Ratings of Liverpool players, heroes and villains against Arsenal as Reds can’t capitalize in Carabao Cup semi-finals

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Liverpool were held 0-0 to Arsenal in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield despite being an extra man for most of the game.

Takumi Minamino of Liverpool reacts during the Carabao Cup Semi-Final First Leg match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool and Arsenal remain in balance after playing out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield.

The Reds were well below their best and lacking ideas against a Gunners side who played with 10 men for most of the game.

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There was a huge moment in the 24th minute that should have been a game-changer.

Arsenal have had a man sent off after Granit Xhaxa hacked Diogo Jota on goal. Referee Michael Oliver immediately showed the Gunners midfielder a red card.

Still, the Reds failed to break down Mikel Artete’s resolute side and barely managed to muster a clean chance despite having a numerical advantage.

Their opportunity came in the 90th minute, when Takumi Minamino received an open goal but somehow went over the bar.

Liverpool will now travel to Arsenal next Thursday, needing a win to face Chelsea in the final at Wembley.

Heroes

Ben White: the £50million summer signing has been great for Arsenal when his side have come under pressure. Made some nice blocks and got the back four together superbly. His blocking on the goal line in stoppage time summed up his display.

– Mikel Arteta: the Arsenal boss has achieved a huge result. Down to 10 men, Arteta’s changes and setup proved to be sensible. He made sure the Gunners were compact, well organized and didn’t sniff out Liverpool.

– Joel Matip: that says a lot when Liverpool’s main attacking threat was a centre-back. Matip constantly made inroads into enemy territory and tried to get things done. That couldn’t be said for some of his teammates. Also did some significant challenges.

The villains

– Granite Xhaka: the Swiss international was simply to be sent off. His wild and clumsy jab at Jota gave Arsenal a mountain to climb. He could have no argument.

Granit Xhaka leaves the pitch after being sent off for Arsenal. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

– Takumi Minamino: how did the Japanese international miss his chance? With the goal gaping from around 10 yards, Minamino simply had to hit the target and would have won the game for Liverpool. Instead, he ripped off his effort and saw the ball sail into the Kop.

– Trent Alexandre-Arnold: the Liverpool right-back was well below his best. His deliveries from corners were inconsistent, he smashed a free-kick in good position against the ball and gave away the ball far too much. A rare holiday.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson 7, Trent Alexander-Arnold 5 (Williams 75), Matip 7 (Gomez 75), Van Dijk 6, Robertson 6, Fabinho 6 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 75), Henderson 6, Milner 5 (Jones 61; 6), Jota 5 , Firmino 5, Minamino 5.

Arsenal: Ramsdale 6, Cedric 5 (Chambre 11; 5), White 8, Gabriel 7, Tierney 7, Lokonga 6, Xhaka 3, Saka 7 (Tavares 81), Lacazette 6, Martinelli 6, Nketiah 5 (Holding 28; 6).

When is Liverpool next?

The Reds return to Premier League action when they host Brentford at Anfield on Sunday (2:00 p.m.).

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