Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool Review by Jack Fealy
Pressured Arsenal steal the game from dominating Liverpool after two costly mistakes from Van Dijk and Allison.
Liverpool went ahead with a well constructed goal, finished by Mane. However, the Champions threw the game away as Lacazette and Nelson capitalised from their rare mistakes at the back.
Within minutes of the game, Liverpool had chances and the Gunners were on the back foot. A mistake from Martinez saw his kick deflect of Firmino’s foot to go wide off the post.
Liverpool’s goal was coming, and in the 20th minute, the Arsenal back line melted away as Robertson found Mane in the box for a simple tap in.
Although the Gunners had conceded, Arsenal’s game plan of defending and pressing Liverpool’s back line seemed to have worked on Wednesday night.
Liverpool captain Virgil Van Dijk was at fault for the equalising goal, as Nelson pressed the Dutch defender, forcing him to play the ball to the path of Lacazette, who rounded the keeper.
Liverpool made Arsenals second goal themselves just before half time, as Allison was punished for a poor pass, anticipated by Lacazette, who found Nelson in the box to calmly slot the ball away.
Alexander-Arnold was shown only a yellow card for a poor high challenge on Saka, which was similar to Nketiah’s challenge which cost him suspension.
For the rest of the game, Arsenal defended with passion and energy, as Liverpool came forward with many chances to equalise. Arsenal had only 31% of possession to Liverpool’s 69%, and only 3 shots to Liverpool’s 24.
Although the second half was hard to watch for Arsenal fans, the defending from a labelled vulnerable back line proved their determination and belief, keeping Liverpool out successfully.
After Arsenals defeat to Spurs on Sunday, the Gunners have bounced back by winning a must win game, with a potential Europa League spot now in sight.
7th place is now enough to qualify for the Europa League, with Arsenal needing to gain 6 points from Aston Villa and Watford to have any chance of qualification.
This is the first time Arsenal have beaten Klopp’s Liverpool, who have now lost 3 games this season, and can no longer achieve the 100 point record.
Reiss Nelson spoke to Sky after the game stating that: “[The win] is a big achievement for us. We have been working hard training this season. We will take this result to the next game.”
The goal scorer also spoke on Arteta’s game plan: “The boss said keep pressing and keep them under pressure. It’s something he wants to do and carry on.”
Arteta also spoke to Sky, expressing his happiness with the team and the result: “In terms of energy and happiness in the dressing room, it was a great medicine [after Sunday].
“You have to take your chances and defend, we did that today.”
“The belief, I was worried, but we managed to pick moments and believe again. Here is the reward.”
Arteta also expressed how big the gap is between Arsenal and Liverpool in terms of quality and was asked how much financial backing he will have in the transfer window. He responded: “I don’t know. It is a big concern.”
Is this something Arsenal fans should be worried about in terms of qualifying for the Champions League next season?
Although the quality between the sides is different Arteta stated that: “The energy, the commitment, and the fight of the two teams now is equal, and before it wasn’t like this. I am very proud of that.”
Arsenal have proved that pressure and being solid defensively in big moments can win games, taking chances and having the determination to bounce back from going behind. The team press and anticipation is now seen as a key part to Arteta’s game plan, with it being successful against the Premier League Champions.