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Liverpool frustrated by Arsenal rearguard after Granit Xhaka sent off

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• Xhaka sent off early on for denying Diogo Jota clear opportunity • Liverpool disappoint in final third with just one shot on target • Second leg at Emirates next Thursday with no away goals in play The timeless tradition of the Granit Xhaka red card has long been the signal for the kind of Arsenal collapse that launches a period of sober reflection at the club, and yet on this night at Anfield it was the trigger for a performance that felt significant for Mikel Arteta’s young team.

First things first: Xhaka went for that lonely walk early this time, his second red card of the season halfway through the first half and one which will see him suspended for the north London derby on Sunday.

The two sides meet again at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday for a second leg that might have been academic had Liverpool been able to take advantage of the extra man and what would ordinarily have been an Arsenal side nurturing very low expectations.

Oliver reached down to help Xhaka to his feet and to get him off as soon as possible.

In its aftermath was one of the finest away performances from 10 Arsenal players in recent memory and one that keeps them very much alive in this League Cup semi-final.

In the aftermath Xhaka appeared to be attempting to convince the referee Michael Oliver that he was not aware of Jota arriving on his blindside, but it was clear that even the Arsenal man himself had his doubts about the legitimacy of that argument.

Not concepts readily associated with Arsenal teams of the recent past or indeed the side that lost to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday.
For more news relating to Arsenal, visit our sister site AFC Latest Live.
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