Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal – decent comeback as Arsenal claim a draw

Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal – Arsenal finishes first in their group after a battling draw in Belgium.

The first half was quite entertaining I thought and Arsenal played well. If I had to have one really big complaint it would be that Arsenal did not take the many chances they were presented with.

There were some calamitous moments for sure, it just would not be Arsenal if the clowns don’t come out to play in the Arsenal defence and that includes the keeper, Martinez.

Bukayo Saka was fairly lively and it always felt that it would be just a matter of time before he scored, but nope, nothing came in the first 45 minutes.

Arsenal was unlucky not to be ahead at half time.

The second half started and within three minutes Standard took the lead. It was slightly lucky after taking a huge deflection beating Martinez, who was left helpless stranded to the spot.

Well, it got worse from then on. In the 70th minute, Standard took a 2-0 lead, following a terrible clearance from Joe Willock and another deflection into the back of the net.

It has to be said that Arsenal really were poor after the break and it was starting to get a bit nervy.

But they came roaring back with two quick goals. The first came in the 78th minute through Alexandre Lacazette following a great cross from young Bukayo Saka.

The second came just two minutes later courtesy of Saka who deserved to get his name onto the scoresheet with a beautifully taken goal.

We learned little from this game, it was an inexperienced side with a makeshift defence. Arsenal was half decent in the first half, a lot poorer in the second half before improving, kind of what we have come to expect.

It is good news that we finished top following the surprise defeat for Eintracht Frankfurt at home to Vitoria.

Overall it was an acceptable result all things considered.


  1. Once Standard Liege players pressed up high in the second half, the Gunners became overwhelmed. The Gunners made plenty of errors and some of them didn’t seem to be focused on the match:

    – Lacazette: Worked hard as usual and created some good chances for his teammates, but made some bad touches. Fully deserved his goal

    – Nelson: He played awkwardly in 3-4-2-1 formation. I bet he would play better on the right wing

    – Smith-Rowe: Had he crossed to Nelson instead of shooting, we would have been ahead. Worked his socks off, but he still needs more experience

    – Willock: Made several errors, one of them was fatal and he was out of his depth. I hope he doesn’t start to be a party goer yet

    – Guendouzi: Nothing special today

    – Saka: He was obviously not used to play as LWB, which led to a non-inspiring first half performance. But he thrived in the position in the second half and he deserved to be MOTM with his goal and assist

    – Maitland-Niles: Saving his energy for the Man City game

    – Luiz: Apart from his two errors in the first half, he defended well. But his long through balls were still ineffective

    – Sokratis and Mavropanos: They did what they could in a lacklustre team

    – Martinez: Made two silly errors, which luckily were not fatal. He was disappointing with those two Standard Liege’s goals

    1. Once again the formation was a problem and it showed a lot in the first half especially when Saka had the ball on the left side. He was always forced to go for glory because we lacked many options. We missed so many chances because of that. When the formation was changed we became weaker in defense but better in attack. The formation issue is always downplayed but believe me it has a lot of effect on our penetration.For e.g last season against Chelsea in the UEL final

      1. I think Ljungberg had to use 3-4-2-1, because we only have one fit LB and we need to keep him fresh for the Man City game on the day after tomorrow

  2. Typical Arsenal.
    We score loads of goals……. at both ends:)
    We are probably the most watchable team for the neutrals

    1. Not really an excellent result but I was impressed with the positivity we played despite numerous errors.
      If Ljungberg does well this season I hope he’s given the full time job. Unfortunately he might have been alreasy judged as not good enough. Lots of coaches will struggle with our squad atm because they aren’t mentally there yet. Emery really did us bad

      1. How on earth is this an emery problem. The players have always been this way since Wenger days. Emery leaving further proved it

        1. An Emery problem because we played a lot of negative football under Emery. It’s not about away form. Ljungberg has a tough job on his hands but I’m impressed with the way he’s set the team up

        1. kstix is correct; any coach has difficulty selecting an adequate defense and midfield from this squad.

  3. Ljungberg made a typical Emery mistake today in using the three back system. Even though in the first half Arsnal looked to be quite solid in defense as they had more numbers when attacking seemed like we didn’t have many options thus many of our players had to go for glory when in the opposition penalty box. When Ljungberg changed the formation we had more options in attack and we were weaker in defense. If Ljungberg maintained the three back I have no doubt that we would’ve lost this match and we would’ve won the match with the four back.
    I rate Ljungberg highly and my gut feeling is that he’s something special. He has completely changed how the teams plays.

    1. Ljungberg had to use a three-CB formation, because he has to keep Kolasinac fresh for the Man City game. Had we had Tierney, I bet he’d play either Kolasinac or Tierney as LB in that match

      Saka was used as LWB, because he doesn’t have enough experience to play as an LB. I believe he would be a good LB in the future though, due to his strength, pace and stature

      1. Im not debating on why he had to use the three back. Our options in the box were always short because of it. For e.g Saka took so many shots because of that. Ljungberg should’ve risked it and gone four back from the start. I believe we probably would’ve been up by two goals in the first half had he done that. That formation would also mean another attacker come in

        1. Kev, the available players are not good enough defensively; full stop. A coach can only shuffle them so many ways.

    2. I disagree. FL has not done anything special so far. Some of you just want him to believe this. And what do you mean by a typical Emery mistake?
      This is a comment made to fit a particular narrative because of a dislike of Emery.
      Emery took Arsenal to the Europa league final beating some useful teams along the way and even this season there have some good performances in this tournament.
      Whether Arsenal would have won with a back four is purely speculative.
      The truth is that Arsenal’s defensive players are just not good enough and it is not straightforward to find a solution that caters for the various deficiencies.

      1. Freddie Ljungberg had completely changed how the team plays which is the truth whether you like it or not. As to whether he’s done something special or not the end of season will prove it.We all know Arsenal’s defensive players aren’t good enough but if I were to test hundred coaches with this same team some will perform better than the other which is fact. This isn’t a narrative to for agenda. I’m 100% confident if Ljungberg begun the seas on with us we would’ve been in a far better position than we are now. Emery was so negative and wasn’t even winning. I don’t think you know how bad he was. Ljungberg has made the team positive. It’s only at the end of the season which will prove how good he is.

        1. changed? Are you smoking something kev? with all the side ways and backward passes? you call that changed? we were lucky to have a wonderful 9 minutes out of 90mins at west ham.. same goes for the match yesterday. I don’t understand what you mean by changed

      2. @David Braithwaite
        “FL has not done anything special so far”.
        Perhaps one might infer that this is a comment made to fit a particular narrative
        because of a dislike of Llungberg 🙂
        I agree with you though that the fact Emery took Arsenal to the EL final
        is often over looked by his critics.
        They also overlook that he finished one point off 4th in the PL
        So can we make a case for saying that Arsenal will need to either
        win the EL or finish top 4 to justify the sacking of Emery?
        But certainly an uncomfortable prospect for the new manager
        and for those who ousted Emery.
        Top 4 by May or you fail.
        Narratives are fun 🙂

        1. You’re giving Emery too much credit. In that, it was the same Emery that cost us top 4 with his poor team selections especially in the last seven matches last season. Some say we needed to rotate for UEL but he clearly sacrificed top 4 if you look at his selections. He deserves creditcfir getying us to the UEL final. He once again cost us the final by going for three back when our players clearly struggled with it. He then brings on Iwobi and reverts the formation and all of a sudden we pepper Chelsea and should’ve scored two more goals

  4. I didn’t watch it.
    As I’ve not seen any Europa league game this season, and I won’t be seeing any.
    But by what I’ve read so far, I hope Freddie doesn’t go suicidal and starts Willock against City.
    Joe has become so dreadful lately

    1. Willock started the season well, but declined badly afterwards

      I hope he doesn’t pick up bad habits from his predecessors, such as smoking and drinking

          1. So why would you think he would suddenly start smoking and drinking? And with the exception of a injury ravaged career by Wilshere, the other 3 hardly had bad careers did they? I would say all of George Graham’s double winning sides of 89 and 91 liked a bevvie or ten and it didn’t seem to affect them did it.
            Yet again, a ridiculous comment from the master of ridiculous comments.

  5. I for one enjoyed the come back win and draws we have had recently. It builds the fighting spirit of the boys. Well deserved draw to both sides.

  6. Why do Arsenal defenders turn their backs when somebody shoots two deflections two goals the ball is a bag of air anyone think it was a bullet

  7. Good result to keep our momentum going into the City game.
    Through to the round of 32 as group winners.
    Well done the young ones.
    Can’t believe some of the rancid comments on here though.

  8. Horrible horrible defending what exactly do these imposters do five days a week? Liege’s first goal was just ridiculous we had three guys ball watching then came the second WTH was that? willock gendouzi getting turned over like puppies jeez fredy needs a whip such lethargic behaviour can no be tolerated. Comical at best and noone eems to care

    1. Guendouzi is regressing. I dont think he is as serious and focused as he should be. I’d thought he’d be the one to kick on a stand out this season.

      1. Kick on and stand out?? He’s literally been doing what he does in most if not all matches. I’m not his biggest fan but I thought he had a good game. He made several interceptions and some good passes. It was Willock that really struggled. We might have watched a different game

        1. I thought his passing was below the standards he set for himself. Maybe it’s because our other midfielders are lacking so much, but he hasn’t been impressive for me the past month or so.

          1. A lot of our players gave the ball away needlessly today and he was no different but I think he played well. It’s just that I don’t see him becoming that special CM peope think he can become. He is limited and his game is incomplete. Good but not great

          2. Guendouzi is a level above the rest of our young players besides Martinelli. He is much more refined than the academy graduates. I think a lot of our youth players need that extra coaching to help them into the top level. So many of them have heavy touches and you dont get nearly as much space to keep the ball like that in first team games. Chelsea youngsters seem to have an easier time transitioning this season and i’m wondering what is putting them over the edge. Hopefully Freddie can make them pick up better habits.

          3. I resoext yput opinon and I can see that you rate him highly but Ive seriousky git to disagree with you. Nelson,Willock, Saka and Smith-Rowe are all above him talent for talent. He’s just lucky to get more game time so he’s been able to develop better. This isn’t hating on him. The four youngsters may not be performing atm but I think when they are all at their peak I believe they will better. Guendouzi has good pasonf but is weak in so many areas it’s unbelieveable many think he can be our CM for years

          4. I resoext yput opinon and I can see that you rate him highly but Ive seriousky git to disagree with you. Nelson,Willock, Saka and Smith-Rowe are all above him talent for talent. He’s just lucky to get more game time so he’s been able to develop better. This isn’t hating on him. The four youngsters may not be performing atm but I think when they are all at their peak I believe they will better. Guendouzi has good passing but is weak in so many areas it’s unbelieveable many think he can be our CM for years

          5. Respect your opinion as well, and I see where you are coming from. In terms of what they have done for our academy, they’ve put in excellent displays, but the transition to first team is where you make it or break it. I think Guendouzi has the qualities to some day be a good midfielder for a good side. May not be Arsenal, but I see the potential for him to become a great player, and despite his flaws he’s been able to hold down spots in our sides since he has arrived. More than any of our academy players can say. Hopefully they do rise to the occassion and complete the transition, but as of now, and despite his flaws, Guendouzi is more of a first team player than any of our academy players are.

          6. Guendouzi is a good player and he does his best and gives his all in every match he played. I can never fault his workrate and passion. Im also impressed with his mentality. The four players I mentioned haven’t got the same game time he’s had though. Even if all four don’t play for Arsenal one day I still believe they will all surpass him. At least with saka,Nelson and Nketiah Im confident of that. As of now we will all just watch and see what happens.

  9. Yet another hard watch and comical defending. What is it with our players and the lack of fight, yes we came back from 2 down but upto 2 down we were lathargic and slow. We should want to win every game regardless but we were so negative for 75 mins.

    1. Yes Sue he did well and good to see a positive comment after all the moaning minnies on here with another one below 🤦‍♂️

      1. GB, you complained about the whole club last match… a match that we WON, so you’re not really one to be lecturing others about positive comments.

        1. Not lecturing just can’t understand all the negative comments. Yes we won the last game but apart from 10 minutes it was acknowledged as one of the worst games ever seen. At least this game was entertaining and everyone tried from start to finish.
          Anyway, just my opinions, but I accept your opinion none the less.

    2. Saka created more assists than other Gunners, because he could create more crosses. Ozil also made many assists from crossing in Real Madrid and in his peak season at Arsenal, but he is stuck in the middle nowadays

      De Bruyne and Silva have been making a lot of assists from the wings as well, since last season. This is because they play as half-wingers and swap their positions frequently with Man City wide players

      Arsenal should try to play with mezzalas like Man City sometimes. I believe Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Ozil and Smith-Rowe could play well in that role

  10. Awful to watch, defending non existent, lacking passion, a decent opposition would have punished arsenal severely.

  11. What baffles me is how some fans here still blame Arsene Wenger. The biggest plroblem with us is that we don’t know how to move on. I bet this time next year Emry will still be mentioned here.

  12. In spite of the formation, whatever it was, we can argue 3 4.3 or 3.4 2.1, there were still massive holes in midfield, we gave the ball away countless times, and we just let them run at us again. I agree that Guendouzi is regressing with every game, and unfortunately Willock is going the same way. Saka was excellent.

    An orthodox 4.3.3 with AMN at RB would have been better to start with.

    1. 4-3-3 has to be introduced gradually, because the Gunners are more accustomed to 4-2-3-1

      I believe Maitland-Niles would thrive as one of the CMs in 4-3-3 formation

      1. I honestly think all the talk of formation is part true but if your an intelligent, aware and quality football player you’ll stand a chance of playing in most positions or formations.
        I often think the tactical discussions are just fans way of denial in the fact that their players just arent good enough singly and/or as a unit.

        1. I agree.
          Formations and team selection is largely irrelevant.
          Once the game starts players are all over the field.
          Individual’s talent determine player effectiveness.
          Scoring and conceding goals is down to two factors
          1. A Player’s talent or lack there of
          2. Luck.
          442,4321, 0911, 3332, 111111111111… its all hogwash.

      2. I don’t think they are used to ANY formation because it changes every week. Point is, with our crappy defensive structure, 3 at the back is asking for trouble. So go for 4 2 2 2 or 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 or 4 6 if you want, but have 4 at the back.

  13. I was looking forward to seeing the kids play but that was utter dross!
    No one moving off the ball and showing for david luiz!
    Anyone else notice that we seemed to all be wearing the wrong boots…..even after half time. #amateur stuff

  14. Why was James Olayinka who plays expansive football not given a chance to play in the match at least if as a substitute to come on into the match in the 2nd half? And by the way, why was Burton not in the squad for the match? Is it because he missed his own spot kick for Arsenal in the penalty shoot out against Real Madrid in the last ICC match in the USA? A match which Arsenal lost to RM on penalty shoot out. Watching Burton played in that AFC vs RM match in that last ICC football games, L think he played strongly in the match and direct football too for Arsenal on that day.

  15. I dont see anything to debate here.
    Lack of movement, effort, desire, football intelligence, quality, strength, organisation, leadership/vocality etc etc
    RIP it up and start again!
    Buy enough below par for Arsenal 0layers and this is.what you get.
    Sides usually try to slowly improve across the squad we seem to be doing the opposite. Remember how arteta used to.get a kicking for too many side to side passes and for not being good enough well compare him to this lot, sold iwobi sold gabriel nd bought luiz and sokratis!! I.mean who making these decisions?

    1. I watched the game and I thought we were rubbish! The defense is and will continue to be a joke. I’ve said on here before that certain players need to take a good look at themselves and decide whether they want to be arsenal players or not! Saka played well and martinelli put a shift in.

  16. I dont think even george Graham would get that defense to stop leaking goals .
    Or first choice defenders are not good enough bar Tierney ,over the last few years of buying defenders by previous managers was terrible.
    Bellerin (he has lost his pace and he cant defend..
    Chambers..(he has no pace and is better at CDM…
    Sokaterse ..(better at wrestling..
    Mavro..(cant stay fit and nothing special..
    Kolas.._(cant defend and cant cross..
    Tierney (something about him I think he will make it…

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors