Carabao Cup Digest: Which teams made it to the semi-finals and what challenges they faced along the way
The English League Cup semi-finalists were decided this night as all the matches were played. A feast of goals, dramatic last-minute twists – it was all out there for the fans.. We’ll bring you up to speed and prepare you to watch the final stages of the tournament.
In the Carabao Cup semi-finals, Arsenal face Liverpool and Chelsea meet Tottenham. Let’s see how the teams managed to get to this stage.
The home side started the match excellently, making the score 2-0 early, but the Cats decided to bite back, scoring one by the end of the second half. Some thought that the intrigue remained, but by the 60th minute, the score had been brought to a dramatic one as Nketia bagged a hat-trick making it an easy walk for the Gunners.
Worth mentioning is the debut of young prodigy Charlie Patino, who converted his first professional goal in the 90+1 minute of the encounter. England’s top clubs were vying for this lad when he was just 12 – Arsene Wenger narrowly managed to lure the talent to Hale End back then. Now he is starting to light up at the age of 18, being one of the best players in the academy.
The Londoners are paired with a formidable and dangerous Liverpool, which dramatically defeated Leicester City on penalties, coming back from 1-3 down.
It was a thrilling shoot-out at Anfield, with the visitors surprisingly leading 1-3 by the 33rd minute. The Reds seemed to sink in, but suddenly, on 68 minutes, the Reds’ forward Diogo Jota scored after assist by 26-years-old Takumi Minamino. Many thought the match is over for the Merseysiders despite they pushed so hard. But….. eventually, the same Japanese managed to heroically level the score 3-3 after a desperate cross into the penalty area from James Milner in the 90+5th minute.
It was all decided in the post-match penalties, with the Reds’ players being the stronger of the two (5-4). Liverpool reserve goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher stopped two shots.
The teams took a long time to shake things up but began to show flamboyance in the second part of the first half as Spurs’ Dutch striker Steven Bergwein opened the scoring on 29 minutes. Three minutes later, Hammers forward Jarrod Bowen equalized, with Nikola Vlasic assisting.
But in the 34th minute experienced Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura put his side in front.
For the rest of the match, the hosts managed to successfully neutralize the Hammers, thus keeping the winning score. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was named player of the match.
However, the content of the game suggests that Pensioners did not come away with an easy win, as the scoreline was only opened in the closing stages of the game – and the opponents helped the Blues a lot. On 80 minutes, an own goal was scored by Pontus Jansson, the hosts’ essential defender. On 85 minutes, Blue midfielder Jorginho converted an 11-meter penalty against Brentford after a poor mistake by GK in the penalty area. Seems, like it was a class victory for the Aristocrats – the EPL newcomers were simply tired by the end of the match, having lost their concentration and composure.
So that’s what we have.
Victory in this tournament is the last trophy Tottenham lifted. Back in 2008, they beat Chelsea 2-1 in the final.
As for the other pairing, the Reds have not won the competition since 2012 and Arsenal have lost three League Cup finals since their last triumph in 1993.
- The semi-finals will consist of two matches. The first matches will take place on 5 January. The return matches will take place a week later – on January 12 with the Final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 27 February 2022.
- Manchester City are the reigning winners of the English League Cup. In last season’s final match, the Citizens beat Tottenham 1-0.