Lessons Learned: Arsenal FA Cup

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Unforgettable Victory at The Emirates

Well that was some cup tie eh lads?!?! If you’d have said we’d have gone to The Emirates last season and won 2-0 with Van Dijk and Salah they’d have rang for the white coats. These purples are very different though and the subs again played their part as we move into the hat for the next round. They watered the pitch this time and Arsenal regretted passing up chance after chance in the first half, but we know what happens late on. The travelling kop were again superb and rewarded for their fine voice as we look at the lessons learned from this one.

Standout Performances: Trent and Ibou

They were obsessed by Martinelli going past him late on, but we know just how good Trent was in this one. The most recoveries (9), the second most successful duels (6) and the assist for Kiwor’s thumping header. A real captains performance. He was only bettered by the best French centre back in the league as Ibou proved man of the match and lead Quansah through that game. More importantly he made key block after block, especially when Arsenal seemed certain to score. He was sensational in this fixture at Anfield in December and you suspect Arteta maybe playing saliba his highlights to help him improve. Please just stay fit Ibou.

Tactical Brilliance: Klopp’s Substitutions

In truth some of the starters were lucky to see as long as they did, but the subs made a huge impact. Elliott and Gakpo just didn’t work in midfield or in the forward line and the introduction of Gravenberch and Jota gave the reds a real impetus. Jota especially through the middle with his game intelligence and the South American pace merchants either side gave Arsenal a real threat to deal with. However, special praise should be held back for Bradley and Clark. The Northern Irish youngster bossed Martinelli and was worth every high five he earnt from Trent and Ibou. Clark did well and a smart foul was worth a 7/10 alone. You’ll be pulling them down off the ceiling tonight and quite rightly.

The Resurgence of Diaz

There’s been questions galore about Luis Diaz in recent months and it’s understandable truth be told. However, he’s just starting to look like the player of old, beating men, running hard and making things happen. He followed the assist against Burnley and brilliant performance against Newcastle with a stunning strike at the death in this one. It probably turned his match rating from a 6 to an 8 but it felt another step in the right direction. He and Nunez fumbled their lines at key points, but Darwin’s celebrations at the end was maybe the best performance we saw all day. We’ll need both for the period Mo is away.

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