Mikel Arteta praised his Arsenal gamers as they confirmed “combat” to hold on to attract versus Liverpool within the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.
Arteta would have been eager to get a response from his aspect towards Liverpool. This was their first sport since Nottm Forest knocked them out of the FA Cup.
Granit Xhaka returned to the beginning eleven on Thursday night, whereas Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette have been additionally concerned.
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Liverpool have been the higher of the 2 sides early on. They have been additionally boosted by Xhaka being despatched off within the twenty fourth minute.
The midfielder was proven a straight purple card for a excessive boot on Diogo Jota simply outdoors the penalty space.
Arsenal might have simply capitulated however they held agency as they pissed off Liverpool. They created possibilities of their very own as Saka got here near scoring.
It’s nonetheless all to play for heading into the second leg because the rivals ended up drawing 0-0 at Anfield.
Arsenal welcome Liverpool within the return leg on January 20. As quoted by BBC Sport, Arteta mentioned post-match that his gamers “by no means gave up”:
“We revel towards the scenario. The gamers confirmed nice combat, dedication, brotherhood. You noticed the emotion, we by no means gave up. Credit score to the boys.
“I don’t know if the purple card impressed them but it surely took the combat. You want a sure perspective to play in these video games and the boys did that. We performed the sport we needed to play, which isn’t our sport. I’ve not seen it again, they checked it so most likely a purple card.
“To plan with the numbers we now have, we don’t have any midfielders, turns into actually sophisticated, as a result of no matter we do shouldn’t be pure.
“The additional motivation to play a derby [at Tottenham on Sunday] brings the vitality whenever you don’t have it. No excuses, we now have to play it.”
Ben White added that Arsenal have been “completely excellent” towards Liverpool:
“It was not a perfect begin however there’s a lot combat on this staff. It’s laborious sufficient coming right here with eleven males, completely excellent from everybody.
“You need to focus the entire sport and the result’s nicely deserved. It’s good to defend like that as a defender. We have been assured coming right here and can give our all within the subsequent sport.”