Diogo Jota scored a brace as Liverpool outclassed Arsenal on Thursday night at the Emirates to seal their place in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea
Arsenal started the game on the front foot and were almost a goal up, but a Alexandre Lacazette free-kick was tipped onto the crossbar by Caoimhin Kelleher, starting in place of Alisson in the Liverpool goal.
Joel Matip saw a tap-in ruled out for offside before the Reds took the lead against the run of play after 19 minutes. Although the finish wasn’t pretty it was fine individual work from Diogo Jota, who collected Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass, nutmegged Takehiro Tomiyasu and sent a low, mis-hit shot beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
Lacazette spurned an excellent chance to equalise early in the second period, lifting his effort high over the bar after being picked out by Albert Sambi Lokonga’s smart pass over the top. Youngster Kaide Gordon missed an even better opportunity at the other end two minutes later, skying a shot in acres of space inside the box.
You may also like: See the states with highest poverty rate, polygamy, inflation
It was Liverpool’s turn to strike the woodwork just before the hour mark as substitute Ibrahima Konate’s header came back off the post, before Takumi Minamino’s goal-bound effort was blocked by Ben White and Andy Robertson fired a shot across the box and wide.
Alexander-Arnold and Jota combined again to kill the game in the 77th minute. The England international’s long ball was expertly controlled on the chest by Jota, who lifted a sumptuous finish over the onrushing Ramsdale. The strike was initially ruled out for offside, but that decision was overturned by VAR.
Arsenal had run out of steam by that point, but Martinelli did go close with a fine half-volley that sailed over the bar.
There was still time for Thomas Partey to be sent off just minutes after being introduced having returned early from the Africa Cup of Nations. The Ghanaian was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Fabinho.
Liverpool will face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on 27 February.