football

Liverpool vs Arsenal result: Player ratings as Gunners survive Granit Xhaka’s red card



Arsenal defended valiantly with ten men to earn themselves a draw against Liverpool in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.

Granit Xhaka’s early red card left Arsenal to battle through the remainder of the game a man down and the north London side immediately resorted to attempting to shut up shop.

Despite their command of the ball, boasting almost 80% of possession, Liverpool struggled to fashion clear-cut opportunities with their best chance falling to Takumi Minamino at the death as he blazed over the bar from close range.

Arsenal’s players celebrated at full-time after a valiant clean sheet that leaves the tie evenly poised ahead of the second leg at the Emirates.

Here are our player ratings from the first leg:

Liverpool

Alisson, 6. Quick off his line and made himself big to deny Bukayo Saka on one of Arsenal’s rare forays forward. Other than that a quiet game, Liverpool fans will be hoping for more of the same in the next leg.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, 5. A below-par performance from the usually reliable right back. Will be disappointed with his deliveries into the box when given the opportunity.

Joel Matip, 6. Not a lot to do at the back but drove forward well with the ball. A typical Joel Matip performance.

Virgil Van Dijk, 6. Solid as ever alongside Matip. Demonstrated his wide range of passing throughout and did what he had to do.

Andy Robertson, 6. Constantly up and down the left-hand side, as always. Not as effective with the ball as he normally is but played his part in the red card with a perfectly weighted through ball to Jota.

Jordan Henderson, 5. Failed to provide the spark Liverpool were desperate for. Tidy on the ball but did nothing of note with it. Liverpool were crying out for Thiago in midfield.

Fabinho, 5. Didn’t have to do as much defending as he’d have imagined. Kept the ball well but substituted off when Liverpool pushed to find a winner.

James Milner, 5. Dependable yet quiet. In many ways, a performance Liverpool fans have grown accustomed to from the 36-year-old veteran.

Takumi Minamino, 4. Looked lively when he got on the ball and his quick feet were on display when dribbling in the Arsenal box. Missed a glorious opportunity with just minutes left, as Alan Smith said: “lack of composure, lack of quality.”

Roberto Firmino, 4. Liverpool were looking to their false nine to provide the creativity they were desperate for but Firmino was virtually absent throughout the game.

Diogo Jota, 6. A brilliant run to get Xhaka sent off. Besides that he didn’t do much and will be disappointed he didn’t take advantage of Arsenal’s 10 men.

Substitutes

Curtis Jones, 5. Tasked with creating something when introduced midway through the second half but couldn’t.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 4. Came on against his former club to inspire Liverpool into a late lead. Struggled to get on the ball and wasteful when he did get on it.

Joe Gomez, 5. Didn’t have a lot to do when he came on but did his job.

Neco Williams, 6. Looked quite dangerous when he came on and was a threat down Liverpool’s right hand side.

Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale, 7. A performance Arsenal fans have grown to love from their ‘keeper. Commanded his area well and came out to claim numerous crosses late in the game.

Cedric Soares, 4. Subbed off after 11 minutes. The Portuguese international didn’t do anything whilst he was on the pitch and will be hoping to be fit before the North London Derby on Sunday.

Benjamin White, 8. A superb performance from Ben White. Did everything that was asked of him and made sure his side are still in the tie for next week. One of his best games in an Arsenal shirt and showed a tougher side to his game that some may have not seen before.

Gabriel, 7. Played well alongside his centre back partner. Showed the grit Arsenal fans have become accustomed to and will be delighted to go home with a clean sheet.

Kieran Tierney, 7. The Scot was up and down the left-hand side for the whole 90 minutes, even when Arsenal were reduced to ten men. Didn’t have his usual threat going forward but defended well.

Albert Sambi Lokonga, 6. Started in shaky fashion but grew into the game. Lost his centre midfield partner but showed good character in the second half.

Granit Xhaka, 3. In a game where Arsenal fans were crying out for Granit Xhaka to be fit and to help their inexperienced side, the Swiss international had a nightmare. In a scene all too familiar, Xhaka made a nonsensical decision and was sent off after 23 minutes. Disaster.

Bukayo Saka, 7. A good performance from Saka where he continued to perform beyond his years. Dragged Arsenal forward on plenty of occasions but will be disappointed missing his chance to score.

Alexandre Lacazette, 7. The Arsenal captain put in a good performance when his side were reduced to ten men. Held the ball up, brought others into play and helped stop the constant Liverpool onslaught.

Gabriel Martinelli, 6. A more defensive performance from Arsenal’s attacker. He was constantly hustling and harrying the Liverpool players on the ball and tracked back valiantly.

Eddie Nketiah, 5. The youngster was the victim of Granit Xhaka’s red card as he was replaced by Rob Holding after 28 minutes. Played a nice ball to Saka for Arsenal’s only break whilst he was on the pitch.

Substitutes

Calum Chambers, 7. Chambers was thrown in at the deep end and survived when he came on after 11 minutes for the injured Cedric. Defended well and thwarted the threat of Minamino

Rob Holding, 6. Holding was subbed on after 28 minutes following Granit Xhaka’s red card. Did what was asked of him and headed away any ball that was in his vicinity.

Nuno Tavares, 5. Came on at left wing when Saka went off injured. Didn’t have a chance to have any impact on the game.



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