First Leg of Liverpool’s Semi-Final Against Arsenal in 2021-22 Carabao Cup Postponed Following Coronavirus Outbreak

The first leg of Liverpool’s semi-final tie against Arsenal in the 2021-22 Carabao Cup has been postponed following a Coronavirus outbreak amongst Jurgen Klopp’s squad. 

Arsenal were set to host Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Thursday 6 January 2022 in the first leg but the legs have now been reversed, following a Coronavirus outbreak amongst Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in recent days.

With Klopp already self-isolating after testing positive prior to Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea in the Premier League, his Assistant-Manager – Pepijn Lijnders has now tested positive alongside several first team players which left insufficient numbers to fulfil the fixture.

Liverpool last night (4 January) consequently decided to submit a ‘formal request’ for a postponement which the EFL has granted with the order of the legs reversed, with Liverpool now hosting the first leg at Anfield on Thursday 13 January on the date originally scheduled for second leg.

Arsenal will the host the second leg at Emirates Stadium on Thursday 20 January, with both legs still scheduled to kick off at 7:45pm GMT.

In a statement, the EFL said: ‘The EFL has been in regular dialogue with the Club over the past 48 hours in an attempt to understand whether the tie could proceed but significant developments over this period have resulted in the Club reporting an ever-increasing number of COVID cases.’

EFL officials went on to state that ‘Having now fully reviewed the circumstances involved, the League has accepted Liverpool’s request’ to postpone following determination ‘that a postponement was the only option’ in order to minimise further risk of infection within Liverpool’s squad.

EFL also acknowledged that the decision to postpone was decided with the intention of ‘ensuring public health was protected by not travelling from Liverpool to London.’

Responding to the accepted request, Liverpool issued the following statement: ‘Liverpool Football Club would like to place on record its thanks to the EFL and Arsenal for their understanding, as well as supporters of both clubs, as we continue to navigate through this challenging period.’

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