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Arsenal v Liverpool postponed after Reds' COVID-19 outbreak

By Chris Myson

London, Jan. 5: The first leg of Liverpool's EFL Cup semi-final tie with Arsenal on Thursday has been postponed.

Liverpool asked for the postponement amid a COVID-19 outbreak and they confirmed that request had approved on Wednesday.

The game had been thrown into further doubt after Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders returned a suspected positive COVID-19 test.

Lijnders was poised to take charge of the Reds at the Emirates Stadium with manager Jurgen Klopp still isolating after his own positive test.

But Lijnders will now join the German in isolation and the news conference he was poised to lead was cancelled prior to official confirmation of the match's postponement.

The update comes a day after Liverpool formally requested for the first leg to be called off after confirming an "escalating number" of suspected COVID-19 cases, which led to the cancellation of training.

Liverpool will now host the rescheduled semi-final first leg on Thursday January 13, with the second leg to be played at the Emirates a week later on Thursday January 20.

"Liverpool's Carabao Cup semi-final, first-leg fixture with Arsenal on Thursday has been postponed," read a statement from the Reds.

"The club's submission to have the fixture rescheduled has been approved by the EFL due to the increasing number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases among players and staff.

"The latest round of testing on Tuesday returned a significant number of positives, including Pepijn Lijnders, who was due to take charge of the Reds at Emirates Stadium.

"The outbreak has left Liverpool without a sufficient number of players and staff to fulfil the contest as originally scheduled.

"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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Story first published: Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 18:50 [IST]
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