White, Chambers, shape change or blood the youngsters: The midfield options available to Arteta ahead of tough schedule

Arsenal’s 10-men performed admirably to take a 0-0 draw back to north London for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals — but were handicapped once more by Granit Xhaka.

Giving the travelling support a gritty performance to be proud of, they were once again showered with applause at the final whistle despite not winning. Switching to a 5-3-1 after the sending off, those left on the pitch defended their zones effectively, with Liverpool’s first real chance coming in the 90th minute (Takumi Minamino’s sitter), while Bukayo Saka was still able to carry a threat when breaking forward.

Speaking after the match, Mikel Arteta said: “You have to pick players that you are happy to go to war because you’re gonna have a fight, you’re gonna have difficult moments, you’re gonna have moments where you have to suffer and it’s about how to approach those moments.

“If you are willing to help your team, if you are willing to accept that at some moments you are not going to play the game that you want and then good things are going to happen, so when you play with that spirit and fight and brotherhood around the team, at the end you get rewarded and I think that’s what happened today.”

While there are areas of this squad that have without doubt improved this year, such as defensive solidity and attacking intent, there are others that keep them from making consistent strides.


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