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Arsenal FC manager Arteta hails Gunners ‘fight determination and brotherhood.’

Arsenal were forced to play Liverpool with 10 men after Granit Xhaka was sent-off by Michael Oliver for bringing down Diogo Jota when he was the last man.

Arsenal dug in and held off Liverpool at Anfield [Sky Sports / Screen Shot]
Arsenal dug in and held off Liverpool at Anfield [Sky Sports / Screen Shot]

Mikel Arteta was pleased with the 'fight determination and brotherhood' his Arsenal side showed in their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg clash against Liverpool on Thursday night. The Gunners were reduced to 10 men when Granit Xhaka was given his marching orders in the 24th minute after an atrocious tackle on Diogo Jota.

Despite having a man advantage for the majority of the game at Anfield, Liverpool failed to break down an extremely stubborn Arsenal defence as the visitors dug in and held off the hosts.

Xhaka saw a red card for his tackle on Jota
Xhaka saw a red card for his tackle on Jota

In the end, both sides shared the spoils and will have to wait until next week Thursday at 19:45 GMT for the decider at the Emirates Stadium as the winner will play Chelsea FC in the final at Wembley at the end of February.

After the match on Merseyside, Arsenal boss Arteta told Sky Sports: "We revel against the situation. The players showed great fight, determination, brotherhood. You saw the emotion, we never gave up. Credit to the boys.

"I don't know if the red card inspired them but it took the fight. You need a certain attitude to play in these games and the boys did that. We played the game we had to play, which is not our game. I have not seen it back, they checked it so probably a red card.

"To plan with the numbers we have, we don't have any midfielders, becomes really complicated, because whatever we do is not natural.

"The extra motivation to play a derby [at Tottenham on Sunday] brings the energy when you don't have it. No excuses, we have to play it."

When asked about whether he’s seen Granit Xhaka’s red card yet, the Spaniard said as Arsenal's official website quoted: "No, I haven’t seen it. I’ve done the interviews outside and now here so I cannot judge it because I haven’t seen the action."

Xhaka’s suspension means he will be missing the north London derby on Sunday, and Arteta said of the Switzerland international's situation: "Yes, but we came here and we are missing nine or 10 players already. Listen, we don’t know what to expect from the next day, so we can’t be looking at that and all the time having to fall into that and using it as an excuse.

"We have to play games, it’s our job, we know the context that we’re in and it can change, and it can change to an even more difficult position, but the team has to rebuild and we have players that have decided to play and on Sunday again we will try to do the same thing."

Ben White: 'Absolutely superb'

Arsenal defender Ben White told Sky Sports: "It was not an ideal start but there is so much fight in this team. It's hard enough coming here with 11 men, absolutely superb from everyone. "You have to concentrate the whole game and the result is well deserved. It's nice to defend like that as a defender. We were confident coming here and will give our all in the next game."

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