Win errrrrryyyy cup!
While Liverpool are likely out of the Premier League title race, they’re still in contention for trophies in the Champions League, FA Cup, aaaaand Man City’s favorite piece of silverware, the Carabao Cup.
Judging by the starting XI Jurgen Klopp is rolling out today, he’s all-in for the latter.
Liverpool run out arguably their best available starting XI today in their semifinal leg 1 match-up against Arsenal. They go a man up midway through the first half after a boneheaded Xhaka challenge. However, despite being a man up and having 80% possession, the first half ends up 0-0.
The second verse was the same as the first.
Loads of Liverpool possession with nothing to show for it. Honestly, Arsenal were the better side today with 10 men. Simply unacceptable. The match ends in a 0-0 draw. Liverpool register 0 shots on target. Awful. Look for a slew of “not the result we wanted today, will do better…” social media posts from Liverpool players.
As an aside, Anfield gets a 10 today. They were supportive and vocal throughout. Well done, Anfield.
Liverpool Carabao Cup Player Ratings vs Arsenal
Jurgen Klopp (0) –
Boss man is not messing around today. And why not? Liverpool have actually had a relatively light festive schedule and first-teamers need some game time.
In danger of getting a “0” if he doesn’t make some changes to break this deadlock. No excuse for a draw or worse being up a man for 70 minutes.
And yeah, not acceptable. This makes two matches against elite sides (Chelsea being the other) where Liverpool are up a man and can’t score. Klopp must figure this out. He was gifted a chance to build an insurmountable cup lead and couldn’t get a thing out of it.
Alisson (8) –
Playing his first ever league cup tie. How about that.
Sadly, working harder than Arsenal’s keeper. Big save in the 72nd minute to keep it level. Sole reason the match ended up level.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6) –
Wastes a perfectly distanced free kick off the Xhaka red. Saw a lot of possession. Took 5 corners. But like the rest of the squad, nothing really was impactful.
Virgil van Dijk (7) –
A very solid and assured performance. He was not the problem today. Tied with Robbo for most possession today at 10%. Won 5 aerials.
Joel Matip (7) –
Doing his patented dribbles in over and over again. Heady second half defending. Probably our best of the backline today. Subbed off in the 76th.
Andy Robertson (6.5) –
Very active. Sends a gorgeous long cross into Jota in the 24th that Xhaka bumbles and gets tossed for a red. Gets booked himself. Corners were off the mark though.
James Milner (6) –
Doing some grinder, Gini style work today. Nothing flashy, but good effort. Lots of possession and 86% pass accuracy. Subbed off early in second half for Jones.
Jordan Henderson (6) –
Love it. Hendo jetting like some spry 20 year-old, forcing Ramsdale into a mistake in the 12th minute that could’ve led to an opener. Lucky not to get punished on a sloppy turnover in the 19th minute. Saw a ton of the ball. Just nothing to show for it.
Fabinho (6) –
A ho-hum game. Completed 98% of his passes, but not one really created an opportunity. Subbed off for Ox.
Takumi Minamino (5) –
Gets a very deserved start. I mean, all Taki does is score Carabao Cup goals, amirite? Gorgeous left footed cross that almost OG’s in the 13th minute. Really sharp early, battling through the box in the 14th.
After a really bright first half, disappears in the second. Oooof. Absolutely fucks up a close range wide open net chance by approximately 40 feet over the net near the 90th minute.
Roberto Firmino (5) –
Coming on the heels of his cheeky backheel weekend goal, we’d all like to see Bobby do well today. Creative and holding the ball well, but little end product.
Diogo Jota (5) –
Smart run in the 24th minute forces a red on Xhaka. His creative runs are absent today. No end product.
Curtis Jones (7) – Instant impact the moment he comes on. Cheeky no look pass sets up a big chance for Taki. Should’ve started.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (NR) – On for Fabinho in the 76th. Ambitious long range strike. Nothing to show though.
Neco Williams (NR) – Replaces TAA in the 76th. No impact.
Joe Gomez (NR) – Replaces Matip in the 76th. Minutes.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Anfield deserves it, but so does Ali. Any lapse in concentration from him and Liverpool lose this one. Alisson is your Man of the Match.