Dio-goal Jota Steers Reds To Cup Final

Liverpool cruised past Arsenal 2-0 to reach a record-extending 13th League Cup final, whilst simultaneously recording their first-ever victory over the ‘Gunners’ away from home in the competition’s history.

Arsenal have now only won one of the previous 18 encounters against the ‘Reds’ in all competitions and, in truth, they will be disappointed not to have created more in the game, which resulted in a fairly comfortable night for the visitors.

It was Mikel Arteta’s men who started full of energy and looked like the side more likely to open scoring, with Gabrielle Martinelli menacing down the left, before Alexandre Lacazette’s free-kick drew a fine save from Caoimhín Kelleher. However, it was the side draped in yellow who would strike first, though they saw Joël Matip’s side-footed effort ruled out for offside. However, there would be no denying Diogo Jota moments later, as he rolled home his fourth goal in as many games against the London side, after some smart footwork saw him float past Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Arsenal have failed to score against Liverpool in their last four H2Hs, and the remainder of the first half saw little hope of Arsenal changing that unwanted record, though Fabinho’s last-ditch challenge, after some more Martinelli magic, stopped a certain goal before HT.

The opening exchanges of the second half were fiercely contested, with Lacazette spurning a golden opportunity to put his side level, before Kaide Gordon inexplicably blazed an even more gilt-edged chance over the bar at the other end. Liverpool struck the woodwork through Ibrahima Konaté’s header, and, with the game becoming increasingly stretched, the away side missed further opportunities to put the game out of reach. Jota would pounce again though, after a fantastic crossfield pass by Trent Alexander-Arnold found the forward, who made no mistake with his dinked finish to send Liverpool to the brink of cup glory.

To add insult to injury, the ‘Gunners’ saw Thomas Partey sent off with minutes to go as the Arsenal players vented their frustrations. Meanwhile, Liverpool reach their second League Cup final under Jürgen Klopp, although they will be hoping for more luck this time around, after losing out on penalties to Manchester City in 2016.


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