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Matchday LIVE: Arsenal host Liverpool in Carabao Cup semi-final, Real Madrid & Barcelona also feature

Join us for live updates as Arsenal host Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final, while Barcelona and Real Madrid both have Copa del Rey ties

Athletic Club Barcelona 2022 Copa del Rey

Thank you and good night


And with that, the curtain comes down on another day of cracking football. Just what a cracker it has been too!

It's delight for Real Madrid and despair for Barcelona - Los Blancos have reached the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey after an extra-time win over Elche, but the Blaugrana's defence is at an end after they were downed by Athletic Club shortly before a shootout could play a part too.

But the real winner perhaps is Diogo Jota, as the Portuguese's silky double fired Liverpool into the Carabao Cup Final against Arsenal. In the absence of some big names, he himself has continued to make himself a true Anfield star - and he'll surely be rewarded with a Wembley day to remember.

Until the next time then, thank you for joining us - and have a good night!

Jota Liverpool Arsenal 2022

AFCON knockouts confirmed


Elsewhere from club football today, the last-16 for this years Africa Cup of Nations has been confirmed - without reigning champions Algeria, who failed to get out of Group E.

But plenty of favourites remain in the mix and they'll all be chasing the crown hard over the next few weeks.

This is what it looks like:

Gunners left wanting - again


Spare a thought for Arsenal tonight, the only side who were defeated in the usual 90 minutes.

Mikel Arteta has arguably overperformed at points with his squad, but they remain a team a far cry from the Arsene Wenger halcyon days.

GOAL's Charles Watts says they need to make moves before the market shuts.

Down and out


FT: Athletic 3-2 Barca (AET)

FT: Athletic 3-2 Barca (AET)


Barcelona's defence of their Copa del Rey crown has come to an end!

The Blaugrana go down to Athletic Club in a five-goal thriller after extra-time, with two fightbacks from the visitors not enough to swing fortunes back in their favour.

Iker Muniain's double - including a game-clinching penalty - is enough to send the hosts from Bilbao through to the quarter-finals.

Muniain at the double


Athletic 3-2 Barca

Tough to take


Athletic 3-2 Barca

Barca face last stand


Athletic 3-2 Barca

Barcelona have already come back from the brink twice today. One more cannot hurt, surely?

But Xavi's side must dig themselves out of danger now. Their Copa del Rey defence - their hopes of keeping their hands on that trophy that was the highlight of the Ronald Koeman era - looks set to be over unless they can work something magic here.

This is a time for heroes.

GOAL: Athletic 3-2 Barca


(Iker Muniain)

It goes from bad to worse for Barcelona!

No sooner have they lost a key man, they go behind for the third - yes, third - time in this match.

VAR deems Jordi Alba committed an intentional hand ball in the box to prevent a cross and Iker Muniain adds a second for the evening from the penalty spot, absolutely lashing it into the back of the net.

Fati forced off injured


Athletic 2-2 Barca

Oh, no. You don't like to see that.

Ansu Fati has a problem and he's not a happy man. Barcelona have to remove him and while he leaves the field under his own steam, he does so in tears.

Hopefully the issue for the Blaugrana starlet is not as bad as feared.

Could history repeat?


Athletic 2-2 Barca

ETKO: Athletic 2-2 Barca


Here we go again then.

Half-an-hour to split Athletic Club and Barcelona. Fail to find the difference, and this one is heading to penalties.

Real Madrid managed to avoid the latter. Can either of these sides break the deadlock and keep it that way to do so too?

End of 90: Athletic 2-2 Barca


For the second time today, we're going to extra-time. Barcelona fight back from behind twice in the Copa del Rey - and their reward is another half-hour to win it for good, before penalties loom.

Xavi looks like a man wrung out by the evening's exploits. He has to get his side to summon from their deep reserves.

GOAL: Athletic 2-2 Barca



You cannot write this crazy day of Copa del Rey action! You absolutely cannot!

Barcelona are level again in injury-time, with Pedri hurling them the lifeline as he volleys a bicycle kick assist in through the crowded box.

The Blaugrana bench erupts in pure passion. What a late twist they've delivered.

GOAL: Athletic 2-1 Barca


(Inigo Martinez)

Have Athletic Club delivered the sucker punch to end Barcelona's Copa del Rey defence?!

A late free-kick swings in from the left, and the Blaugrana make a hash of it. Several bodies lunge for the ball and the end result is that the ball skitters into the net at the left post.

Inigo Martinez gets the goal per the officials in the end - but it has left the visitors looking at the end of their cup dream.

Red or blue?


FT: Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

TAA eyes Wembley triumph with fans


FT: Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

Trent Alexander-Arnold - who assisted at the end for Diogo Jota's second - has been speaking to Sky Sports after the final whistle, and says that he hopes the squad - Premier League champions without a crowd - can hoist some silverware with their supporters around.

"It is what we want," he says. "It was not the same when we left Anfield as an empty stadium (after winning the Premier League). It has been a while to lift a trophy and it is good for us to be in a final. There are still 90 minutes to do that against a top side."

Regular show


FT: Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

Right on time


FT: Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

How did Barca bag equaliser?


Athletic 1-1 Barca

We are back underway in the last Copa del Rey clash - and indeed the last match - on our docket today.

Barcelona are chasing a second to seize the lead in this game - but they've also put out a handy little graphic showing how Ferran Torres bagged his first for the club.

Have a look at it here:

FT: Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool


Jota double sends superior Reds to Wembley

The final whistle goes - and Liverpool have emerged victorious from their Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Arsenal thanks to Diogo Jota's superb skills!

The Portuguese nabbed goals in both halves to see Jurgen Klopp's side through to another date under the arch at Wembley.

Arsenal - who just before the end in north London saw Thomas Partey sent off for a foolish challenge - are left to lick their wounds. It's been a tough day at the office.

WATCH: Jota strikes again for Reds


Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

GOAL: Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool


(Diogo Jota)

Game over in the Carabao Cup - Liverpool are almost certainly off to Wembley!

Diogo Jota bags a brace to get that second goal the Reds have been looking for, and with less than a quarter-hour on the clock, it pretty much finishes Arsenal's hopes of turning this one around.

Jurgen Klopp looks a satisfied man with that.

HT: Athletic 1-1 Barca


Ferran Torres' finish means this is nicely poised as it heads into the break - and Barcelona have a good chance of making the last eight.

Xavi's side could really do with the win, if they are to keep their hopes of silverware alive this season.

The second half is to come.

Muniain haunts Barca once more


Athletic 1-1 Barca

Reds crank up the pressure


Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool

Arsenal need to turn the screw themselves if they are to find an equaliser - but that's not what it feels like at the Emirates Stadium.

GOAL's Charles Watts thinks the opposite may well be incoming, to put paid to the Gunners' hopes of another Wembley showcase.

GOAL: Athletic 1-1 Barca


(Ferran Torres)

The Blaugrana strike back!

Ferran Torres shows why Barcelona hooked him from Manchester City now to nab an equaliser and put his side firmly back in contention here.

The visitors needed that to steady the proverbial ship.

Back underway


Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool

Are we in for some extra fun beyond the final whistle in this one too? Arsenal will have to find soemthing if they want to keep their hopes alive.

There's no away goals to save Liverpool too, so a single strike would be enough for the Gunners to force extra-time as things stand.

Jurgen Klopp will want to get some daylight on the board if he can manage it.

Out for history


Athletic 1-0 Barca

On top


HT: Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool

WATCH: Hazard nabs matchwinner for Madrid in dramatic tie (US only)


FT: Elche 1-2 Madrid (AET)

HT: Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool


At least there's not been any fast-paced drama in the Carabao Cup since Liverpool seized the lead.

Diogo Jota's sublime bit of solo skill means that the Reds have one foot on Wembley Way at the interval at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal though are far from out of this contest, even with just over a third of total possession, and both sides will know it too. This could be a nervy second half coming up.

GOAL: Athletic 1-0 Barca


(Iker Muniain)

It's a disaster of a start for Barcelona in their Copa del Rey clash!

Athletic Club are no strangers to knockout runs - they've had their share of big games in both this competition and the Supercopa in recent years - and they've fired an opening salvo to immediately dent their visitors' hopes.

Iker Muniain is the man who finds the back of the net to frustrate Xavi and the rest of the Blaugrana.

FT: Elche 1-2 Madrid (AET)


Real Madrid book their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, in a controversial extra-time battle with Elche!

Eden Hazard is the hero of the hour for Los Blancos, but their hosts are absolutely fuming. Fidel was the man who looked to have forced another twist in this game, only to have his effort chalked off - and then Pere Milla was hit with a red card in the last act for his response.

But Carlo Ancelotti's men have got the job done in the end, somehow, despite missing a man for all of the second half of extra-time too. It's been an absolutely madcap finale, but they have somehow come out the other side on top, as they so often do. It's the mark of a champion side.

KO: Athletic v Barca


We're into the final moments of our first Copa del Rey clash - where Elche feel they should have an equaliser, only for a foul in the build-up to chalk off their finish - but in Bilbao, things are just getting underway for the defending champions.

Barcelona have kicked off against Athletic Club, as the Blaugrana look to mount what is likely their only realistic chance for silverware this term now.

GOAL: Elche 1-2 Madrid


(Eden Hazard)


Eden Hazard's fresh legs look to have paid off in dramatic fashion for his team! David Alaba spots a gaping space on the left wing and lofts a looping ball through for the Belgian to tear after, outstripping the defence as he goes.

Axel Werner races out of his box to try and beat him to it, but the forward rounds him instead and slots low into an empty net. What a comeback for Los Blancos!

GOAL: Elche 1-1 Madrid



Game on!

Three minutes into the second half of extra-time, Real Madrid have pulled the rabbit out of the hat to keep themselves in this contest as it continues towards penalties!

Elche might have thought that they'd done enough to dodge spot-kicks, but Isco has had other ideas. Dani Ceballos drives in a shot and it takes a legal deflection off the former to wrong-foot the hosts. Frustration doesn't cover it for them - but Los Blancos have grabbed a lifeline with both hands.

Thorn in my side


Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool

In the words of Eurythmics...

Oblique eighties pop references aside, Diogo Jota is making a habit of this. He's been one of the most inspired buys in recent times at Anfield.

Arsenal have some work to do to dig themselves out of trouble. So too do Real Madrid, who are just starting the second period of extra-time against Elche, now missing a man and down a goal.

GOAL: Elche 1-0 Madrid


(Gonzalo Verdu)

Real Madrid have imploded, slap-bang in the middle of extra-time - they've gone a goal and a man down in the blink of an eye!

Marcelo is the man who triggers this sudden fall from grace, handed a straight red card after he cuts down a sharp counter from the hosts just shy of the box, where Gonzalo Verdu sizes up a free-kick.

The set-piece is slammed into the wall but the Elche man is not put off and has a second crack that deflects through the crowded area and beats Andriy Lunin!

GOAL: Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool


(Diogo Jota)

The Reds seize the lead in the Carabao Cup semi-final through their magic Portuguese man!

Diogo Jota, remember the name - again! Liverpool go ahead after their forward collects a pass on the left wing, streaks downfield and back inside, before slotting a cool finish between the few remaining defenders from the edge of the box.

Delicious stuff, absolutely delicious!

Reds surrender early opener


The ball is in the net for Liverpool - but the linesman's flag is offside!

Joel Matip looked to have drawn first blood for the Reds, but the call goes against Jurgen Klopp and company.

Even so, it is a statement of intent from the visitors, who enter this match as the likely favourites.

ET: Elche 0-0 Madrid


Here we go then. Extra-time arrives in the Copa del Rey for Real Madrid - who have introduced Eden Hazard - and Elche.

Can the Belgium superstar prove to be the difference for the visitors? Or is this one going all the way to penalties?

End of 90: Elche 0-0 Real Madrid


There's the whistle - and nothing can split Real Madrid and Elche in regular time!

Both sides must therefore add the extra minutes on. They'll be half-an-hour more to settle this. Fail to do so? Penalties await.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have made a lively start against Liverpool:

KO: Arsenal v Liverpool


The time for heroes is upon is!

It's Arsenal versus Liverpool, with Wembley the prize. Will the Gunners fire their way to victory? Or can the Reds muzzle their aim and take their spot instead?

We're about to find out!

Time is running out


Elche 0-0 Madrid

We are into the final few minutes of this Copa del Rey clash - and despite introducing big guns like Luka Modric and Casemiro from the bench, Real Madrid remain unable to find a goal in this game.

Nor do Elche however, which suggests we'll be continuing past the final whistle here.

Is there anything left in the tank for these two to snatch it at the end?

On the brink?


Arsenal v Liverpool



Arsenal v Liverpool

There's still no goals at Elche - and it looks like we could be set for a coda in the Copa del Rey.

Back in London, GOAL's Charles Watts is soaking up the atmosphere ahead of kick-off in Arsenal's Carabao Cup clash with Liverpool.

He's like many there - suitably excited for what could be a cracker.

Will Gordon justify the hype?


Arsenal v Liverpool

We're sure you've spotted that name in the Liverpool line-up tonight - and it is a massive show of faith that Kaide Gordon starts for them.

GOAL's Neil Jones is on the ground tonight, and he has some thoughts about that selection.

Back underway


Elche 0-0 Madrid

The second half beckons in Spain - and Real Madrid look absolutely fired up for it.

Carlo Ancelotti has lit the fire beneath them with his half-time team talk, it seems. In the week where old club Everton sacked his successor Rafa Benitez, it's funny to see how the legendary manager has found his mojo back with Los Blancos once more.

Can his side get this one other the line?

Scuffed chances


HT: Elche 0-0 Madrid

HT: Elche 0-0 Madrid


Goalless in Copa del Rey clash

The whistle goes for the interval - and there's nothing to split Real Madrid and their hosts Elche.

La Liga's leading light have rested several faces and so far, it has produced the expected result - a match where they haven't quite cracked the proverbial safe-door of their opponent's defence yet.

Still, they have another half of football to do it. The trick will be making sure they keep it tight at the back too.

Team News: Arsenal v Liverpool


Madrid remain frustrated by hosts


Elche 0-0 Madrid

We're fast approaching the interval and there's still no sign of a goal in the Copa del Rey.

If anything, a clutch of the finer chances have fallen for Elche, though they have failed to convert them just like their visitors.

Real Madrid have suich power on the bench though - Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and the like. They'll know that they have the tools to get this one done.

Nice view


Arsenal v Liverpool

With limited goals - none, to be precise - still in the Copa del Rey, let's take a quick look at things in north London.

Liverpool, as you can see, have arrived at Arsenal for their Carabao Cup clash.

We'll have team news for this clash very shortly.

In memory


Elche 0-0 Madrid

Deadlock holds firm in Copa del Rey


Elche 0-0 Madrid

Almost a quarter of a way into this match and there's been no goals to speak of - though it is not for a lack of trying from either side.

With several big stars resting, including the aforementioned Benzema, Madrid have not pulled out ahead of Elche the way they may have wanted.

Will Carlo Ancelotti's gambles backfire to end his side's quest for cup success?

Kroos Elche vs. Real Madrid Copa del Rey
Getty Images

Where's Karim?


Elche 0-0 Madrid

One face you might have noticed who is missing for Real Madrid today - their man-of-the-moment Karim Benzema, with the controversial Frenchman absent from the action.

Fear not, fans - he's merely being rested for this blockbuster clash, rather than out injured.

With nothing to break the deadlock just yet, it's too early to tell if his services will be missed though.

Algeria eliminated from AFCON


Ivory Coast 3-1 Algeria

News from the Africa Cup of Nations that's certainly put the cat among the pigeons - defending champions Algeria are out!

Riyad Mahrez and company arrived at Cameroon 2021 - delayed from last year - looking to hold onto the crown they won three years ago at Egypt 2019.

But a draw with Sierra Leone and defeat to Equatorial Guinea left them on the outside looking in as they headed for their final Group E game - and their loss against the Ivory Coast has officially ended their run at the tournament.

Mahrez Algeria Afcon 2022

Somewhere, across the sea...


Arsenal v Liverpool

Elsewhere in Europe, it's the calm before the storm in north London, as the Carabao Cup awaits its chance to see who its second finalist will be.

This Covid-19-affected tie has not been without its arguments from both camps, but after that empty-handed first-leg, the return fixture will settle all scores.

Mikel Arteta or Jurgen Klopp. Who will be walking out at Wembley alongside Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea? We'll know in about four hours or so.

KO: Elche v Madrid


It's a dark evening in the Valencian Community, but we could be in for a spot of football to light it up.

Real Madrid look like they mean business. Can Carlo Ancelotti keep his quest for silverware success on several fronts alive?

We're underway!

Shocks on the cards?


Elche v Real Madrid

We're just moments out from our first match - and Real Madrid will be fighting to do what their rivals and incumbent champions of La Liga Atletico Madrid could not.

Diego Simeone's side were knocked out by Real Sociedad last night, failing to make it to the quarter-finals to compound an already tough season.

Can Los Blancos ensure they dodge a similar fate against unfavoured opposition?

Barca and Dembele drag out squabble


Much as the focus has not been strictly on the football in England too, so it is that Barcelona's build-up for their clash with Athletic Club has been plagued by off-field issues.

In this case, it has been the matter of Ousmane Dembele's future. The club looks to have officially told him to leave now, with the chance of a new deal dead in the water.

The 24-year-old fired back in his own statement earlier today, using words like "blackmail" in a not-so-veiled dig at the Blaugrana's attempts to move him on. He's not in the squad to face Athletic Club.

getty images



Wherever fans go for their fix today, they'll be looking for a bite to eat - and recently, there has been something of a boom on social media when it comes to sizing up what is good at the kiosk on matchday.

It's hard to argue against the common pie, surely - but perhaps my imagination is just too limited? Footy Scran - the popular Twitter feed - may certainly think so.

Emma Smith had a look with them at what's hot - and what's not - at the grounds around the biggest game of all.

Wembley date beckons for Gunners and Reds


If Leicester City's visit to the FA Cup Final last term reminded us of anything, it's the magic that a day out at Wembley can provide for any club.

Arsenal and Liverpool are not exactly strangers to the national stadium of England, but both would absolutely relish the chance to play under its arch once again, especially against Chelsea.

It comes down to this then - a winner-takes-all dash for the finish in the cold January fire of the Emirates Stadium.

20220116 Jurgen Klopp Takumi Minamino
Getty Images

๐ŸŽ‰ โšฝ๏ธ Welcome to GOAL Matchday Live! โšฝ๏ธ ๐ŸŽ‰


Hello and welcome to GOAL Matchday Live - our rolling blog coverage of all the biggest beats and hottest games across Europe today!

There's no day quite like a cup day, is there though? We agree - and we're in luck, because there's three blockbuster ties to enjoy this evening across two of the game's most storied knockout competitions.

First and last up, we'll have major Copa del Rey clashes to sink our teeth into, with Real Madrid and Barcelona on the road against Elche and Athletic Club - and in between, we've got a Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg shootout between Arsenal and Liverpool sure to get pulses pounding.

Strap in and get ready to go - we're in for a crackerjack time!

Getty Images