Result: Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal
Competition: Carabao Cup semi-final first leg
Date: 13 January 2021
Arsenal: Ramsdale, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Sambi, Xhaka, Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli, Nketiah
Subs: Leno, Holding, Mari, Chambers, Tavares, Patino, Salah-Eddine, Hutchinson, Biereth
The Carabao Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool is finely poised heading into next week’s second leg after Arsenal secured a creditable 0-0 draw at Anfield despite having Granit Xhaka sent off in the first half.
The Switzerland international was given his marching orders on 24 minutes for a foul on Diogo Jota but his teammates produced a fantastic defensive effort that left the home side frustrated and somewhat bewildered.
While Mikel Arteta was happy to welcome Granit Xhaka back into the fold following his second bout of Covid, the manager was clearly frustrated to learn Martin Odegaard had tested positive. That Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were also missing with the same issues that saw them miss the defeat to Forest, was an added blow layered on top of the absence of our AFCON quartet. All the same, we just about mustered a starting XI of familiar names with four of the usual back five starting and Saka, Martinelli, Lacazette and Nketiah ahead of Sambi and Granit. The bench was a mixed bag of fringe defenders and kids.
Liverpool had the majority of possession in the opening 10 minutes but we didn’t have to deal with too much aside from a couple of corners and a dangerous cross from Robertson that Ramsdale claimed at his near post.
After Cedric went off with a hip problem to be replaced by Calum Chambers, things grew more tetchy. Ramsdale made a hash of a clearance that rattled off Minamino and Ben White nearly diverted a cross by the Japan international into his own net.
Aside from a decent burst forward by Saka on 22 minutes, we really struggled to create anything in the final third against Van Dijk and Matip.
Already up against it, the last thing we needed to do was something stupid. Unfortunately, when Xhaka is on the pitch you can’t ever count against that happening. And so it came to pass.
Desperately tracking back in an attempt to cut out a Robertson long ball aimed at Jota, the Swiss clattered into the striker on the edge of the box and was immediately red-carded by referee Michael Oliver for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. VAR took a look and was never going to overturn the decision. He’ll now miss the north London derby and the second leg in a week’s time.
As the midfielder trudged off, Arteta deliberated over what to do next. In the end, he sent on Holding for Nketiah and set up with a back five. The aim was clear; to sit deep and try and hold out for 65 minutes. The sight of Tierney hoofing the ball up the pitch to nobody in particular underlined just how difficult that was going to be.
Naturally, the home side enjoyed almost total control of the ball but with the 10 percent of possession we did in the 15 minutes before the break, Saka did his best to cause mischief. We might have done better with a couple of his crosses.
Weirdly, by the time the whistle went, it was the home fans who sounded frustrated. Perhaps it was the constant mocking from the travelling Gooners who just decided to enjoy themselves by cheering every won tackle and every ball that ended up in Ramsdale’s gloves.
Both sides looked lively when the game restarted. Minamino had Ramsdale worried with an overhit cross that floated over the keeper’s head and just wide, Matip fired over with a wild effort from range and Van Dijk had to be alert to close down Saka who’d been played in by Lacazette.
Our number 7 continued to probe and another teasing dribble forced Robertson into a tug that earned the Scot a yellow. He went on to leave Matip in a heap after winning a fifty-fifty challenge before hurtling after a loose ball.
Minamino continued to look the home side’s most dangerous player and on 68 minutes he came close to breaking the deadlock when, played in by Jones, he flashed a shot across Ramsdale’s goal. Hearts were in mouths as the ball flashed past the post.
Three minutes later it was Liverpool on the ropes. Collecting a Tierney cross at the back post, Saka came desperately close to getting off a shot before Allison pounced.
By this point, the England international had run himself into the ground. It looked like he was going to go off when he started holding his stomach but with the aid of a couple of paracetamol, he was somehow able to continue. Well, for a bit. He eventually went off on 80 minutes to be replaced by Nuno Tavares.
We continued to keep the home side at arm’s length by staying compact, blocking crosses early and allowing them to shoot from range. When the home side finally created a clear-cut chance in the final minute, Minamino blazed over from six yards with the goal gaping.
Five minutes of stoppage time sparked a new sense of urgency from the Reds. As the Anfield crowd roared, Ramsdale and White made vital interventions to keep hold of a very creditable clean sheet.
Wow, what a result. I would have taken that result even before a ball was kicked, let alone down to 10 men. Many a time would we have fallen apart after a red card, but it just goes to show how well drilled defensively Arteta has made this team. Well done lads!
Liverpool spent all that money on their covid bribe just to be held to ZERO shots on target against a weakened arsenal side with 10 men? ha ha fuck you. i am so impressed boys, really, really solid performance.
Yeah, it has just got to be said. I know it’s not big or clever. But….
Fuck you Klopp and your fucking false positives
Superb effort all round. Now let’s give those fcuking cheating cnuts what they deserve next week. An absolute disgrace to the game. Should have been thrown out of the competition before a ball was even kicked.
Mathematically speaking the chances of them having the false positives they claimed to was so negligible it would for all intents and purposes be treated as 0. They’re cheats, plain and simple.
Ah someone else that can do stats!
And fuck the selfish, reckless cunt that is Granit Xhaka – surely this time, the die-hard justifiers will finally see the light?
And still the downvotes…. what will it take for some people to realise just what a MASSIVE liability this man is????
The rest of our lads are now absolutely knackered with the NLD just 4 days away – and all because of one clumsy idiot who just cannot control himself… again!!!!!
I have tried so hard to see what the supposed “one of the most experience players brings to this team”, I see nothing but disappointment and trouble. Roma wanted to do us favor by taking this nightmare away but, arteta sad NO
Xhaka’s biggest critic here, but I gave you a red thumb.
Like I said in my earlier post, I’ve just realised that Xhaka tries hard, but he’s just braindead on a football pitch. It’s not his fault
Nope. For whatever reason people have convinced themselves that we can’t do much better than Xhaka, whether internally or on the market. He probably didn’t cost us points today but as someone else stated, the remaining men on the field are now tired as shit going into the match that really matters. He’s a fucking liability and I don’t see what positives he brings other than his availability and his apparent popularity within the club. I don’t buy this shit about him trying but being dumb and that not being his fault. Competence on the pitch should matter above all… Read more »
You can’t blame him for doing the same thing over again. At some point you have to blame the manager who plays him at every opportunity, knowing that he’s the teams worst enemy
Cant believe there are people still defending this clown. The amount of games he has single handely sabotaged wether it be a red or a penalty is just mindboggling.
Had no options today really, had to play him. What this has done though surely is force Arsenal into a midfield buy now. Surely??
I believe a 10 men Arsenal team without Xhaka will beat a 11 men Arsenal team with Xhaka … I am serious guys
also fyi – Ben white is getting a 10 from me when the player ratings come.
Whisper it softly … all the players are getting a 10 from me when the player ratings come 😉
Great effort by the lads! Ten men since 24th min at Anfield, and we defended magnificently!
But again, Xhaka continues to be our Achilles’ heels 🙁
Ha ha. Karma! Serves them right 😂
A game we probably would have lost with Xhaka on the field. Glad he is out of NLD. Such an idiotic player. So proud of the rest of the team. Deserved it.
I actually laugh now. That’s where I’m at with him. In fact, I laughed a lot tonight. I laughed when Granit Granited. I laughed when Minamino blazed over. And I laughed every time I saw Klopp doing his “Come on now, dis is not fussball” face. Prick. I think I hate him now. Feels good. I’m sticking with it. Warm respect is for losers. It’s all about the hate.
Yes, let the hatred flow
People on here will undoubtedly still defend him.
Re: Xhaka sending off, Merse thought Ramsdale should have been coming out to play sweeper keeper- you can certainly imagine Neuer doing so.
Possibly – but that was a hard-hit long ball. Attacker would have needed to pull it down and then control it before being in any position to shoot. Any half-decent defender would have just used those seconds to run past him and get goal-side, holding up the play so cover could get back.
But not our Granny – why think, when you can fly into a bloke’s chest with your studs glinting!!!
Xhaka is not a defender though, he was chasing back to cover for Tierney and gabriel. Liverpool play 433 and push their fullbacks up high when they have the ball. In no circumstance that the back 4 are doing their job should it be xhaka’s responsibility to track a run from jota.
Xhaxa’s lack of pace and reading of the game put him in that position. The man has one job when we are in possession. Cover Tierney.
Indeed Xhaka’s lack of pace Is always is an accident waiting to happen. He was covering for Gabriel who found himself sucked upfield unnecessary, and was left exposed and we know what happened next. If Ramsdale,came flying out he would have had to have had a higher starting position and may well have got there too late and seen red himself.
Gabriel was pressing Firmino and it took him onto Liverpools half. Xhaxas job period is too cover the left side so that Tierney can play high and overlap. We lost the ball. Tierney and Gabriel where out of position but they also pressed lpool enough where they had to work it to the other side of the pitch to Robinson who then travelled with it for a bit before playing a real good ball..A quick player would have gotten back. A good midfielder reads the game and adjusts accordingly. Xhaxa is neither.
That’s absolutely nonsensical, he was smart enough to see what was happening just not quick enough to get there. The fact he got there 1st wasn’t because of Tierney and gabriel pressing. Watch it again, was probably the only poor piece of defending from us all game.
The red card wasn’t Xhaka’s fault. The penalties were only given because he’s GX43. We’ve all heard it before.
You know nothing about football, we weren’t in possession. His job is not to cover for Tierney that would be Gabriel’s remit. They play 3 in midfield, xhaka and sambis job ist cover them.
What, the ball was played straight at Jota’s chest. I can’t see any sane keeper coming out to battle an aerial ball.
If he made his mind up to come, as he started to, he would have got there before Jota.
Liverpool celebrating every throw in like they have won a world cup. Without Salah and Mane they look average even against 10 men.
What bothers me is how the ref interprets the Xhaka red. Is it a professional foul one game ban ? that I can accept. Is it a violent foul/conduct straight red 3 game ban? I’d say Mike fucking Riley forced them in the match report just for old time’s sake and nothing more.
11 against 11 without Salah and Mane we should be getting through
I’m almost certain it will be a 3 match ban as it for dangerous tackling/violent conduct and it was a straight red card too.
The pundits thought a 2 match ban. Denying a goal-scoring opportunity. It might be different in League Cup, but Premier League is as follows:
If a player is sent off for a professional foul (eg holding an opponent back when they’re through on goal) or a second bookable offence they will be handed a one-match ban.
Straight red cards for dissent will result in a two-match ban, while dangerous tackles or violent conduct will result in a three-match ban which can be raised to four or more games in extreme cases.
It will basically depend on the referee’s report.
The red was for denying goal scoring opportunity – which is usually a 1 game ban.
It’s a 2 match ban because it’s his 2nd red of the season
That’s where Mike fucking Riley comes in and say he could have killed him getting that ball off his chest. It’s arsenal 9883730 year ban
The focus after captain abandoned ship was quite intense.
Xhaka is the most crucial player to our game. I also know nothing about football as I say that.
He is – but sadly, for all the wrong reasons.
Awesome display and one of the most satisfying performances I can remember.
That will teach Liverpool for cheating with the postponement!
Best defensive performance since…..?
Must be George Graham…
Man City on New Years Day.
The O.J. trials?
The 05/06 Champions League knockout stages.
Ben White was massive
So were Chambo and Martinelli
Fucking Chambers. Everytime i have written him off he puts in a real shift.
Put some respect on Rob Holding. After a shit game, he came on as an early sub and anchored that defence like a pro.
My M.O.T.M was Laca. Absolutely never stopped running and hassling.
This was his best performance in an Arsenal shirt. Even helped out Gabriel during some iffy moments.
Seeing Jota unhappy has made my evening, the frosty haired chode
Inject it into my veins😍😍😍
Phenomenal defensive performance.
Arteta got his tactics spot on after the red card.
He’s used to it by now. With Xhaka in your team, you have to plan for that inevitability.
Yes fair play to Mikel tonight – we looked so well drilled when down to 10 that we have to give him huge credit for that. Good to hear Nuno to get such a good reception when he came on.
Away fans were fantastic. As proud of them as the Players today.
Were there any Liverpool fans?
Was there a fire drill?
Walking alone somewhere.
Believe they were all isolating – following a bout of ‘false positives’.
Death, Taxes and Granit Xhaka doing something stupid
To be fair to him, I’m not sure he knew exactly where Jota was, but reckless nonetheless. Rest of the team was amazing tonight though.
That’s exactly the point – he didn’t know where Jota was… he NEVER knows! There is always an excuse: but, ask yourself this simple question:
why oh why it is always him?
He is a reckless idiot who repeatedly hangs his team mates out to dry and costs his club valuable victories, at critical moments.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
No point man. People on here defend Xhaxa more than Auba.
5 red cards and 6 penalties since he’s joined us. 1 a year of each. Would be good to count how many points and positions each one has actually cost us… would add up to 1-2 league positions my guess
Don’t forget the errors leading to goals
Xhaka doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore
I have no doubt that Xhaka is a terrible footballer and is a gigantic drag on this team’s ambitions.
MA – get the hell rid of this clown please!!!!
Thing about Xhaka is – If he could just lose that from his game, he could be a really good player.
Now where’s the ‘dry irony’ font when you need it?
Won’t expect anyone to be complaining on Sunday then that he isn’t playing. Same goes for second leg against liverpool, it’s a big advantage to us him being banned. Have a feeling he’s still going to get blamed though if results don’t go our way.
I think we’re being too hard on old Granit. Using his under appreciated genius, he realized that the only contribution he could make to the squad was to galvanize the remaining ten players into a remarkable defensive fortress at Anfield of all places. So he sacrificed himself and set off on his quest for red. That’s hero stuff right there. Glory, thy name is Xhaka.
Hear hear!, thanks mate😁
Exactly. He was showing his brilliance once again. Our fall from grace/fourth since hes been here, nail in the coffins of two really good managers. Its all part of his master plan.
spot on lol
To be fair, Xhaka didn’t have any good options there. Not sure how he was the last defender, where was our back line? His only choices were to try to tackle the guy from behind or just let him run in and score. I don’t know if we could have scored an equalizer if he’d chosen the latter. Anyway, water under the bridge now. Hopefully with all our new injuries from this match and new Covid cases, we can get the Spurms match postponed unti lwe have our AFCON players back.
I think if he kept chasing he would have caught up especially that the red block had to control the ball and wait for it to drop from the air, that time would have allowed Grant to get back and nick it off him or block his route
He is covering Tierney so such a scenario is always a possibility. The problem is that he is not so mobile. Van Dijk wouldn’t have been send off.
He was covering both Tierney & Gabriel, who got sucked into a midfield press & didn’t win the ball. Not ideal for someone not blessed with pace, to put it mildly.
Like most defensive errors in football, he played his part in the sending off but so did the rest of our defence.
Hey it was his tactical master plan to get Nketiah off the field.
I haven’t said this of any Arsenal team in many years. But what a defense! What a tactical strike of genius with 5-3-1.
“Defence” is spelt with a c.
No need to be an unt about it
Beat me to it.
So is “captious”
You should be teaching in Harvard.
Not if he’s replying from an US cellphone, auto correct would make it an s.
Whilst I agree that is the traditional UK-English spelling, and what I use. Defense is not incorrect:
Defence and defense are both correct ways to spell the same word. … In parts of the world where British English is used, they use the spelling with a “c”—defence. A Brit would write: There’s no defence that could have stopped that attack.
In summary, yes in England – Defence; but a bit pedantic, when there are so many other words that are spelled incorrectly!
Didn’t you write “Oderguard” in an earlier post today?
Glass houses and all…
At 42 I cried when Man City scored on New Years Day. It was the bravest Arsenal performance from the most likeable team of lads we’ve had for many years. They outdid themselves tonight. I thought i was going to be crying in the last few minutes again. What a team we have here lads. I fuckin love them. I’m so proud and the fans in the ground tonight were fuckin EXCELLENT
I fuckin love your comment ❤
I fucking love that you fucking love that comment !!❤️❤️
our fans were incredible!
All you could hear on TV was our fans singing!
My girlfriend doesn’t watch football but for some reason she gets Arsenal in game notifications to her phone (probably to gauge what mood I’m in). So I’m on my way home from work and get a text message from her saying “Xhaka again”. Remember – she doesn’t watch football. I can’t be mad at Xhaka anymore. I’m sure he tries hard, but it’s not his fault that he’s the most braindead professional footballer of all time. It’s time to look at all the managers who persist with him, knowing that he can’t be trusted. The silver lining is that he… Read more »
Put a ring on it
My daughter is 12 and doesn’t really like football…
I went to her room at full time to kissed her good night and asked her “guess who’s been sent off”… she got the answer right 🤐
That says a lot.
I think we all know that he’ll be back in the starting 11 after his 2 match ban
Give it a fucking rest, day after day every article. Ever thought about getting a hobby? Girlfriend? Maybe both. If we get beat on Sunday you’ll be complaining that he wasn’t playing.
I tell you what. I’ll give it a fucking rest, get a hobby AND get a girlfriend when Xhaka is either out of the team, or plays at a decent level.
Today should….and i mean should finally convince management this guy is useless. But more importantly the players need to realise they dont need this lump and are better without him.
I’ve given up on management dropping him.
I have wondered if the players have been losing faith in him, after all he’s cost the team
I’ve given up waiting also. If none of the other times (many of which had more calamitous consequences, so many points dropped) weren’t enough to finally convince them, this won’t either.
Good point about the players though T.B. – can’t imagine that those who played (and their fatigued legs) will be feeling too much warmth towards him tomorrow.
Seriously proud of the boys tonight. Well fucking done lads!
So frustrating about xhaka but maybe this was a blessing in disguise for the long term of the team. We can do it without him. Too much liability whatever way we look it.
Xhaka off is a godsend for the derby. No guarantees that we win it, but much more likely we win it without him.
I’m not a big xhaka fan by any means but who do we have to fill in? White and lakonga?
I’d rather have a kid from Hackney Marshes who can stay on the pitch for the full 90… at least the other 10 poor buggers don’t have to run themselves ragged because of one reckless idiot.
Will force recruitment..Which hopefully means Xhaxa is gone in the summer and banished when he returns instead of being put straight back in the first team with no consequences unlike other players with lesser mistakes.
He would have to be signed by noon Friday to be registered for the NLD.
Well if it’s not Xhaka in the NLD it will be Charlie Patino.
Love him or hate him, Xhaka will be a massive loss.
I’m fine with Patino, Chambers, White, training cone, inanimate carbon rod…
Apart from this latest on-pitch stroke, I just remembered the “leader” hasn’t been vaccinated. We’re benching players for overstaying visits with family while employing this anti-vaxxer. Get him out. Yesterday.
What a performance in Anfield.
Kudos to everyone.
A big shout out to our away fans. I could hear them clearly on the telly. Amazing job guys.
They’ve been brilliant all season
Very very massive shoutout!! Would it be bigger than Xhaka’s Arsenal mess ups though?
Seriously though well done to the away fans
They were fantastic. Louder than the home support and kept the boys going through a very tough night.
Amen. Amen. A-fuggin-men!!! You guys were immense. I could hear you all the way down here on the southern tip of Africa!
Completely out sang the ‘mighty kop’. Just hope we do it again next week.
Noreen did you forget to give the postman his Christmas tip because the windows have been put through with apples again.
10/10 for every single Arsenal player except Xhaka. He gets a one way ticket to Mourinho. Those two idiots deserve each othet.
Absolutely magnificent performance from the boys! Whoaaaaah! That’s the fighting spirit!
What a dork
Fuck you Klopp! Fuck you Xhaka! Fuck you Mike Dean!
Wasn’t it Michael Oliver?
The sentiment still stands.
Xhaka – 0
Everybody else (fans on the stands included) – 10
10 giants. Incredible.
Lots of heroes and one villain. Big shout to Lacazette, thought he was absolutely outstanding until his legs started to give up in the last 10 minutes.
They were immense. The real tragedy is that one idiot left the other 10 having to run themselves into the ground 4 days before the NLD.
What an utter cunt.
Laca’s legs were gone after 30, look knackered..Even more impressed with him because he continued on pure fumes and love for the club.
Proud of the lads today. They really fought for that draw. I would love to see what Xhaka has to say to his teammates. Another red so early in the game. That killed two games because these guys ran themselves to the ground for 70 minutes trying to save the match. Gonna be so tired.
We’ll probably have to rotate a little for Spurs.
Rotate with what. Have you seen the squad available.
But with the Xhaka red, it’s inevitable. Maybe an extra central defender comes for a back 3 and then, there’s Patino?
Get the fuck in
One of my favourite performances of the Arteta reign.
Lots of fight. Most notably saka , laca, white and gabriel. Saka looks strong right now!
Yes we lost a man, but we had to substitute Cedric so we kind of gained a man back.
Great away support.
Fee we got for the Ox still looks decent
Xhaka you dipstick
This team will be the death of me
Not if Xhaka kills you first.
Another positive to take from this game: for the next three games, we dont have to worry about Xhaka being sent off!
Hope that’s not a false positive😃
It is. Only one game ban
Sadly it’s only two.,,
Proud of the team at half time and full time. Arsenal never cease to amaze me at times. Brilliant performance.
Great defensive performance from the team.
Yet again Xhaka gets sent off for a yellow card offence, because of his reputation
Nope, not this time. Poor awareness, poor positioning, and not enough urgency to get back when he finally realized Jota was running behind him. Watching on TV, one could see it coming from a mile away. He’s had bad luck on occasion with “oranges,” but this one’s on him.
I watched it on tv and didnt see it as a red card offence. But then again I have no real bias against Arsenal players. Then I saw the replay and the pundits said it was because he denied a clear goal scoring opportunity. But Jota changes his run parallell to the goal outside the penalty area and has no chance to score. So Xhakas tackle must have been deemed violent even though it is accidental. But then again stomping on Tamiyasus face was deemed accidental and there was given noe card. So my verdict is “whatever never mind” and… Read more »
How was that a yellow card offence? The guy was through on goal.
Bollocks – foot in the chest, last man bringing down the attacked who’s clearly through on goal otherwise. I don’t like Arnold but he had no option other than straight red.
Sorry – ‘Oliver’
Stonewall red. Couldn’t have been redder. Maybe we should do the white shirts again, the slogan is the same but directed towards GX
Here we go…..
playing with Xhaka or playing with 10 players the whole game is the same thing.
Playing with 10 is better. We would have lost this game if Xhaka didn’t get that red.
This team has heart! The foundations are there to build a champion. Today shows that sometimes a performance can be what changes a team, not always a result.
Should we even say anything about Xhaka?
No – fuck him
Not defending him, but he might just have inadvertently saved the tie. Would we have gone to a back three and not left ourselves open with 11 on the pitch?
One would also ask, if we managed to hold them with 10 men, would we not have won if we had 11?
The fact is Xhaka cost us, even if we draw.
What was your first thought when you saw he’s off!? “Oh good, now we can go back five” or was it “oh no not again” ?
That’s being obtuse. Of course I didn’t want a player being sent off. I just think that this situation worked for us in the away leg with quite a few players missing.
If we had played a high pressing and expansive game with such limited personnel, I think it would have been easy for them to pick us off.
Most other players, that’s a free kick, maybe a yellow.
The ref sees its Xhaka and automatically reaches for the red
Stop making excuses. It’s a stupid foul and he is the last man. White MIGHT have got back as the touch wasn’t great, but it’s a red 8/10 time’s
Exactly – but, given that it’s only the first time he’s ever been caught out like that…
oh no, wait a minute…
Who did He piss off from the referee Association