Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool: Salah-Less Reds Knock Wasteful Gunners Out Of The FA Cup

Arsenal Lost To Liverpool In FA Cup
Arsenal Lost To Liverpool In FA Cup

Fourteen-time FA Cup winners Arsenal crashed out of the 2023-24 edition on Sunday night (January 7), suffering a demoralizing 2-0 defeat to Premier League title rivals Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. Failing to capitalize on the absences of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, the hosts surrendered their hopes of lifting a domestic cup this season.

Arsenal Dominate First Half But Fail To Convert Chances

The Gunners started the game brightly, creating their first goalscoring opportunity just three minutes into the game. Aaron Ramsdale delivered an inch-perfect long ball for Reiss Nelson to chase, compelling Alisson to rush off his line. Nelson managed to get to the ball first and successfully took it around the Brazilian goalkeeper but failed to keep his effort on target. Four minutes later, the Englishman got another opportunity to test the goalkeeper as Declan Rice found him on the left of the box. The 24-year-old once again failed to make the best connection with the ball and dragged it wide of the goal.

In the 11th minute, Martin Odegaard came close to putting the hosts in front, hitting the crossbar with a fine effort from the edge of the box. Seven minutes before halftime, Ben White intercepted a loose ball outside the Liverpool box and decided to put his laces through it. Luckily for the visitors, Alisson was up for the challenge and tipped it over the bar.

In the 39th minute, Kai Havertz missed a golden opportunity to put Arsenal in the driving seat when Odegaard found him unmarked in the middle of the Reds’ box. The German, however, made a complete mess of the finish and sent it behind for a goal kick.

Liverpool Seal The Game With a Stunning Second Half Performance

Having lived dangerously in the first half, Jurgen Klopp’s side bounced back with a flourish in the second 45. In the 54th minute, center-back Jarell Quansah found Darwin Nunez with a long ball over the top. The Uruguayan did well to cut in from the left but failed to keep his effort on target.

In the 77th minute, Nunez intercepted Alisson’s kick and played the ball out to Jota. The Portuguese found Luis Diaz, who fired a low shot through William Saliba’s legs. Arsenal goalkeeper Ramsdale reacted superbly to parry the shot behind for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Jota outjumped two Arsenal defenders to dispatch a dipping header. Unfortunately for the Portuguese, the crossbar came in his way.

On the 80-minute mark, Liverpool finally had their lead, courtesy of a superb free-kick delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Englishman swung the ball into the box from the left, which took a deflection off Jakub Kiwior and nestled into the back of the Gunners’ net. In the fifth minute of injury time, Diaz got the insurance goal, thumping the ball home from Jota’s unselfish layoff on the right of the box.

With a massive FA Cup Third-Round win under their belt, the Merseysiders will return to action in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Fulham on January 10. Arsenal, meanwhile, will play their next match against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on January 20.

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