Arsenal 3 – 1 Liverpool – The Postmortem 

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Arsenal’s Triumph Over Liverpool: A Comprehensive Breakdown

Introduction: A Tough Day at the Emirates

Arsenal 3 – 1 Liverpool – The Postmortem

The Sunday afternoon defeat was an almost inevitable result, given that this was Liverpool’s third game in seven days and seven in a little over a month. During that period, Arsenal had played just three games and looked ferocious from the moment that the opening bell rang. When you combine energy and purpose with a full roster of desired talent, a home win was always on the cards when you considered the elite players that were missing from the Liverpool squad.

The result of this Premier League season will not be defined by this 3-1 defeat at the Emirates; however, it most certainly muddied the footballing waters.

Photo by IMAGO

Below is how the team lined up, with match details following.

The Starting Eleven
GK – Alisson Becker
RB – Trent Alexander Arnold
RCB – Ibrahima Konaté
LCB – Virgil van Dijk (c)
LB – Joe Gomez
RCM – Ryan Gravenberch
CDM – Alexis Mac Allister
LCM – Curtis Jones
RF – Cody Gakpo
CF – Diogo Jota
LF – Luis Díaz

Subs
Darwin Núñez – Cody Gakpo (58 mins)
Harvey Elliott – Ryan Gravenberch (58 mins)
Andy Robertson – Trent Alexander Arnold (58 mins)
Thiago Alcântara – Joe Gomez (85 mins)

Red Card
Ibrahima Konaté – 88 mins (two bookings)

Goals

Arsenal 1 – 0 Liverpool
Bukayo Saka – 14 mins

Arsenal 1 – 1 Liverpool
Gabriel Magalhães (Own Goal) 45+3 mins

Arsenal 2 – 1 Liverpool
Gabriel Martinelli – 67 mins

Arsenal 3 – 1 Liverpool
Leandro Trossard (Jakub Kiwior) 90+3 mins

Important Match Stats

Possession
Arsenal 43% – 57% Liverpool

Total Shots
Arsenal 15 – 10 Liverpool

Crosses
Arsenal 12 – 20 Liverpool

Crosses
Arsenal 4 – 0 Liverpool

Corner Kicks
Arsenal 2 – 4 Liverpool

Key Moments and Match Dynamics

Initial Setup and Early Arsenal Dominance

The opening period of this game saw the Gunners thrust their intentions into the face of a rundown Liverpool side, in much the same way that the Reds had themselves, on Wednesday against Chelsea. The reds were pinned back and outmanoeuvred for that initial spell until something gave way, which was the concentration needed to keep the scores level. A slightly jagged defensive line allowed Kai Havertz to cut through the mid-block and onto an awaiting Alisson Becker. The Brazilian stopper did what he does so well, yet the save only saw the ball land at the feet of Bukayo Saka, who calmly slotted the ball into an empty net.

The continuing efforts of Mikel Arteta’s side made the encounter very one-sided, yet that second goal continued to remain elusive for the Spanish manager. The combative nature and intensity of the visitor’s display were tired and lacklustre, which only increased the noise and expectation within the North London stadium. Eventually, that second goal arrived, courtesy of the host’s Brazilian central defender, Gabriel Magalhães. The only issue was, that the scores shifted to 1-1 instead of 2-0, as that finish was an own goal which came very much against the run of the entire first-half play. After a decent lofted through ball from Ryan Gravenberch, Luis Díaz was able to chase down and harass until a weak effort deflected into the net (very slowly) off the hand of the distraught defender. The first half was just about over and the noise within the marvellous capital stadium had disappeared.

1-1 was the score line and the consensus was that the hosts may have missed their opportunity.

Second Half Adjustments and Final Outcome

On resumption of the second half, no changes were made by Jürgen Klopp, with the tone of the half-time discussion perhaps heated. A new vibrancy and enthusiasm were apparent from the moment the game restarted, as the Reds looked to take advantage of a score line, they in no way deserved. As the screw began to be turned and brief domination ensued, the Reds German manager made the changes designed to add more urgency to the fold. Unfortunately for the efforts and ideas of an unlikely comeback, a horrible moment allowed Arsenal to regain their lead, due to a horrible defensive decision by Virgil van Dijk and some horrible positioning by his giant keeper. The moment does not need to be fully relived, as Gabriel Martinelli was the next player gifted an open goal to take his team back into a lead.

Photo by IMAGO

As the excitement of the support re-emerged, so did the form of the team in the ascendancy. A back-and-forth approach was well contained by both sides until a final throw of the dice enabled Thiago Alcântara to come onto the pitch after nearly a year on the injury list. Even the introduction of the all-time great could not conjure up what was needed, however, his magical abilities were present to see Ibrahima Konaté disappear, as the Frenchman was sent off for two bookable offences. The second yellow card was harsh and allowed the game to end as a contest, which halted the incoming flurry of late chances. To add insult to injury, Alison Becker was nutmegged by serial scorer (against the Reds anyway) Leandro Trossard to round off a very disappointing game.

Reflections and Looking Forward

This was a very tough watch, as Arsenal revelled in their victory like they had won the World Cup. The debut of Mikel Arteta and his awkward fist pumps (to the crowd) was no doubt used to antagonize his defeated counterpart, in a sign of juvenile disrespect from the still novice manager. This result gave Manchester City a chance to reignite their title charge and the gunners to maintain their fight for a top-four finish.

Moving Beyond the Emirates Defeat

The Reds were largely awful and deserved to lose due to a lethargic display and some horrid defensive errors. The season is fast approaching the home straight and to finish above Pep Guardiola’s men is still the primary objective, no matter how many badly impersonated fish pumps are delivered.

Burnley arrive at Anfield next weekend, with some elite players set to return.

Pre-game prediction;
Arsenal 2 – 2 Arsenal

Steven Smith

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