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Liverpool find nothing ‘soft’ about brilliant Arsenal

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While the usual critics still see “a softness” about Arsenal, they proved their edge in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Liverpool.

“There is a softness,” said Roy Keane, scoffing at the mere suggestion that Arsenal might actually be quite good.

An improved performance against Manchester City did nothing to weaken his contrarian stance.

By full-time, the only platitude that truly applied to Arsenal was that Liverpool found it harder to play against ten men.

This idea of Arsenal being “soft” has been a tired trope for some time, like Turf Moor being a tough place to go or Manchester United needing one or two new signings to compete.

It focused the visitors, imprinted a need for discipline, organisation and teamwork, and gave them an opportunity to prove just how “soft” they really are.

With a weaker team away at a foreboding Liverpool side, having already lost their right-back to injury after 11 minutes, the Gunners dug their heels in to remain spotless in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
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