Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal LIVE! Gunners hold on - Carabao Cup result, match stream and latest updates today

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·28-min read
Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal LIVE! Gunners hold on - Carabao Cup result, match stream and latest updates today
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Liverpool vs Arsenal - LIVE!

Liverpool were frustrated by 10-man Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final first leg at Anfield as it finished 0-0 after the visitors defended superbly following Granit Xhaka’s early sending off.

Xhaka was shown a red card in the 24th minute for a high challenge on Diogo Jota on the edge of the area, catching the Portuguese forward in the ribs and denying him a goalscoring opportunity.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta responded by bringing on defender Rob Holding in place of striker Eddie Nketiah, the hat-trick hero against League One side Sunderland in the quarter-finals, leaving Alexandre Lacazette as the lone man up front.

Despite Liverpool enjoying most of the possession, Arsenal kept them out with an impressive performance under pressure as the hosts looked toothless without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who are playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Arsenal’s best chance came in the 71st minute when Bukayo Sako forced a save from Alisson, while Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino missed a golden opportunity when he fired over the bar from close range in the 90th with Aaron Ramsdale out of his goal.

The second leg takes place at the Emirates next week, with the winner facing Chelsea in the final at Wembley.

Key Points

  • RED CARD! Xhaka sent off for clumsy challenge

  • TV channel: Sky Sports

  • Liverpool team news: Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho return

  • Arsenal team news: Xhaka returns but Odegaard out

  • Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

Arsenal dead on their feet but alive

22:54 , Matt Verri

When Granit Xhaka was sent off just 24 minutes into this clash with Liverpool, you feared the worst for Arsenal.

They have had plenty of miserable maulings at Anfield in the past and several of those have been with 11 men.

It seemed like the story was destined to be about Xhaka, who had come straight out of isolation following his positive test for Covid-19, and that certainly felt like the case when he was given a red card after catching Diogo Jota as the last man with a high tackle.

Instead, though, this was about Arsenal putting in a defensive performance that would have left Mikel Arteta immensely satisfied.

Read Simon Collings’ full analysis from Anfield right here.

 (AP)
(AP)

How the Gunners rated...

22:28 , Matt Verri

Arsenal player ratings: White’s best performance, Chambers steps up

Arteta: Arsenal took the fight

22:17 , Matt Verri

“I don’t know if the red card inspired them but it took the fight. You need a certain attitude to play in these games and the boys did that. We played the game we had to play, which is not our game.

“To plan with the numbers we have, we don’t have any midfielders, becomes really complicated, because whatever we do is not natural.

“The extra motivation to play a derby [at Tottenham on Sunday] brings the energy when you don’t have it. No excuses, we have to play it.”

More from Arteta

22:11 , Matt Verri

“They showed great fight and determination. They never gave up.

“To do what they done today, they deserve great credit. We played the game that we had to play.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

22:06 , Matt Verri

Mikel Arteta in no mood to discuss the red card decision that saw his side reduced to ten en.

“I haven’t seen it back,” Arteta said.

He’s focusing on how proud he is of Arsenal’s efforts to earn a draw tonight.

21:58 , Matt Verri

That stats clearly show Liverpool’s problem. 17 shots in the match, one on target.

Too many wasteful efforts from range, and then some wild finishing when presented with real opportunities. Salah and Mane already being missed...

White on Arsenal’s response to Forest defeat

21:54 , Matt Verri

“I think that’s football. Some days it’s your time, and some days it isn’t. Today was.

“We were confident coming here and we’re now going to give it our all next game.”

21:54 , Matt Verri

“It’s not easy at all, especially against a team like Liverpool. It’s tough, you have to concentrate all game and we had a bit of luck. The result is well-deserved.”

Asked if that was an exhausting performance, White responded, “yeah, that was terrible”.

He added: “It’s nice to defend like that as a defender and to keep a clean sheet.”

Ben White on red card...

21:51 , Matt Verri

“Yeah it’s not ideal, is it?

“There’s so much fight in this team, it showed today. We dug deep and got the result we needed.

“[Xhaka] was looking at the ball, he doesn’t know where the man is. It is what it is, and the boys did well today.

“It’s hard enough to come here with 11 men, and to get one sent-off straight away is not good. But absolutely superb from everyone today.”

21:48 , Matt Verri

So it’s all to play for at the Emirates next week. No deficit for the Gunners to overcome, despite playing for 66 minutes with ten men.

Remains to be seen what toll this has taken on the players ahead of the north London derby this weekend. Some very tired legs at the end of the game.

Minamino’s huge miss...

21:43 , Matt Verri

FULL-TIME

21:39 , Matt Verri

Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal

Down to ten men after 24 minutes, the Gunners have managed to hold on for a draw. They’ve kept themselves right in this tie heading into the second leg at the Emirates. Arteta will be absolutely delighted.

It was incredibly nervy for the Gunners at the end... and Minamino should have won it right at the death. But it finishes goalless.

21:38 , Matt Verri

90+4 mins: Minamino shanks an effort at goal... Firmino keeps it in, but he’s offside. Arsenal can breathe.

One minute left. The Gunners almost have a precious draw.

21:36 , Matt Verri

90+3 mins: Robertson takes a Liverpool corner, low towards the near post and Lacazette can clear.

Ramsdale comes for another cross and makes a mess of it again. Williams fires it back at goal, White gets back on the line to block. The goalkeeper is not helping his side here...

21:35 , Matt Verri

90+1 mins: This is really nervy stuff from Arsenal. Jones wants a penalty as Martinelli tracks back, not going to get it.

Martinelli does a poor job of clearing it though, back come Liverpool. Ramsdale beats away a shot from range, and Tierney hammers it up the pitch.

21:33 , Matt Verri

90 mins: MASSIVE CHANCE!

And it came from calamitous Arsenal defending. Cross into the box, Ramsdale comes for it and gets nowhere near it.

It falls for Minamino, who is faced with a completely open goal. Somehow blazes over. Incredible miss.

Five minutes added on.

21:32 , Matt Verri

88 mins: More nervy moments, Williams has looked good since coming on.

Ball is into a great area, White stabs it away but the clearance bounces straight back off Gabriel... fortunately for Arsenal, into Ramsdale’s arms.

21:30 , Matt Verri

87 mins: How is Martinelli still running?! Puts pressure on the Liverpool defence and forces them to play it all the way back to Alisson.

Doesn’t delay the attack for long though, the Reds are swiftly back camped in Arsenal territory.

21:29 , Matt Verri

85 mins: That was nearly it for Liverpool. Jones floats a cross in, Gabriel completely misjudges the flight and Jota has a free header behind him.

The Liverpool man wasn’t expecting it to reach him though, and he can’t direct an effort at goal.

21:27 , Matt Verri

84 mins: Williams skips down the right past Tierney and stands up a ball into the box, but Ramsdale can easily claim and then flop to the ground.

Arsenal with no real interest in countering now, just staying in their shape.

21:25 , Matt Verri

82 mins: Oxlade-Chamberlain fancies a goal against his former side. Controls the pass and lets fly from distance, can’t keep it down. Home fans frustrated with that, as Ramsdale kills a few more seconds taking the goal-kick.

21:24 , Matt Verri

80 mins: Saka will come off now though, and Tavares eventually gets his introduction.

He had a 30 minutes to forget against Nottingham Forest, but big task ahead of Tavares for the rest of this match.

21:21 , Matt Verri

78 mins: Concern for Arsenal, Saka is down holding his side. Is he going to be coming off?

Tavares is stripped off, but once again he’s going to be told to sit down. Saka fine to continue for now.

21:19 , Matt Verri

76 mins: Three changes for Liverpool. Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold and Matip off. Gomez, Williams and Oxlade-Chamberlain on.

More fresh legs for Arsenal to contend with in the final 15 minutes.

21:17 , Matt Verri

74 mins: Again the Gunners look threatening on the break.

The corner is cleared, Martinelli gets the touch ahead of Henderson and he’s away. Looks up, tries to slide it through to Saka but Robertson gets across.

Saka and Martinelli have covered so much ground tonight.

21:15 , Matt Verri

72 mins: Away fans screaming for a penalty as Saka’s cross is blocked. They want handball, not going to get it though. None of the Arsenal players actually appealed.

Saka close to having a huge chance! Tierney gets forward and swings the ball in, falls to Saka but he can’t quite control it and the ball bobbled away. Alisson got out to smother.

Liverpool then sense the space and break quickly, Gabriel booked for stopping the counter.

21:13 , Matt Verri

70 mins: Ball bouncing dangerously in the box after Minamino scuffs an effort at goal.

Loops towards Firmino in the six-yard box, but he’s offside. Arsenal can regroup.

21:11 , Matt Verri

68 mins: As close as Liverpool have come, but Arsenal just about survive.

Minamino onto a nice pass into the box, tight angle doesn’t stop him from getting a great effort at goal. Just wide of the far corner, Ramsdale might have got a touch. Goal-kick though.

Simon Collings at Anfield

21:10 , Matt Verri

25 minutes for Arsenal to go and a few of them are, understandably, blowing. Martinelli looks dead on his feet and Lacazette does too.

21:10 , Matt Verri

66 mins: Lacazette pounces on a loose ball and brings it up the pitch on the left, but there’s no Arsenal shirt anywhere near him. He has to turn back and play it all the way back... at least the Gunners can keep possession.

Alisson once again off his line to clear a ball over the top. He’s even taking a throw-in this half, desperate to keep the pace of the game going.

21:08 , Matt Verri

65 mins: Arsenal have survived the first 20 minutes of the second-half. Bad news is, there’s probably the best part of half an hour left, including added time.

Jones fouled by White and Liverpool are back on the attack.

21:06 , Matt Verri

62 mins: Lacazette the latest to go to ground as he tries to win a soft-free kick for his side. Michael Oliver not having any of it.

Gabriel then has to slide in to stop the ball reaching Henderson on the right-hand side of the box.

21:04 , Matt Verri

60 mins: Matip down, screaming for a free-kick as Saka stretches to challenge. Nothing given.

Alisson then off his line quickly to clear the danger. Matip still furious with the referee about that decision. Curtis Jones on for Liverpool as they make their first sub - Milner off.

21:01 , Matt Verri

58 mins: Brilliant from Saka to hold the ball up and then win the free-kick as Robertson pulls him back. Left-back is shown the yellow card.

Rare chance for Arsenal to bring the defenders up. Saka takes it, decent ball but Alisson gets it away.

20:59 , Matt Verri

56 mins: Anfield faithful in fine voice, trying to urge their side forward. Arsenal hanging in there, looking solid in their shape... so many bodies in central areas.

Alexander-Arnold goes over the top towards Minamino, but Ramsdale is out to claim.

Simon Collings at Anfield

20:57 , Matt Verri

Arteta and his coaching staff are super animated on the touchline. They are giving out loads of encouragement and urging the players on. Four of five of the coaches applaud Tierney after his run forward.

20:56 , Matt Verri

53 mins: Tierney flies forward to intercept a pass before it can get to Alexander-Arnold.

Worked out to Chambers on the right who swings a cross into the box. Nobody there, and it’s not a great ball anyway.

20:53 , Matt Verri

50 mins: Good break from Arsenal after Van Dijk gets caught out. Saka drives into the box and works it onto his right-foot, but the shot is blocked.

Matip did well to force Saka outside, didn’t let him cut onside onto that left foot.

20:52 , Matt Verri

49 mins: He had a couple of promising bursts forward in the first-half, but that shot from Matip suggests that he should be focusing on laying the ball off rather than going for goal himself.

25 yards out, and it’s ballooned miles over the bar.

20:50 , Matt Verri

47 mins: Tierney takes about 30 seconds before the throw-is eventually lobbed forward. He’ll get another chance to do the same.

Minamino then breaks away down Arsenal’s right, and he breezes past Chambers. Attempted cross has Ramsdale desperately back-peddling.... wasn’t far away from landing right in the top corner.

Back underway

20:48 , Matt Verri

Liverpool kick us off for the second half.

Another 45 minutes of attack vs defence!

Gunners increasingly stretched...

20:43 , Matt Verri

20:42 , Matt Verri

No shots on target for either side in the first-half. Liverpool have had four efforts, Arsenal just the one.

80% possession for the hosts... you’d imagine that figure is only going to get bigger.

Another red for Xhaka...

20:37 , Matt Verri

Simon Collings at Anfield

20:34 , Matt Verri

Arsenal, after being rocked by the Xhaka red card, have made it to half-time. They’re digging in and working hard. Another 45 minutes of defence to go.

HALF-TIME

20:33 , Matt Verri

Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal

Goalless at the break, but Arsenal down to ten men after Granit Xhaka was shown a straight red card for a clumsy challenge on Diogo Jota right on the edge of the box.

Arsenal helped by the fact it’s a two-legged tie... Mikel Arteta knows his side just need to keep themselves in it tonight.

20:31 , Matt Verri

45 mins: Two minutes to be added on. Arsenal have come under a lot of pressure, but if they can make it to half-time level, that will be a job well done.

The ball doesn’t quite bounce for Lacazette in the Liverpool box, briefly looked like he would be through on goal.

20:28 , Matt Verri

43 mins: Saka wins a free-kick, really good strength to hold off Jota.

He takes it himself and it’s a lovely ball into the box... JUST too much on it for Lacazette. Wasn’t far away from being perfect.

20:27 , Matt Verri

42 mins: Well then. Saka cuts inside and puts a cross into a decent area, and Matip slices it behind him and out for a corner. Was not in control of that at all.

Martinelli to take, Alisson off his line to punch it away.

20:26 , Matt Verri

40 mins: Robertson clips a ball into the box, Gabriel flicks it away. Arsenal with pretty much everyone back on the edge of the box.

Just the 89% of possession for Liverpool in the last 15 minutes, but frustration going as the Reds sent it out for a goal-kick again. Ramsdale pushes everyone up the pitch.

20:23 , Matt Verri

37 mins: Arsenal struggling to deal with Matip, of all players, when he brings it forward from the back. He very nearly has a chance to get a shot away, after a nice one-two with Firmino.

Another corner for Liverpool as Arsenal scramble it behind, good from Holding.

20:20 , Matt Verri

35 mins: Alexander-Arnold unusually wasteful on the ball and he sends it straight out of play.

77% of possession for Liverpool so far in the match. Martinelli and Saka having to work really hard to stay narrow in midfield and then get out wide when Liverpool work it to the full-backs.

20:18 , Matt Verri

32 mins: Ball swung to the back post, Chambers is strong in the air against Milner and it runs out for a goal-kick.

Ramsdale in no rush whatsoever, and Arsenal have also put the playing out from the back to one side. Punted up the pitch.

20:15 , Matt Verri

30 mins: Martinelli tries to just see the ball out for a throw-in, but Matip does really well to keep it in and Chambers has to just hack it away.

Long, long hour ahead for the Gunners.

Simon Collings at Anfield

20:14 , Matt Verri

Looks like a back three now: White, Holding and Gabriel. Chambers and Tierney the wing-backs. Arsenal with 10. You couldn’t make it up.

20:13 , Matt Verri

28 mins: Holding on, Nketiah the unfortunate player to make way.

Lacazette to be the focal point up front... Tavares back on the bench, he won’t be coming on now.

20:12 , Matt Verri

26 mins: Alexander-Arnold hits it straight into the wall from the free-kick, and then fires the follow-up wide.

Arsenal, once again, find themselves down to 10 men in a big game. Arteta with big problems now.

Both Holding and Tavares look ready to come on.

RED CARD! Granit Xhaka is off

20:10 , Matt Verri

24 mins: GRANIT XHAKA HAS BEEN SENT OFF!

Can you believe it?! Probably, considering who it is.

Long ball over the top, Jota is running onto it. Xhaka has his eyes on the ball and tries to volley it away, but he catches Jota on the edge of the box.

Red card straight out. VAR check complete. Xhaka is off.

20:07 , Matt Verri

22 mins: Matip does very well, that was nearly an opening for the Gunners.

Ball clipped over the top and Nketiah runs onto it. Saka was also closing it down, but Matip manages to beat both of them to it and clears the danger.

The Gunners were through on goal if he’d have gone that wrong.

Simon Collings at Anfield

20:05 , Matt Verri

Arsenal will have been relieved to have got through this opening 20 minutes unscathed. They’ve been on the back foot but, crucially, they’ve held firm - which has often been the case early on at Anfield.

20:05 , Matt Verri

19 mins: Henderson very casual in midfield and Arsenal win it back in a good position.

Lacazette looks up and sees Alisson slightly off his line, so lets fly from 30 yards out. Decent strike, but never troubling the goalkeeper.

20:03 , Matt Verri

18 mins: Saka’s first real touch of the match as the ball is played over the top to him. He has a huge amount of space... and that’s because he’s well offside.

Arsenal starting to grow into it. Tierney puts a nice cross into the box, Lacazette can’t get on the end of it though.

20:01 , Matt Verri

16 mins: Alexander-Arnold hammers an effort at goal, Tierney gets out to block.

Ball is then clipped forward again, and it rolls out for Arsenal goal-kick. The visitors need to try and slow the pace of this game down.

19:59 , Matt Verri

14 mins: Arsenal hanging on a bit, Liverpool putting them under a lot of pressure.

Robertson puts another great cross into the six-yard box. White tries to clear and very nearly deflects it in for an own-goal.

The Scottish left-back is at it again, cutting inside into the box this time. Blocked, and yet another Liverpool corner. Nketiah gets it away.

19:58 , Matt Verri

12 mins: Gabriel with a big challenge on Milner, just about got the ball.

Henderson then charges down Ramsdale’s clearance, that could very easily have rolled back into the goal. As it is, it’s another Liverpool corner.

Better goalkeeping this time, a good punch away.

Simon Collings at Anfield

19:56 , Matt Verri

Cedric going off so early isn’t too big a blow for Arsenal. Thankfully they’ve five subs at their disposal in the Carabao Cup. Chambers making his first appearance since October.

19:55 , Matt Verri

10 mins: Matip skips forward with the ball and beats a couple of challenges. Out wide to Alexander-Arnold, but too much on the pass and it’s out for a goal-kick.

Cedric is down again, he hasn’t been able to get over that hip injury. Calum Chambers coming on.

19:54 , Matt Verri

9 mins: Martinelli wins the ball back from Henderson and it breaks free. He goes full pelt into Van Dijk as the defender comes out to clear the ball.

It’s the Arsenal man who unsurprisingly came off worst in that collision.

19:52 , Matt Verri

7 mins: All Liverpool early on. Robertson bombing forward as ever on the left, and curls a nice ball in towards Firmino at the near post.

Brazilian can’t get a touch on it though, as Ramsdale claims. Think the offside flag would have gone up anyway.

19:51 , Matt Verri

6 mins: Shaky start from the Gunners. Terrible backpass from Gabriel and it’s out for another Liverpool corner.

Arsenal get it away. Lots of grappling between Van Dijk and Lacazette in the box.

19:49 , Matt Verri

4 mins: Robertson takes, headed away at the near post.

Arsenal got themselves into a lot of trouble playing out from the back at Anfield earlier this season. They’re sticking to it here.

19:49 , Matt Verri

3 mins: Physio on to give Cedric a bit of treatment on his hip. Not what Arsenal need, considering all their other absentees. He’s fine to continue for now though.

Lokonga with a really loose pass in midfield allows Liverpool to break. Alexander-Arnold tries to skip past Tierney, but the Arsenal man puts it behind for a corner.

19:47 , Matt Verri

1 min: Cedric looks in a bit of pain after 20 seconds, bending down gingerly to pick up the ball after the Gunners win an early throw-in.

Alisson makes a bit of a mess of claiming a cross into the box, but he was fouled by Nketiah and gets the free-kick.

KICK-OFF!

19:45 , Matt Verri

We are underway for the first-leg of this Carabao Cup semi-final.

Liverpool will be looking to take charge of the tie tonight. For Arsenal, the task is to go into the second-leg at the Emirates still in it.

Nearly time...

19:42 , Matt Verri

Just a few minutes now until kick-off at Anfield.

Players are in the tunnel... not long now!

Klopp on strong line-up

19:36 , Matt Verri

“This is the period of the year when there are only cup competitions so we have to play the players available and that is how we can get through different periods,” Klopp said.

“In other moments in the season when you play constantly every three days then you have to make these kind of decisions, to play the younger players or whatever.”

It’s probably as strong a team as Liverpool could put out tonight.

Arteta tight-lipped

19:34 , Matt Verri

“You will see when we go out there who plays!”

Arteta in no mood to give away anything, when asked if Lacazette will be playing as a number 10. Hard to see who else would play there.

19:32 , Matt Verri

No Odegaard, no Smith-Rowe - even more pressure on Saka to deliver.

Seven goals and four assists in all competitions for him so far this season. He was brilliant against Man City on New Years’ Day... can he be similarly effective at Anfield tonight?

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

19:26 , Matt Verri

Both teams going back to their first-choice goalkeepers.

Kelleher and Leno have enjoyed minutes in this competition so far this season, but it’s Alisson and Ramsdale who are in action tonight.

Clear that both managers are taking this as seriously as they can.

19:20 , Matt Verri

Just over 25 minutes to go until kick-off.

Arsenal’s recent record at Anfield is not a good one, to say the least. 2012 the last time they came away with victory.

There was a crazy 5-5 draw in this competition back in 2019, with the Reds coming out on top on penalties.

Odegaard blow for NLD

19:11 , Matt Verri

Arsenal have been dealt a major blow after Martin Odegaard tested positive for Covid-19, meaning he will miss Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham.

The news about the midfielder’s positive test was revealed on Thursday night after he was left out of the squad to face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

It had been hoped Odegaard could be back to face Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday after it was announced that the self-isolation period for people who test positive for Covid-19 is being cut to five full days in England.

That guidance, however, is not coming into force until Monday, meaning Odegaard must isolate for seven days and he will miss Sunday’s game with Spurs. More on that here.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Big night for Lokonga...

19:04 , Matt Verri

The last time Albert Sambi Lokonga played at Anfield, the Arsenal midfielder had an evening to forget.

Lokonga lasted longer than Nuno Tavares did at Nottingham Forest on Sunday, but after a difficult 53 minutes he was hooked by Mikel Arteta as the Gunners slumped to a 4-0 defeat.

After his side were swept away in November, Arteta spoke about the match being a lesson for his young side and an example of the level they must reach to compete with the established elite in the Premier League.

Read Simon Collings’ piece on Lokonga’s importance tonight here.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Simon Collings at Anfield

18:57 , Matt Verri

Fabinho’s pre-match thoughts...

18:51 , Matt Verri

“We want to play our best football tonight - the fans will be behind us. We are at home. It’s a good opportunity.

“Without Sadio and Mo we lose goals and pace in attack, but other players have to step up with more responsibility.

“I am happy I scored twice at the weekend and If I have another opportunity tonight, I want to take it!”

18:44 , Matt Verri

Looks like Lacazette is starting as a number 10 for the Gunners. Xhaka straight back into the side, alongside Lokonga in midfield.

No Tomiyasu so Cedric continues at right-back, Nketiah starts up front.

Arsenal confirm Odegaard has tested positive for Covid, while Kolasinac is out with a tight hamstring.

ARSENAL LINEUP

18:42 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Ramsdale, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Lokonga, Xhaka, Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli, Nketiah.

Subs: Leno, Holding, Mari, Chambers, Tavares, Patino, Salah-Eddine, Hutchinson, Biereth

18:41 , Matt Verri

Strong Liverpool side - Alisson, Van Dijk, Robertson, and even Alexander-Arnold who did have Covid are all in the starting lineup.

Minamino, Jota and Firmino tasked with scoring the goals in the absence of Salah and Mane.

Hosts have arrived...

18:39 , Matt Verri

LIVERPOOL LINEUP

18:33 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Minamino, Firmino, Jota

Subs: Kelleher, Konate, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Gordon, Morton, Williams.

Xhaka is in the building...

18:31 , Matt Verri

Big boost for the Gunners to see that Granit Xhaka has travelled with the squad.

The midfielder missed the Forest defeat after testing positive for Covid-19. If he’s back for Arsenal, that will go a long way to easing the concerns facing Arteta in the middle of the park.

18:27 , Matt Verri

Arsenal are looking for a big response to their last match, a dire performance against Nottingham Forest as they were knocked out of the FA Cup.

There weren’t many positives to take from that display, but Mikel Arteta believes it could prove to be a useful learning curve for youngsters like Charlie Patino.

“With Charlie it was the first real exposure that he had, starting the game,” said Arteta.

“I think it was a magnificent experience for him, a tough one, but as well it is good to see what happens when you lose at a big club: the reaction, how the dressing room feels, how the manager feels, what the expectations are.”

The Arsenal boss will be hoping he doesn’t get too many more of those experiences though...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Home comforts for Liverpool...

18:23 , Matt Verri

Winner to face Chelsea in the final

18:13 , Matt Verri

The postponement of last week’s first-leg means that the other semi-final is already wrapped up.

Chelsea, having beat Tottenham 2-0 at home, finished the job last night with a 1-0 win in north London to book their place at Wembley. You can read the full report on that one here.

Liverpool and Arsenal know what awaits the winner once this tie has been decided next week.

Head-to-head record

18:05 , Malik Ouzia

Liverpool have won three of their last four games against Arsenal, including a 4-0 Premier League triumph at Anfield in November.

Liverpool wins: 92

Arsenal wins: 81

Draws: 61

Standard Sport prediction

18:01 , Malik Ouzia

As with every match in the Covid era, much will depend on the strength of the teams both managers are able to field on Merseyside.

Arsenal were on an impressive run and delivered arguably the best 45 minutes of the Arteta reign in defeat by City, but they were wretched at Forest as a lack of depth was cruelly exposed.

How much will that have dented their fragile confidence?

Liverpool haven’t been at their best of late after finishing 2021 with defeat to Leicester, though battled admirably to claim a thrilling draw at Chelsea.

The absences of Mane and Salah are key and will give Arsenal hope of a positive result to take back to the Emirates, though their lack of midfield options is a major concern.

Liverpool to win 3-1.

Arsenal team news

17:55 , Malik Ouzia

Arteta complained that Arsenal were “really, really short on numbers” at Forest, with Albert Sambi Lokonga, 22, their only fit senior central midfield option as he lined up alongside a full debutant in 17-year-old Charlie Patino.

Granit Xhaka and Folarin Balogun - the latter of whom has since joined Middlesbrough on loan - missed the cup tie after testing positive for Covid-19, while Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were absent due to groin and calf issues respectively, and to make matters worse there are reports today that Martin Odegaard may also be out.

Gabriel is back from suspension, though Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and the exiled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all at AFCON.

Liverpool team news

17:47 , Malik Ouzia

Klopp revealed that Trent Alexander-Arnold was the only Liverpool player to actually test positive for Covid, with the England right-back expected back in training this week.

The likes of Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino were back in the squad against Shrewsbury, but Liverpool were still without many of the players that recorded false positives as 17-year-old Kaide Gordon led them to a comeback victory.

The Reds will presumably be able to name a much stronger team to face Arsenal, though Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are all in Cameroon on Africa Cup of Nations duty, while the likes of Divock Origi, Harvey Elliott and Nathaniel Phillips are still out injured.

How to watch

17:43 , Malik Ouzia

TV channel: In the UK, Liverpool vs Arsenal will be televised live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to watch tonight’s match online via the Sky Go app.

Good evening!

17:38 , Malik Ouzia

Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of tonight’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Liverpool and Arsenal.

Of course, this game was originally due to be played in north London last week before Liverpool’s Covid outbreak forced a re-jig so here we are on Merseyside.

Simon Collings is our man at Anfield tonight and we will have all the team news and build-up ahead of a 7:45pm kick-off.

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