Arteta Hails 10-Man Arsenal for Superb Performance Against Liverpool
- Livepool were deeply frustrated by 10-man Arsenal at Anfield on Thursday
- The Reds could not break the Gunners down, despite playing with a one-man advantage for more than an hour
- Arteta said after the game that the hard-fought draw was down to Arsenal players’ determination and brotherhood
Mikel Arteta was full of praise for his Arsenal team, who somehow managed to hold off Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semifinal first leg at Anfield with 10 men.
The Arsenal boss hailed his team’s "fight, determination and brotherhood" after the Gunners frustrated Jurgen Klopp’s side to a 0-0 draw.
In a game where Liverpool were heavy favourites, the odds were tipped in the Reds favour once again when Granit Xhaka was dismissed after 24 minutes for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
Xhaka caught Diogo Jota with a high challenge of his own penalty area in what looked like an attempt to quell Andy Robertson’s cross.
While Liverpool had chances including the resulting free kick from Trent Alexander Arnold, some resolute defending from Arsenal throughout the match proved to be the difference.
The Gunners only registered their first shot on target after 71 minutes, after being forced to do some serious defending for large parts, and were lucky not to fall to a heatbreaking defeat when Takumi Minamino somehow blazed over the bar when faced with an open goal.
Speaking on his side’s performance, Arteta said:
"They never gave up even though it's extremely difficult against this opponent,"
"I said to the players before the game that you have to have a certain attitude and in difficult moments you have to react - I think the boys did that very well," he added.
"We played the game we had to play. I'm expecting now our fans will create an even better atmosphere [in the second leg] than today."
Arsenal now have a solid chance of progressing to the final when they take on Klopp’s side in the return leg at the Emirates on Thursday, January 20.
The winner of that tie will face Chelsea in the final at Wembley at the end of February, as the Blues managed to brush aside Antonio Conte’s Tottenham 3-0 on aggregate in their semifinal tie.