Arsenal: Chris Sutton claims Gunners were 'schooled' by Liverpool in Carabao Cup semi-final defeat

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Chris Sutton insists Arsenal were ‘schooled’ by Liverpool in their Carabao Cup semi-final defeat and warns the Gunners are still ‘a mile off competing for major trophies’ in a brutal assessment


Chris Sutton believes Arsenal are still well short of competing with the Premier League’s best after slumping to a defeat by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

Despite drawing the first leg of their semi-final 0-0 at Anfield, Mikel Arteta’s side fell to a 2-0 loss at the Emirates Stadium courtesy of a double from Diogo Jota.

Having also suffered a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest, failed to qualify for Europe this term and sitting 21 points off Premier League leaders Manchester City, it means the Gunners hopes of lifting silverware are all but over.

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday night

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday night

Arsenal have shown promise this term with youthful stars including Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe helping them remain in the hunt of qualifying for the Champions League.

But Sutton believes their season now rests on securing a top four finish and that the pressure to do so is now heavy on Arteta. 

‘I have been at this stadium before and at times the atmosphere has been slightly toxic, Sutton told BBC 5Live.

Two Diogo Jota goals (second right) took Liverpool to the final where they will play Chelsea

Two Diogo Jota goals (second right) took Liverpool to the final where they will play Chelsea

‘They stuck with the team but you can’t get away from the fact Arsenal are out of everything and aren’t even into February. I think Liverpool schooled them.

‘You think about their signings and brilliant signings compete for major trophies. Arsenal are a level below and still a mile off.

‘There is so much work to do. Arteta when you strip back everything, spent a lot and it is going to be a huge half of the season. You can see the pressure building on Arteta if they don’t get in the Champions League spot. 

Chris Sutton claims Arsenal are still short in terms of competing for major honours

Chris Sutton claims Arsenal are still short in terms of competing for major honours

Arsenal have not won the League Cup for 29 years and had high hopes of reaching a potential final against Chelsea who earlier in January knocked rivals Tottenham Hotspur out in the other semi-final.

Former Liverpool midfielder Don Hutchinson also believes making the top four is vital for the Gunners to attract top quality players in next summer’s transfer window.

‘It’s another step backwards for Arsenal. The fans will be devastated. Arsenal fans would think they had a chance,’ Hutchinson added.

Sutton and Don Hutchinson believe it is vital boss Mikel Arteta (above) seals a top four finish

Sutton and Don Hutchinson believe it is vital boss Mikel Arteta (above) seals a top four finish

‘Arsenal need to get that top four to be able to make signings in the summer that will allow them make the next step.

‘Arsenal have to do something in the window now. Maybe get Aubameyang out of the way and try and bring a better standard of player in. They have the nucleus of a very, very good team.

‘I would put all my energy in the next two or three days in beating Burnley first because, lose that, and it feels like the end of the world for them.’

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