Diogo Jota fired Liverpool into the EFL Cup final with his double securing a 2-0 victory over Arsenal, who finished the semi-final second leg with 10 men.
Liverpool will take on Chelsea at Wembley in their 13th EFL Cup final, though it will be their first appearance in the showpiece since 2016.
Jota squeezed in the opening goal in the 19th minute, bringing an end to a bright Arsenal start that saw Alexandre Lacazette hit the crossbar.
Liverpool had the tie wrapped up when VAR overturned an offside decision after Jota lifted in his second, with the Gunners’ frustrations compounded by a 90th-minute dismissal for Thomas Partey.
However, Joel Matip had a goal ruled out for offside before a sweeping Liverpool attack ended with Jota scuffing an effort beyond Aaron Ramsdale from 18 yards against the run of play.
Lacazette spurned a great chance from Albert Sambi Lokonga’s excellent pass four minutes after the restart.
Kaide Gordon wasted an opportunity to punish him when he blazed over and Konate – who replaced Matip at half-time – crashed a powerful header into the foot of the upright before the hour mark.
Arsenal controlled possession in the closing stages but Jota put the game to bed in the 77th minute, with the VAR deeming he had been played onside from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s excellent pass by Gabriel Magalhaes.
Partey only arrived back from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ghana on Thursday and picked up two yellow cards in three minutes to cap a disappointing day for the Gunners.
What does it mean? Liverpool too good for Gunners
Arsenal had their moments and played well, but Liverpool were just too solid for them and they failed to register against Jurgen Klopp’s side in the fifth straight meeting of the teams in all competitions.
The Gunners have now won just one of their past 18 matches against the Reds, with this representing their first home EFL Cup loss to the Merseyside side.
Chelsea await in the final, where Liverpool will hope to become the first team to win the competition nine times.
Diogo goal crazy
Jota now has five goals in his past four games against Arsenal in all competitions – four of them have been at the Emirates as a Liverpool player, making him the club’s leading goalscorer at the stadium.
Gordon makes history
Gordon was named in the starting line-up and became the first Liverpool player aged 17 or younger to feature in the semi-final or final of a major competition. He was not heavily involved and missed a great chance to mark the occasion with a goal early in the second half.
Key Opta facts
– Arsenal have lost their opening two home matches in a calendar year for only the second time in their history, also doing so in 1958 when they lost to Blackpool and Manchester United.
– Since Klopp took charge of Liverpool for the first time in 2015, the Reds have scored 45 goals against Arsenal, the most any Premier League side has scored against another in all competitions in that time.
– This was Klopp’s 11th win against Arsenal in all competitions; in his entire managerial career, he has only beaten Freiburg (13) and Nurnberg (12) more often.
Arsenal entertain Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday, when Liverpool are back in London to take on Crystal Palace.