn’t see the player..?” Come on man! I know we’re searching for positives here and trying to support one of our own, but go watch that incident again. He was chasing (or rather trudging) after Jotta for at least 3 seconds before he did what we all knew he was going to do. How couldn’t he have known Jotta was there?
This guy is a f***ing liability, a potential walking red card whenever he’s selected.
A little bit of Tierney high up the pitch pressing. Gabriel got drawn out by Firmino but was doing his job which is mark him. Xhaxa’s job is to cover the left when Tierney goes forward. We got caught in transistion. A quicker player gets back…A good player reads the game and gets back into position early. Xhaxa is neither.
He did get back, he did get into position, he just caught the bloke with a wild boot and should have done better but in the middle that’s a yellow, no more. To send one of our players off based on reputation and the claim that it was a ‘clear’ goalscoring opportunity is shite. Never a clear opportunity in a million years, the ball is coming from high and behind, there’s a player in between, the goalie in the 6 yard box and Ben White also in the area, fucking no way is that a clear scoring opportunity, he never… Read more »
Him tracking back isn’t the issue. It’s what he decides to do when one on one with another player competing for an aerial ball.
In this instance he not only doesn’t check where the opposition player is, he just swings his leg wildly into the air hoping for the best.
Time for him to move on and for us to look for a better player to take his place.
I think he could head it clear.
Martinelli worked his arse off
In a funny way, this was Martinelli coming of age–huge effort and mature decisions. I am just about convinced that, like Smith Rowe, Saka, and Odegaard, he is the real thing.
Love them four, and would not swap them for anyone! Our future is looking seriously bright ❤
Come on man, Martinelli made it clear he wa the real deal 2years ago.
The thought of those four growing together should terrify the rest of the league.
Xhaka gonna Xhaka. No matter how good his passing can be if things are just right, he simply isn’t good enough for a PL team fighting for the top 4. He’s too slow and easily pressed – everyone we play against knows it as well. Good fight but we can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot constantly.
No we cannot. Unfortunately because of our limited options and Arteta liking him, he’ll moonwalk back into the starting XI.
Most likely jump kick his way back in
Isn’t it agonising still having to say the same thing we’ve been saying for the last 3 years? Still…I swear he must be a witch with mind control powers. Rasputin wasn’t even this good.
Arteta loves him just like William. Some of his decisions around players are truly baffling
The good thing about Xhaka being red carded is that he can’t be sent off on sunday.
Why is it a good thing. After the Everton match we’ve only lost one match unluckily since he has started. Also Partey improved considerably when he came back.
And who made the stupid Challenge that handed City a penalty? But I agree with you that Partey has improved lately.
Because he’s a reckliess, selfish idiot who cannot and/or will not learn from his mistakes and so, continually hangs his team mates – and his club – out to dry at vital moments in the season.
Do you realise that his cock-ups are now into double figures?!!!
No problem with him missing Sunday then, look on the bright side.
I cannot get over how stupid Xhaka is…. cost us the Man City game with world’s dumbest shirt pull, manages to pick up covid when we most need him (and we go out of eminently winnable tie against Forest as a result), does his best to chuck our only remaining chance of silverware tonight, and seriously damages our chances of being in the top 4 by being suspended for the 6-pointer derby – again when we need him most.
Arseblog, fire up that rocket please!!!
Good grief. How ridiculous. You’re going to blame Xhaka for picking up covid?!
He’s not vaccinated. I know vaccines don’t prevent covid perfectly. But how does he get to do that and still pretend at “leadership”?
10/10 to Xhaka for playing the Sacrifice card which gave everyone else +1 Defense and +1 Perseverance.
Defend xhaka here so we can keep it all in one place.
I liked the Klopps false teeth at the final whistle
Listening to Klopp explain how it would have been easier for Liverpool if Xhaka was NOT sent off is pretty bizarre. I think it’s over for Kloppy (great as he was) and his team. He’s busy manufacturing excuses for history now.
These games are hard to watch, I can feel our boys lungs burning through the tv. It really is a different type of team now, I cant imagine us having the mental strength to survive this in our recent history. Arteta must now realize Xhaka, despite his good contributions, is simply too reckless. I think Tielemans would be a brilliant signing. Or Wjnaldum. Both solid, technical midfielders who can tackle and have a goal threat. And…are not Xhaka. Can’t wait for the second leg!
I think we should at least be talking to the representatives of Milan’s Franck Kessie. He is a good solid distributor of the ball that can tackle and is a decent goal threat. His contract is also expiring this summer.
All I know about Kessie is that he takes ice-cold penalties on just about every Milan highlight video, and that I once watched a YouTube video titled “Is There Any Point In Pressing Franck Kessie? No, Because He’ll Give You the Ball Anyway”.
I dream that we send Pepe back to Lille in a more or less straight swap for Renato Sanches. Sanches is for me a Tielemans with bite. I really like Pepe but Arteta can find no way to use him. So send him back to the place at which he can succeed. And also get us a DM who can run, tackle, pass, pass with vision, and he’s 24.
Have long admired Sanches – he had a tricky period in Germany but he’s a beast with an engine and some technical chops to go with that.
He was hopeless at Swansea according to their own fans.
That was 4 years ago for a total of 12 games. Swansea was hopeless. Did they expect a 20/21 year old in midfield could make their inability to defend or score go away? Try and imagine Odegaard being thrown into that squad 4 years ago. Do they get better or drag him down? Watch Sanches at Lille. He has the qualities we need. I wish he were a bit taller but he’s very good at shielding his center backs, moves the ball easily and well, and really takes it personally when his team loses the ball. That’s his ball. And… Read more »
10/10 for the Blogs for the final sentence! ♥️
What a game! I may be in the minority. Gave everyone but Cedric, Xhaka, and Eddie 10’s. The other 3 were 6’s. Neutral rating — not on long enough to rate. Also, while Xhaka may have been boneheaded or may have been put in an untenable position by Gabriel, he definitely is part of the all for one and one for all mentality of this team. (His action may also have been needed to preserve a goalless draw — we’ll never know.)
I’ll take my abuse off the air, as they say.
Xhaka almost threw the game off a cliff within 30 minutes, the rest of the team played out if their skins to salvage a draw… and still somehow some people credit Xhaka for helping the team get a draw. Beautiful, inspiring stuff.
What a game from our boys. This is not Xhaka’s worst red card but he needs to do better. I don’t think he can meaning we need an upgrade. Cedric injury is not pleasant, but I think it’s a blessing. Chambers is the closest to Tomi and does not change the shape of the team. Cedric makes us vulnerable at RB. We should allow Cedric to go to Atletico and have Chambers as RB cover till the end of the season.
Chambers has always been underrated. Glad he played well. Will do the same at the NLD. His crosses are the best of all our right backs
Enough must now, surely, be enough… #xhakaout
Rest assured despite the repeated red cards, this one coming at a dreadful time given current player availability, that he’ll be straight back in the team.
Yep – kept me awake till the early hours. As a senior player, is he not remotely aware of the bigger picture:
NLD on Sunday; squad down to the bare bones –especially in mid-field?
Bottom line is that he simply doesn’t give a shit. It’s all about him.
Character which has not been evident in recent years is starting to show through (Nottm Forest excepted). This was a magnificent effort. Sympathy for Xhaka for being the easy go to for red by refs, but had this been Van Dijk we would have expected to see red (even though I doubt it would have been show). Xhaka’s liability factor is now unacceptable.
When are we going to do free from Xhaka’s madness
Why the hell did we turned down Romas offer for Xhaka? That 12.9£ bid was money + 2wins! Who knows? Maybe 3 or 4?? Even though our chances against city in the 1leg was slim, at least we would’ve had 11 players who gives a f. This guy really needs to move on, its crazy we gave him a new contract.
White MOTM 🤍
Xhaka plays well. Silly at t8mes but,, often takes one for the team
I gave Xhaka a 1 (a first ever for me), and White a 10. Can’t even remember the last 10 I gave.
The problem is Xhaka is too good in what a football player shouldn’t be.
……..…Ramsdale …….Holding Gabriel Tomiyasu……….Tierney ………White Sambi Saka Smith Rowe Martinelli ….……Lacazette Not Ideal moving White from our backline, but we’ve just got to play the hand we’re dealt, to the best of our ability…. Or sell/Loan Mari + Kolasinac tomorrow, which will take us down to 23 players 4 players away at AFCON = 19 Xhaka suspended = 18 3 goal keepers = 15 Odegaard – likely still out with COVID = 14 i’m no mathematician…. But we’d only need2 false/positives with outfield players to cancel the NLD Doesn’t seem like a move Arteta would make, but might be the… Read more »
Can anyone explain the Bonus Rating comments?
LFT Lateral flow test that liverpool lied about to cancel the first leg
We’ve had cases in our lab where the LFT result is positive but confirmatory PCR is negative. It does happen on occasion. I’m no fan of the mugmashers but I don’t think Klopp lied about it, besides he doesn’t perform the tests so can’t fabricate the results.
Yes, on occasion, as in less than 5% of the time. Chances of “several” in a sample size as small as Liveroool’s playing squad are astronomically low. Like, very near to impossible.
I’m gonna get downvoted hard, but that Xhaka red card wasn’t a bad red card.
He doesn’t deserve the hate for that, despite his history with reds.
It’s one of his sillier red cards his got, a definite “take one for the team” special but probably stops us going 1-0 down. Don’t agree with Merson saying Ramsdale should’ve come for it cause that would’ve ended 1 of 2 ways
1. Jota nips it past him & rolls into an empty net
2. Ramsdale wipes out Jota & gets himself red carded
He gets it because he isn’t fast enough and doesn’t read the game well enough to compensate.
That’s why he should be replaced.
As evidenced by the now double figures of examples of sadly similar situations – he’s caught out of position or fails to notice/track the run of a faster, smarter player. Then just lashes out recklessly and drops the rest of his team in the poo.
3. Jota does an Nketiah?
Feels harsh to give Holding a 7 after giving White 9 (rightly MotM) and Gabriel 7.5. Rob was the centre of the back 3 and did well to hold everything together (pun most certainly intended!) After a bad performance, I’m glad we can count on him to fill in like this and perform so well. Felt like he was trying too hard vs Forest, but today it was a simplified game, just defend, and he held White and Gabriel together nicely. That being said, let’s not make a habit of having to defend like this – my heart won’t be… Read more »
Im tired of actually having to convince people that a better player in Xhaxa transforms this entire team. Buried two managers already and is trying his hardest to drown Arteta.
He’s once again doing his damnedest to keep us from the CL places.
Isn’t the ‘denying goalscoring opportunity’ red card only applied if you make ‘no attempt to play the ball’ ?That was the explanation every time David Luiz got one. Am I really confused?
That only applies if it’s a penalty…
To prevent getting punished twice for a single transgression (i.e. penalty and red card).
Cheers Kareem. I’d hate to be a ref.
10/10 for everything that was said in the bonus rating!
Xhaka keeps inventing new ways to let down his team. Last 2 matches gave up a pen and got a red. Hard to know why the manager keeps trusting him, and why AMN was sent away. Sunday the team will run out of gas in the 60th minute after tonight’s effort. Lord only knows who plays alongside Sami. I hope saka is ok. Seriously. Xhaka seems like a nice guy. His teammates like him. But come on. What will he do for his next trick. Get sent off before a match. At least he did us a favor by getting… Read more »
Who’d you play in CM for thr next 2 games since granny decided he needs a 2-match break?
Also, would you rather see ben white or Laca in CM?
Shout out to Calum & Rob who came in and did a proper job. Great to see Rob perform after the Forest performance. And I have a soft spot for Calum, reckon he could do a better job replacing Tomi than Cedric.
Fortunately there were no Sala & Mané, it would have been really complicated
Auba, Partey, Pepe and Elneny (AFCON) plus Odegaard (Illness) were also unavailable for Arsenal
Martinelli at least a 8.5 , excellent pressing and holding up the ball.
I didn’t like Klopp giving Saka a hug after the game one bit. Hands off!!
Bukayo kept it cool though, he didn’t even smile.
Xhaka + Partey works. Xhaka + AN Other = sending off likelihood high. When Partey back from ACN partnership restored and exciting season continues. Midfield reinforcements arrive as back up and take over from Xhaka next season. Problem solved.
Granit Xhaka isn’t a reckless dick because Partey’s not in the team. He’s just a reckless dick.
There is just no defending Xhaka anymore. Let Mou have him. We need to move on.
I felt that the Blogs scores of around 7.5 was a bit low for a frankly heroic performance. When Xhaka got sent off did anyone seriously think we could get through the match without conceding? and they had 1 shot on target. Hell of a performance. 8.5 was my average score (apart from GX and Soares obvs)