The winners and losers from Arsenal’s statement win over Liverpool

Statement victory from Arsenal by Konstantin Mitov
Well lovely Arsenal people, if you told me before the season started that we’d be sitting top of the league 9 games in, having just beaten Liverpool, I would’ve laughed out loud. I was weary of this game, because of our history in this fixture.
But, what a turnaround! We reversed losses at places like Palace and Brentford, we survived scares against teams like Villa and Fulham, we beat Spurs, but this one… This one sticks out massively for me. It has a massive psychological impact for a team so young.
Honestly it was a great game of football. Early goals, comebacks, penalties, players arguing. It had it all, but for once things went our way. Remember last year Laca was 1:1 with Alisson at 0:0 and he missed. Today we were clinical.
We were second best in the first half, but we pounced in the first and last minute of the half to go to the break 2:1 up, even though we didn’t deserve it. In the second half we came out flying. We should’ve been 3:1 up when for once Odegaard decided to shoot, but it was a tame effort straight at their GK.
Then that guy Firmino again. It was honestly poor from us, two passes took out our midfield and defense entirely, than Ramsdale was too far out and nowhere near to save a good finish in the bottom corner. I was having flashbacks… Here we go again – Firmino, then maybe Jota again, or Salah…
But we actually remained the better team and got a penalty. By today standards that 100% is a pen. I’ve seen Tottenham given pens against us for much less. Jesus was first to the ball, Thiago hit his leg and that’s that for me. Up steps Saka and… He scores!
I was initially nervous, but at minute 82 I felt like we aren’t going to concede. It’s a very strange feeling for an Arsenal fan used to getting battered by Liverpool, but I actually wasn’t too worried.
Maybe it was the atmosphere, or maybe Klopp’s surprisingly negative subs and their poor form gave me the confidence that we’d win, and we did and I punched the air with a winning fist and I am simply loving life…
If I can just finish with some winners and losers from this game. It’s obvious from the moon that Martinelli made Trent look so bad, he was subbed at half time. The guy is my favorite Arsenal player and his energy is just electric. The guy gives me vibes I haven’t felt since Alexis.
The other obvious winner is Bukayo Saka. Some people think he’s had not such a great season, but the reality is very different. We’re simply not a team that’s overdepending on him anymore. Shout out to Jesus for that, who was superb again. That penalty was heavy and the guy was ice cool. After all that’s happened. My god, the guy is 21, we sometimes forget. Same for Gabi M.
And the final winners were the two full backs. Ben White at RB looks every inch a 50 mil pound player. But Takehiro Tomiyasu at LEFT back, when Tierney is available? An Arteta masterstroke! Something you’d deem unthinkable last year. Salah is still drying in his pocket.
The losers front sees a familiar face though in Gabriel. Their first goal was poor. Another mistake in a tight game. It seems like most of our defenders can play anywhere along the back 4, and I’m hearing shouts from Tomi to step in as CB, and Tierney/Zinny to go left, to give Gabriel a break.
The other loser for me is a little far fetched, but Martin Odegaard hasn’t been that great and Fabio Vieira is knocking on the door. We should’ve been 3:1 up in the second half, that miss could’ve cost us. I’ve seen Vieira bang them in from further back and his assists for Holding’s goal in the EL was mustard. Odegaard is a player Arteta likes and he’s now captain, but I’m looking at Fabio and I want him in!
That said, just amazing from the boys. I am buzzing. We are top of the league and we deserve it. You see the difference between us and the likes of Spurs. Today was probably our worst first half of football and we still finished 2:1 up. When Conte does it at Spurs, people talk about “mentality”, when in reality it’s getting away with poor performances. We actually raised our level in the second half and dominated them.
It’s a massive win for us. 14 points ahead of Liverpool after 9 games, unbelievable. Even the Arsenal haters are running out of straws to grasp at. The season is long and I’m not getting carried away with title talks and so on. City remain clear favorites for that, but even Pep, albeit obviously puting some mind games in it, said that we are the best team so far. And when Pep speaks, football listens.
We’ll only see how good we’ve been in May, but so far, we are on road to regaining our fear factor. Teams no longer want to play soft old Arsenal, because we’ve become resilient. I think the painful end of last season has become the fuel of our fire.
Long may it last people, long may it last.
Konstantin

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17 Comments

  1. I seriously don’t know how we lost to Man United.. That game still irritates the hell out of me. It was a Hit and Grab for United..

    But I hope our boys keep fighting hard. The mentality, togetherness, Fight and passion running through the team is unbelievable. I have never seen the Emirates this loud. Our stadiums (Highbury and The Emirates) have been labelled as “The Library” for all this time but since last season the atmosphere just keeps giving me goosebumps..

    And our Away fans as always are amazing..

    Lets keep our feet firmly on the ground and take it step by step.. We will go through some bad form / lose a few games as the season progresses but hope we can keep showing this fight and passion..

  2. Tomiyasu’s starting role was actually for technical reasons.
    I think this is why we’ll always be fans analyzing and make calls from our couch while the actual managers are paid to take note of things.
    Tomiyasu is ambidextrous, and he’s usually hard to beat 1v1, he’s of our best defenders defending a 1v1, but it’s his ambidextrousness that’s the main reason he was used as a LB.
    You can’t cut in to his right because his right side also strong if he were to turn, so is his left side.
    Arteta did the same thing with AMN in the community shield final.
    Played an ambidextrous AMN against Salah, who also kept Salah quiet.
    Also, Toni’s two footedness makes it easy for us to keep possession of the ball and beat the press as he’s very good with both foot when picking a pass.
    That was a smart move, so fair play to Arteta.

    Now I actually understand why Arteta was trying to get in Martinez, but nevertheless less, yes I’d like to see Gabriel sit out against Leeds and Tomi starting as the LCB.
    Gabriel will get back in, but drop him for a while, let him get his focus back because this is the third error in 9 games this season already. It’s disturbing, keep him away from the firing line. So far, he’s appeared to be our only weakness.
    I also think Klopp is at fault for Trent’s struggles, we know these guys are class but there are times when you should pull them back a little when they’re low on confidence, protect them, keep them away from the firing squad till they find their confidence back.
    Arteta needs to sit Gabriel down soon if he’ll keep making silly errors.

    Also yeah, Pep was right, we’ve actually played too well all season, even when we lost against United.
    I can’t believe I’ll say it, but Yesterday’s performance was our worst league performance this season, especially in the first half. We weren’t even at our best. I don’t know if it was tactical to conserve energy and not press Liverpool in the first half or it was that mental block that allowed us struggled until after the first half.
    This is good, next week Sunday I’ll be rooting for Liverpool against City.
    Make no mistake, Leeds away is a very tough place to go now.
    I hope we do to them what we did to Brentford.

    P. S: Aubameyang only disgraced himself and has proven Arteta to be right for binning him out.
    Hell those boys he termed as kids who just listen without saying anything have all came out in the past to say how much the manager helps them when they listen to him. Guess what squad is playing the best football in the league? Those same kids he disrespected that way.
    Dortmund tried to warm us.
    Ozil had worse treatment and never came out to make sour statements, yesterday he even cheered for the team and one of those KIDS Saka.
    I’m a happy fan

  3. A statement win by Arsenal that will send a strong message throughout the league.

    The gaffer outsmart Klopp, won the mind game and covers his self in glory and I will tell you why.

    Klopp plan suprise of starting one of the world most accomplished midfielder Thiago, that he claims was a doubt and wasn’t able to train was neutralized.
    The plan approach to hit Pool early and hard with the fast deadly becoming Brazilian was a brilliant idea as it not only unsettles the opponent but changes their game plan.

    The deadly counter attack on the stroke of half was not only timely, but completely change Pool half time talk.

    Using Tomi and Ben White as the two full backs was a masterstroke, as it resulted in their goal God Sala been haul off, as he was kept deep in Tomi back pocket.

    But the game was won by our two midfield generals, straight from Man City text book, Partey and Xhaka dictates how and where the ball must played by keepng entirely switch on with timely interventions and professional goals, this is an art city has perfect.

    In all fairness Pool did come alive as they always do against us, but the gaffer was hungrier and wanted blood.

  4. Martinelli seems to put in extra effort at big games. I bet he’s been working very hard to achieve the high level and hopefully it motivates Nelson/ Smith-Rowe to train harder

    I noticed Tomiyasu didn’t dare to make forward passes using his weaker foot yesterday, unlike when he played LB against Bodo/Glimt. He played well defensively, but I think he needs more time to improve his offensive passes/ moves in the LB position

    It was a great victory, despite the controversies and our inability to dictate the tempo in the first half. Can’t wait to watch our “B” team play in Norway

      1. Tomiyasu made forward passes mostly using his right foot, so they weren’t as penetrating as the ones he made against Bodo/Glimt

          1. Yeah, Salah couldn’t get past him and he won many aerial duels. I guess Arteta fielded him to add more protection in our defending set-pieces, because Matip and Van Dijk are so tall

            1. You are right. I think the reasoning for Tomiyasu over Tierney is because Salah always receives long balls to run at defenders. With Tomiyasu getting all the long balls, Salah was exposed technically. He is just fast, nothing else.

  5. Am reliably informed Salah is still missing and the suspect is Tomiyasu. The police suspect he is still in Tomi’s pockets.

  6. Tomi is a natural centre back, where he usually plays for Japan , but because of his defensive ability, and being comfortable on either foot, he can slot into any position in a back four.He is excellent in the air and great in one on one situations.In his direct confrontations with Salah yesterday he was 7 -1 up before the winger was correctly taken off.Now that he is match fit Tomi should be a first choice pick instead of the error prone Gabriel who by my calculations has been directly involved in the loss of 5 goals in our 9 league matches.A back four of White, Saliba,Tomi and Tierney covers all the angles for me.

  7. Great comments, but Odegaard had a better game than you give him credit for. Yeah, Gabriel looks low on confidence. But every time the guy makes a big mistake, the team rallies and wins. I wouldn’t “demote” him, but he does need to be rotated out, even in Premier League matches.

    Our depth is frightening. No Zinchenko, no problem. When ESR recovers from surgery and gets match fit again, we can give Martinelli a break and still have a real threat out left.

  8. For me, Gabriel is our weakest link. He is prone to mistakes. Arteta should find a solution to that position. If we were to go far, the Coach should make prompt changes. Some body should tell Martinelli that he should release the ball faster so as to protect himself. Finally, Odegaard should know when to shoot and when to pass the ball. Congratulations Gunner’s.

  9. Odegaard is pure class, you need to watch him properly, he makes the team tick, but it’s your opinion. Interesting to see what Henderson said to Gabriel and for once Xhaka didn’t completely lose it, a bit of handbags, last season he would have gotten too involved and been sent off. We deserve that win, this is a team moving up, no talk of title, and no need top four is the main objective. Some good signings in January and the Summer then maybe we can start to challenge

  10. Well, after such an enthralling game, where both teams played some really good football, we came out on top, I believe, because of our non-stop effort and commitment (and our ability).

    We have 6 more EPL matches before the World Cup break, 5 of which should be winnable, assuming we continue to play like we did against Liverpool.

    The problem one is away to Chelsea.

    As long as we sustain NO significant injuries, we could still be top at the break!! Wouldn’t that get up some pundit’s noses

    Incidentally, our prize for beating Liverpool is a trip to the Arctic Circle, and a possible Glimt of the Norther Lights.

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