Four of the top teams in the Premier League will do battle over two legs for a spot in the Carabao Cup final.
Also known as the League Cup or EFL Cup, it is the first major trophy awarded in the English football season and one of three major domestic titles in England alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. In addition to silverware, the winner is also guaranteed a playoff round berth in the following season’s Europa Conference League, one of Europe’s top three club competitions.
The competition has reached the semifinals, where just four teams remain, all hailing from the top half of the Premier League table. Arsenal will play Liverpool in one semi, while London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham meet as Antonio Conte faces his former side.
The semifinals have traditionally been played over two legs, and that will continue despite speculation that they could be reduced to a single-elimination match based on the fixture congestion caused by COVID-related postponements in the English Premier League schedule.
The semifinal schedule has been impacted by a COVID outbreak which struck the Liverpool camp: The Arsenal-Liverpool legs were flipped and pushed by a week. The first leg will now take place in Liverpool (Jan. 13) with the second leg taking place a week later at the Emirates (Jan. 20).
Carabao Cup semifinals
The Carabao Cup semifinal draw was held immediately following the quarterfinal games concluded, and resulted in the following pairings, with the Liverpool vs. Arsenal series impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak on Merseyside:
Semifinals, Leg 1
|Date||Semifinals – 1st Leg||Time (ET)||Streaming|
|Wed, Jan. 5||Chelsea vs. Tottenham||2:45 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Thurs, Jan. 13||Liverpool vs. Arsenal||2:45 p.m.||ESPN+|
Semifinals, Leg 2
|Date||Semifinals – 2nd Leg||Time (ET)||Streaming|
|Wed, Jan. 12||Tottenham vs. Chelsea||2:45 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Thurs, Jan. 20||Arsenal vs. Liverpool||2:45 p.m.||ESPN+|
The final will be held on February 27, 2022 at Wembley Stadium.
Carabao Cup quarterfinal results
|Tues, Dec. 21||Arsenal 5, Sunderland 1||Highlights|
|Wed, Dec. 22||Tottenham 2, West Ham 1||Highlights|
|Wed, Dec. 22||Brentford 0, Chelsea 2||Highlights|
|Wed, Dec. 22||Liverpool 3, Leicester City 3 (5-4 PKs)||Highlights|
It appeared that a brace by Jamie Vardy plus an absolute screamer by James Maddison would be enough for Leicester City to stun Liverpool, but it wasn’t to be. The Maddison goal had Anfield on its heels, but Takumi Minamino bagged a 95th-minute equalizer, and Liverpool went through in the ensuing penalty kick shootout.
Liverpool backup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher then assumed the hero’s mantle, saving a pair of penalties to see the Reds through.
Elsewhere, Chelsea slogged in a difficult match on the road at Brentford, but a pair of goals after the 80th minute saw the Blues into the semifinals. The breakthrough came via an own goal by Pontus Jansson, while Jorginho deposited a penalty five minutes later to seal the 2-0 win.
Tottenham’s roller-coaster season found a bright spot as Spurs progressed 2-1 over West Ham. All three goals came within a five-minute span in the first half, as efforts from Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura sandwiched a West Ham goal by forward Jarrod Bowen.
Finally, Arsenal hammered Sunderland 5-1, with Eddie Nketiah the star man on his hat-trick, while Gunners youth product Charlie Patino found something to savor as well.
Nketiah’s trio of goals sees him currently as joint-top scorer alongside Brentford’s Marcus Forss, while Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino also sits on four goals thanks to his late equalizer against Leicester City.
How to watch the Carabao Cup in the USA
- Dates: July 31, 2021, to Feb. 27, 2022
- TV Channels: None
- Streaming: ESPN+
The Carabao Cup is carried exclusively in the USA by ESPN via its streaming platform, ESPN+, and every match beginning with the Round of 16 is available to be streamed. Select matches in the Third Round were also broadcast.