Missed opportunities haunt Liverpool in first leg of Carabao Cup semi-final

Liverpool FC, Takumi Minamino (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool FC, Takumi Minamino (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Liverpool had a winnable match against Arsenal in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final.

Liverpool FC and Arsenal fought to a scoreless draw in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal at Anfield. Things looked promising for the Reds when Xhaka was sent off for his reckless foul against Diogo Jota early in the first half; however, Liverpool could not capitalize.

LFC had come out aggressive to start, and ironically, Xhaka’s foul may have saved the match for Mikel Arteta’s side. It certainly saved a clean shot from Diogo Jota, and for the rest of the game, Arsenal used five impenetrable defenders. The Reds didn’t have many scoring opportunities as strong as Jota’s until the 90th minute when Takumi Minamino had a chance to send Jurgen Klopp’s side to London with a goal in hand. Still, he failed to make the most of the opportunity and missed a wide-open shot.

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The midfield was particularly frustrating and lacked any creativity. When the Reds were attacking, nearly every shot was off target, which begs the question: When does AFCON end? The defense was excellent, particularly Joel Matip, but it’s never a good thing when your defense is the highlight of a match played for 70 minutes at a man advantage. Klopp will be hoping for a better result this Sunday at Anfield when the Reds host Brentford, and they will need to win next week’s second leg in London to continue to the Carabao Cup Final.

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