Granit Xhaka’s early, silly red card wasn’t enough to give Liverpool a lead over Arsenal after the League Cup semifinal first leg on Thursday at Anfield, which finished 0-0.
The visitors held firm to keep the place opposite Chelsea in the final very much up for grabs ahead of next week’s second leg at the Emirates Stadium in North London.
In fact, Bukayo Saka might’ve had the true best chance to score following the 24th-minute Xhaka red card for a high kick into the chest of Diogo Jota.
Well, the best chance prior to Takumi Minamino’s late point-blank chance, slashed over the goal by the ex-Salzburg winger.
Liverpool had 78 percent of the ball and a 17-3 shots edge but only put one on target.
Both teams were hit by Africa Cup of Nations absences, though Liverpool’s lack of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane certainly stung the most (Arsenal is missing Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, and the frozen-out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang).
Last man back. Woof.
Xhaka picks up the 6th red card of his Arsenal career 😳 pic.twitter.com/pL3ktiEyTf
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 13, 2022