Diogo Jota's double over Arsenal sends Liverpool to Carabao Cup final

Match reportDiogo Jota's double over Arsenal sends Liverpool to Carabao Cup final

Published 20th January 2022
By Glenn Price at Emirates Stadium

Diogo Jota scored twice to send Liverpool to the Carabao Cup final as they beat Arsenal 2-0 in the second leg of their semi-final on Thursday night.

Extended highlights: Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

The striker opened the scoring at Emirates Stadium after 19 minutes and then clinched the last-four tie with a well-taken finish in the latter stages of the second half.  

His goals set up a meeting with Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday February 27 in the tournament's showpiece. 

Team news

Jürgen Klopp opted to make two changes, restoring Caoimhin Kelleher to the line-up and handing a start to 17-year-old Kaide Gordon. 

First half

Liverpool relied on Kelleher inside the first five minutes, with the goalkeeper doing brilliantly to tip Alexandre Lacazette's free-kick onto the crossbar. 

But after a strong start from Arsenal, the visitors responded. 

Joel Matip had the ball in the back of the net after a Fabinho knockdown from Andy Robertson's corner, though the flag was quickly raised for offside. 

They did take the lead, however, six minutes later when Jota completed a stunning team move. 

Roberto Firmino's classy flick found its way to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who immediately fed possession to Jota out on the left wing. The No.20 skipped beyond Takehiro Tomiyasu and rolled a finish beyond Aaron Ramsdale from the edge of the box.

Fabinho ensured Liverpool took a lead into the interval with a perfectly timed intervention just as Gabriel Martinelli was about to shoot towards goal. 

Second half

Ibrahima Konate was brought on for the start of the second period in place of Matip. 

On the hour mark, the substitute hit the post with a thumping header from Alexander-Arnold's corner. Before that, both Lacazette and Gordon had fired over from promising situations inside the box. 

Liverpool's top scorer in the competition, Takumi Minamino, then replaced Gordon and quickly had an inviting opportunity but couldn't sort his feet to properly test Ramsdale from Alexander-Arnold's delivery.  

But they finally doubled their advantage and clinched a spot in the final 13 minutes from time. 

Jota clipped a finish over Ramsdale from Alexander-Arnold's sensational through ball but was devastated to see the flag raised for offside. However, a VAR review showed the Portuguese forward had timed his run to perfection and the decision was overturned. 

Any hopes of a dramatic Arsenal comeback were extinguished when substitute Thomas Partey was given a second yellow card in the final minute.

Published 20th January 2022