Superb fighting performance from Arsenal earned a deserved draw

Arsenal put up a fighting performance to earn a point. by Konstantin Mitov

Hello again, lovely Arsenal ladies and gentlemen. We played Liverpool at home and earned a deserved draw, but I was really impressed with the team today. It was a double edged game, that could’ve gone both ways, but what i really enjoyed was the fact we imposed our own style on the game for large periods and played some of the best football I’ve seen someone play against them.

We actually started the game at the right pace and had the first chance when Mikhi’s header failed to enter the empty net. Then we had our usual defensive scares. We allowed quite a few long passes to Salah on the wing and we were lucky to survive a Mane goal that was disallowed. Later we needed Leno to make a great save from Van Dijk to survive goalless at half time.

We started the second period better and conceded when we least deserved, but got punished when we allowed Mane to go past Bellerin and then Leno maybe made a mistake by trying to punch the ball away and Milner found the empty net. This caused a disruption to our game, but we rode the storm and managed to pick ourselves up.

We made offensive subs that gave results when Iwobi’s forward pass found Lacazette who was faster than Alison and scored a beauty in the far corner. Then we had a little impulse but failed to impose enough to get another goal and it ended 1:1.

What made a huge impression on me before the game was Emery’s calmness at the press conference. In recent years, our top 6 record has been so poor that every game like this was the real test as this one was too. But the players seemed to have responded to this as we tried to play our own style and some players were exceptional I thought.

Lucas Torreira is such a gem player. The kind of player we’ve been missing since Gilberto. Next to him Xhaka was sublime. I haven’t been his biggest fan since he arrived, but now that Torreira is next to him it’s such a difference. This was some of the best we’ve seen from him.

I thought the defence was good too. I like many hoped Sokratis would replace Mustafi, but the German was actually pretty good on the day. And Holding next to him is such a treat to see. I must admit that Bellerin is also picking up the gears and it was only Kolasinac who was really struggling for portions of the game.

The poorest performance on the pitch was Mhki though as he misplaced some passes and missed some good chances that fell for him and who knows what it could’ve been had we taken the lead, but all in all we showed character and we were in the game. Last season we would’ve slumped the moment we conceded, but this game was different and hopefully it will be a sign of things to come in the future against the top 6.

Big shout outs should go to Unai Emery for embracing the crowd. The Emirates has too often been a quiet ground, but the boss really engaged the fans and you could feel the response. This is an important point that keeps our unbeaten run going and we must remember that we’re still in the start of our rebuilding process and it won’t be a days job.

Targeting to overtake Liverpool this season is asking for quite something considering where we were last year, the fact that Klopp took 3 years to build this team and he spent our entire summer budget on a keeper alone. We’re in a race with Spurs and United for fourth and sadly they made some ground up, but we must keep working hard.

We can finish our Europa League job on Thursday and we should take confidence from this performance and move on.



    1. i agree – in fact on form he’s a fine player easily able to make transition from defence into attack. there was concern over who was going to play LB (yesterday). So many fans where suggesting AMN come back, following a layoff, only to be handed the yoke of trying to manage mo salah. I’m so glad emery opted to go with kolasinac, the tank.

      Fact being, as soon as i saw his name called (thereby dispelling all the surrounding uncertainty) it was clear we were going into yesterdays game in a position of strength against l’pool with our best LB of international renown kolasinac – the very best available option. Never underrate or rule out the potential of this fearless guy. Yesterday he put in a shift, he performed.

  1. The next few games will be good practice before meeting Tottenham and Man United

    Then the transfer speculations will be rampant again and hopefully Arsenal do not need to call Nelson back

  2. We just need to keep working……

    We starting to the see match fitness build up and get better, we had more sprints and distanced covered than Pool last night, but we also came out with a result. Which we can say is a fantastic day for the boys.

    Yes a win would have taken the heads off the shoulders of our player, which in my opinion is not important, because we need to be realistic in our development.

    And we doing exactly that. The coach is showing he’s not cared about anything else but improving.

    So happy, and I could see the fans at the Emirates is united again. This is great and what football is about.

  3. I laughed when Merson said we would get thrashed, and last night we had the last laugh once again.

    We not that team anymore. That’s what I’m most proud of at this moment.

    Not cared about other teams or being title contenders, I care about the team and the badge more right now.

    That’s the foundation in which we will build on.

    We bringing the pride back. The players have taken a good account of themselves.

    The coach is not just a manager, he’s influential and a tactician.

    These are all the things we can be proud of.

    THE ARSENAL should be a honor to play for, feared to play against and proud to be apart of.

    1. I think that can play into a teams favor, when the media speak like that before a game. It gives players an extra reason, or at least it can’t take away from their desire or purpose. Liv on the other hand, they love being the underdog, allot of the time that is when you see them really click up front. Expectations can be difficult, you can see that the Liv players have been effected by them. Not just Salah, even the new players are playing within themselves and Klopp players aren’t usually like that, they are usually more fearless. They have been getting the points all the same, but I’d say they were luckier than us but the media is saying one thing for them but another for us. Someone mentioned the same before our game, about the media and how everyone is treated differently. This one time I didn’t mind Merson saying what he said because it was before the game, and the more goals the better because Liv forwards will be hearing an Arsenal man telling the fans that these strikers are gonna run riot over us. I was actually glad of it and I expected Thomo to try and balance it somewhat, defuse it, but he’s a liv guy so he had the ego to match. Now I know that I will never know if any of this even meant anything in the slightest to the players/game, I wasn’t bothered by it all the same. If it was Barcelona or Real, Bayern, it’d be different, I just feel that Klopp and Liv prefer to manage expectations rather than feeling superior.

      1. That’s a very interesting and insightful line of thought. Liverpool, for many reasons, are very comfortable within a siege mentality ‘Downtrodden but plucky’ works for them, so, yes, I think you are correct. Klopp, who is a highly skilled and personable manager, very astutely plays into that mindset as often as possible.

    2. On Merson , the only time to worry is when he thinks we we win. He has got everything else wrong in his life and is a buffoon. Oh, and a Chelsea fan as well.

  4. I am so happy with the team’s performance… there were so many positives. I can’t fault any of them! So happy to see The Tank back ?
    Laca’s goal was amazing ?
    Thank you Unai ?????

    1. Oh Really?…at this point – after the new player has barely played ten full games in our shirt – your comment is infantile, your comparison is immeasurable, it’s naive and unnecessarily controversial.

    2. Come on Innit! Aren’t you getting carried away a bit? Gilberto was a true giant and Torreira has hardly started yet. He was not called the wall for no reason!

  5. Ok, guys honestly speaking that was the best surprises performance i have ever seen from Arsenal in recent years. With the exceptions of Miki, the rest were mavourous. I like the speed and work rates of our 2strikers, Auba and Laca caused a lot of problems and Ozil did a lot, Torrerra just wawoo, he is in with Ngolo Kante.

    This is very close from wining the EPL, with two signings preferably from Napoli; Isigne and Martens replacing Miki and Ramsey and may be one more defender, though many of what we have are keeping improving, we have seen Mustafi, Holding, Berrerllin are playing well.

  6. its a very good results indeed considering we spend 70m on 6 players….

    Lacazette and Auba are 30 goals strikers…we have the firepower to fight

    In Emery we trust!!

  7. “Big shout outs should go to Unai Emery for embracing the crowd. The Emirates has too often been a quiet ground, but the boss really engaged the fans” ends quote. It was wonderful indeed to see the passion on display with our new manager who we’re told (a few blogs back) sees positives in some aspects of the l’pool set up. Well found the way he engaged the crowd (yesterday) to be nothing short of a breath of fresh air. And equally impressive was the fans willingness to respond. I don’t know how many, here, have had occasion to attend an away game at anfield but commonly held is that the l’pool fans support is a spectacle and arguably unequalled because of their historic sectarianisms that underpins their approach and following at matches – i’m saying Emery certainly has the right idea when clearly he sees fit to arouse the passion of the arsenal teams twelfth man. Profoundly effective and it’s good to see (imo).

  8. Good article Konstantin and I agree with everything you said except perhaps Kolasinac was slightly better than you thought. Off topic but I’m not sure it’s PC these days to address your article to just Ladies and Gentlemen as you’ll have the LGBT brigade after you ?

  9. Great fight, great positive suprise to me about Mustafi and Kolasinac. Everybody played how we all missed for the last tenish years… and of course only player on the pitch who didnt deserve to be there and had no influence on the game – ramsey.
    We have to admit that we ve been lucky but even my Liverpool friends are saying that we deserved a draw. Of course, I though that we will win at the end, but ok lets try to play more future games as possible on that level.
    Bravo Emery, bravo Arsenal, bravo fans!

  10. ‘Ladies and gentlemen’, the only lady here is Sue. Anyway everyone performed well but Mkhi could have done more sometimes he is a bit lazy or unwilling to mark.Iwobi should have come in at halftime.

    1. …and on another day Mkhi will be the player we’re all raving about (without a shadow of doubt): so seeing as something has being lacking in his game we’d do well to stay off his back in the knowledge he’s sure to have his defining moment in an arsenal shirt. I suspect he’s better placed to know the movement and momentum of auba than anyone being as the two have played years in the same side. Let’s not despair the player will come good, we’re 15 games unbeaten and he is part of the picture.

    2. Mkhi started cold but he rised his game for the most of the game he played,and was substituted cos of tactical change.

    3. That is now two on here who have told off Konstantin for using “Ladies and Gentlemen”. Ever heard of freedom of speech and to write as you wish, provided it is clean and non hateful? And it was not. Konstantin , if you read this post, I think Ladies and Gentlemen is fine. AND GOONA, HOW DO YOU KNOW THE GENDER OF ALL WHO READ ON HERE? I DON’T AND I SUGGEST YOU DON’T EITHER. Not all who read , choose to post.

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