False positivity for Reds as Arsenal battle to draw
With tonight’s match having been initially rescheduled due to a reported batch of false positive COVID-19 tests, there was nothing controversial about this result, as a valiant Arsenal held Liverpool to a goalless draw, ending a run of eight successive wins at Anfield for the ‘Reds’.
The 17th League Cup meeting between the sides is a record in the competition, and under Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool have scored more goals against Arsenal than any other opponent. So it was unsurprising that the game started at a thrilling tempo, as the hosts threatened the Arsenal goal, with numerous full-blooded challenges and nervy passes providing a backdrop to the opening stages.
The early panic finally got the better of the ‘Gunners’ as Granit Xhaka’s clumsy challenge on Diogo Jota, who was bearing down on goal, saw him receive his marching orders. The subsequent defensive introductions made by Mikel Arteta did little to stem the waves of red, but Arsenal remained resolute, and actually looked the more likely to score throughout most of the second half.
There were no shots on target registered as the game ticked past the hour mark – the ‘Reds’ struggling to find their gear, with little sign of a matchup that has seen 28 goals in their last five H2H’s against Arsenal. The first shot on target actually fell to Bukayo Saka, who saw his effort from six-yards out wonderfully saved by Alisson.
With just minutes remaining, and Liverpool pushing frantically for a winner, Takumi Minamino blazed a glorious chance over the bar, as Arsenal secured what could prove to be a vital draw, after a courageous defensive display.
The draw won’t fill Klopp’s men with confidence heading to the Emirates next week, but they have now only lost two of their last 19 encounters with Arsenal. Meanwhile, Arteta will be happy to see the character displayed by his young players after seeing his side knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest last Sunday.