Liverpool are in their first domestic cup final for six years, beating Arsenal 2-0 in the League Cup semi-final second leg.
Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool
Liverpool progress 2-0 on aggregate
League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg, Emirates Stadium
January 20, 2022
Jota 78′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)
Jurgen Klopp made two changes, with regular League Cup ‘keeper Caoimhín Kelleher coming back in, and 17-year-old starlet Kaide Gordon repacking the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Liverpool started on the backfoot and were under the cosh a little early on, with Kelleher making an excellent save to tip an Alexandre Lacazette free-kick onto the bar.
It all that changed in the 19th minute when Diogo Jota took it upon himself to make it 1-0. The Portuguese, in his more natural position on the left of the front three, dribbled in from wide, then placed a shot past Aaron Ramsdale into the bottom corner. 1-0 to the Reds in yellow.
The goal gave Liverpool more surety, while Arsenal struggled to gain back control that they’d enjoyed earlier on.
Half time: Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool
- Jota with 2 superb goals
- Sets up first domestic final for 6 years
- Reds face Chelsea in the final on Februry 27
A change at half-time saw Ibrahima Konate replace Matip, who had a sloppy first half.
Five minutes into the second half and a Jota laid on a glorious chance for Gordon, but the teenager blazed his effort over the bar on his weaker left foot.
It was almost 2-0 just before the hour, with Konate’s powerful header from a corner hitting the post.
Minamino replaced Gordon midway through the half and the Japenese should have done better with a good chance in the box, but he couldn’t sort his feet out and his shot was scuffed.
The Reds eventually doubled their lead with 12 minutes to go when Jota superbly controlled an Alexander-Arnold pass and finished superbly with a dink over the ‘keeper. It needed a VAR review, but he was comfortably onside for his 14th goal of the season.
Things only got worse for the home side when sub Thomas Partey was sent off for his second yellow card late on for a late foul on Fabinho.
The Reds will face Chelsea in the final at Wembley on February 27. For now, it’s back to league attentions, with a trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
TIA Man of the Match: Diogo Jota
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Lokonga, Odegaard; Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli; Lacazette
Subs: Hein, Holding, Alebiosu, Tavares, Partey, Patino, Salah-Eddine, Nketiah, Biereth
Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip (Konate 46′), Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson (Milner 75′), Jones; Gordon (Minamino 63′), Jota, Firmino (Williams 84′)
Subs not used: Alisson, Adrian, Tsimikas, Gomez, Morton
Next Match: Crystal Palace (A) – Premier League – Sunday, January 23, 2pm