There are three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and Granit Xhaka getting himself sent off.
As talented a the Swiss midfielder is, it is fair to say that he has a tendency to lose his head at times. His red card record is a prime example of that, being sent off for the seventh time as an Arsenal player in tonight's Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
He could have few complaints about the decision, with Xhaka taking down Diogo Jota after the Liverpool man attempted to control a long ball forward from Andy Robertson. You can watch the incident below.
RED CARD! 🟥
Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is sent off after a reckless last man challenge on Liverpool's Diogo Jota pic.twitter.com/n71xpYPzRW
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 13, 2022
Luckily for Mikel Arteta and his side, they came against a toothless Liverpool on the night as they managed to secure a 0-0 draw at Anfield.
The home side looked completely out of ideas in attack, and barring a brief rally in the final few minutes, they never looked like they were going threaten Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal goal.
Could Liverpool have done more? It was clear some changes were needed, most notably in midfield where they Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, and James Milner, although Jurgen Klopp did not make his first substitution until around the hour mark.
Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Jamie Carragher said he felt this was a mistake from the German:
It wasn't a case of Liverpool having to score before halftime, you just get to halftime. I was convinced Jurgen Klopp was going to make a change, I couldn't believe Liverpool came out with the same XI.
It's not that anything wasn't working in the first half, but Arsenal are down to ten men and Liverpool have a very workmanlike midfield. The first substitution was James Milner coming off on the hour, that had to be made at halftime...
I don't understand it. That is probably the only thing I can question Jurgen Klopp on at times, does he make substitutions early enough?
When that sending off happens, there is a good 15 or 20 minutes before halftime for you to be speaking to your assistant on how you're going to go about this in the second half. That is your chance to get you team in, maybe make that change, be more on the front foot and give the instructions that the players need.
Listen, Liverpool still didn't do enough in that last half an hour with the attacking players on. I just thought it was really strange that Liverpool didn't make that change and set their stall out early on on what they wanted to do, because it was a very workmanlike midfield.
Against ten men, it certainly wasn't needed.
It may not have made a huge amount of difference, although it was very apparent that Liverpool needed more creativity from the midfield with both Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench.
Arsenal's attention will now turn to their meeting against Spurs at the weekend, while Liverpool will host Brentford.
The second leg of this tie will take place on Thursday, January 20th.