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Liverpool waste chance presented by Granit Xhaka red card as 10-man Arsenal battle for Carabao Cup stalemate

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Liverpool’s first-leg hosting of Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final, a week after the original date was scuppered by a feared Omicron outbreak at the Anfield club, was flavourless but for one moment of ‘He’s Done It Again!’ There were no goals but the game did register an early shower.

A fixture contoured by false positives, Covid postponement conspiracies, and coverage of an EFL investigation that was never going to happen got all the sauce out of the way in the build-up.

Yet even after Xhaka’s red, they toiled to conjure anything of merit.

Jordan Henderson charged down Aaron Ramsdale’s kick, but the goalkeeper beat the ball away for a corner.

Ben White denied Roberto Firmino, poking the ball away from his foot and Bukayo Saka blocked a Robertson shot.

If you were informed that Arsenal, with 24 minutes on the clock and the scoreline still reading 0-0, received a red card for sheer stupidity meshed with dangerous play and denying a scoring opportunity, the response would overwhelmingly be: Granit Xhaka again?

Pure, undiluted Xhaka and poor Arsenal.
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