Jota double fires Liverpool into Carabao final

Diogo Jota fired Liverpool into the final of the Carabao Cup as they beat Arsenal 2-0 on aggregate.

Arsenal had held for a resilient goalless draw with 10 men in the first leg seven days ago, but Diogo Jota broke their resistance on 19 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, and added a second with 13 minutes to go to seal the victory.

The Gunners saw another player dismissed as Thomas Partey, back early from the Africa Cup of Nations after Ghana’s surprise exit, was sent off in the 90th minute for two bookings having only come on as a substitute 16 minutes earlier.

Liverpool will face Chelsea in the final at Wembley on Sunday, February 27, taking Jurgen Klopp closer to a first domestic trophy with the club.

Brilliant Jota fires Liverpool into the final

Arsenal started brilliantly – with Alexandre Lacazette hitting the crossbar from an early free-kick – but a warning shot from Liverpool changed the course of the game. Joel Matip was alert to poke in from Fabinho’s header on a corner, but was flagged offside.

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Diogo Jota opens the scoring for Liverpool against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.

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Diogo Jota scored his and Liverpool’s second goal against Arsenal after it was referred to VAR in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.

Team news

  • Takehiro Tomisayu and Emile Smith Rowe came back into the Arsenal starting line-up, while Thomas Partey was on the bench following his return from AFCON.
  • For Liverpool there were starts for goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and young forward Kaide Gordon.
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It seemed to make Arsenal a little jittery, and six minutes later Jota brilliantly took advantage as he picked up a pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold before cutting inside Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White, then finding the bottom corner with a slightly scuffed finish past the stretched arm of Aaron Ramsdale.

And with 13 minutes to go it was Jota again who sealed the game. Alexander-Arnold was the man with the pass again as he lifted one over the top into his run, and the Portuguese forward raced through to dink over Ramsdale. Initially flagged offside, the goal was eventually given by VAR.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Ramsdale (5), Tomiyasu (4), White (5), Gabriel (6), Tierney (6), Lokonga (6), Odegaard (6), Saka (5), Smith Rowe (6), Martinelli (7), Lacazette (5)

Subs used: Partey (3), Nketiah (5)

Arsenal: Kelleher (7), Alexander-Arnold (9), Matip (4), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (8), Fabinho (7), Henderson (7), Jones (7), Gordon (6), Jota (9), Firmino (6)

Subs used: Konate (6), Milner (6), Minamino (5), Williams (n/a)

Man of the match: Diogo Jota

Partey’s day to forget

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Thomas Partey received two yellow cards in a short space of time which saw him get sent off shortly after coming off the bench for Arsenal.

It was a couple of days to forget for Thomas Partey. After Ghana had crashed out of AFCON, the midfielder was rushed back by Arsenal and, despite only landing back in London at 12pm on the day of the game, was named on the bench by Mikel Arteta.

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Introduced in the second half by Mikel Arteta in a bid to salvage the game, Partey instead picked up two quick yellow cards, leading to an early bath.

When is the Carabao Cup final?

Liverpool will face Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday, February 27.

What’s next for Arsenal and Liverpool?

Sunday 23rd January 1:00pm Kick off 2:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League Sky Sports Premier League

Both sides are back in Premier League action on Sunday at 2pm. Arsenal host Burnley, while Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace for the first part of Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm.