Thomas Partey was shown a late red card as Arsenal crashed out of Carabao Cup with a 2-0 loss at home to Liverpool on Thursday night.
Arsenal came into the second leg of their League Cup semi-final tie full of optimism after an encouraging 0-0 draw at Anfield last week, having earned a positive result despite playing most of the game with ten men due to a first-half sending off for Granit Xhaka.
Liverpool produced a much-improved performance at Emirates Stadium to break the Gunners' hearts, though, with Partey given his marching orders this around to compound their misery.
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Arsenal started brightly in front of a fervent home crowd, and came agonisingly close to taking the lead when Alexandre Lacazette sent a 25-yard free-kick curling towards the top-right corner of the net, only to see Caoimhin Kelleher tip the ball onto the bar with a superb save.
Liverpool stepped up a gear thereafter and took the lead in the 19th minute through Diogo Jota, who ghosted past Takehiro Tomiyasu as he embarked on a mazy run towards the box before firing low past Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal net.
17-year-old Kaide Gordon and Ibrahima Konate were then both guilty of missing clear chances as the Reds pushed to extend their lead, but the Gunners' were eventually undone by Jota again deep into the second half.
The Portuguese chested a beautiful lofted pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold into his path before chipping the ball over Ramsdale to silence the Emirates crowd, and substitute Partey, who had only just returned from Afcon duty with Ghana, received a second yellow in the dying moments for a reckless lunging tackle as the Gunners toiled in vain for a way back into the game.
Liverpool can now look forward to a Carabao Cup final date against Chelsea on February 27, but first and foremost, will be returning to Premier League action away at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have a home game against Burnley to prepare for on the same day, which they must win to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Partey will be suspended for that fixture as Mikel Arteta's side now face the reality of having only the FA Cup left to play for this season in terms of silverware.