Liverpool v Arsenal pictures
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits his side’s performance in their 0-0 Carabao Cup draw with Arsenal on Thursday night ‘was not good enough.’ The Reds were unable to find a way past their opponents in the first leg of their semi-final at Anfield, despite enjoying the luxury of having a one-man advantage for well over an hour.
Arsenal were reduced to 10 men after 24 minutes after Granit Xhaka had caught Diogo Jota with a high foot on the edge of the area.
Referee Michael Oliver deemed Xhaka to have denied the hosts a goalscoring opportunity and gave the Switzerland international his marching orders.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was unable to give the hosts the lead with the resulting free-kick as Arsenal showcased a tenacious desire to stifle the Reds.
Liverpool dominated as they put the visitors under huge pressure in their search for an opening goal.
But it was the Gunners who registered the first attempt on goal with less than 20 minutes remaining as Bukayo Saka’s shot was smothered by Alisson.
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Takumi Minamino should have won the game for Liverpool late on but blazed over the crossbar when presented with an open goal.
And the game ultimately ended in a stalemate as Liverpool were held to their first goalless draw of the season.
“I thought we really started well,” Klopp said after the final whistle. “I liked it – it was how I wanted to start.
“We would’ve preferred to have scored the goal instead of them getting a red card.
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“From that moment it looks like we are under pressure [to score] and we had to change the line-up for obvious reasons [before the game].
“In the second half we made a few changes. I thought it looked better and we had clear situations – but it was not good enough.
“But it’s a two-legged game and it’s half time.
“I can’t remember when it was 0-0 at half time, wherever I’ve been, and I thought ‘we have no chance.’ We will give it a proper go.”
Klopp will take his men to the Emirates Stadium for the second leg next Thursday as Liverpool look to reach their first final since 2016.
On that occasion, they were defeated by Manchester City after a penalty shootout.
Ahead of the second leg next week, Liverpool will return to Premier League action as they face Brentford at Anfield on Sunday.
The Reds have fallen 11 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City and will be desperate for the three points as they look to stay in the title race.
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