Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Wilshere, Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette
Subs: Ospina, Mustafi, Coquelin, Elneny, Kolasinac, Welbeck, Walcott
Arsenal and Liverpool produced a genuine Christmas cracker with a 3-3 draw at the Emirates tonight.
Arsene Wenger kept the back four, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left back, a brave move considering his relative inexperience and the quality of the opposition he’d be facing.
Arsenal had the first two efforts on goal, a Sanchez shot blocked on the edge of the box and Xhaka following up couldn’t find enough power with his sidefoot.
The visitors were forced into an early change when Jordan Henderson pulled a hamstring in the 9th minute, and he was replaced by James Milner. Coutinho had their first attempt, curling wide with his left foot, before Koscielny had to make a superb intervention after a dangerous low cross from the left came skidding towards our six yard box.
Petr Cech was forced into a save at his far post when a Robertson cross found Firmino but the Arsenal keeper was equal to the header. A smart touch from Lacazette then almost created something for Sanchez, and almost straight away a repeat of the back post cross saw Firmino head just wide.
The warning signs were there, and a minute later Liverpool were ahead. Maitland-Niles got dragged into midfied, Salah ran off the back of him, and although he was faced with Koscielny he got a cross in which deflected off the Arsenal captain, and Coutinho reacted first to nod over Cech in the 26th minute. 0-1.
The Gunners looked to respond, but Lacazette’s shot was blocked after his quick turn. Mane had a shot deflected into the arms of Cech, and the lead was almost doubled when Firmino cut inside and curled a stinging shot just over the bar. A clever free kick opened us up but Lovren couldn’t find the right touch, and Jurgen Klopp’s team were very much on top.
An opportunity from a free kick came to nothing when Ozil’s shot deflected wide off the Liverpool wall, before a mix-up at the saw Coutinho almost get all the way through until Koscielny and Cech mopped up.
Wilshere almost set up Lacazette but the striker was crowded out, and at the other end Cech pulled off a huge save to deny Salah after Koscielny slipped, and the rebound was acrobatically put just over by Mane. Arsenal were at sixes and sevens, and were let off again when Salah kicked air rather than the ball when fed in the box by Mane.
That the first half ended with Liverpool only having a one goal lead was something of a miracle, and the second began with a change as Shkodran Mustafi replaced Nacho Monreal who had picked up a knock during the first period.
A terrible Sanchez corner provided the Mugsmashers a glorious counter-attacking opportunity which ended with a Salah shot that Cech saved. The Egyptian wasn’t to be denied though. Arsenal lost the ball high up the pitch, Liverpool came steaming forward, Firmino played in Salah whose shot took a deflection off Mustafi and nestled perfectly into the bottom corner. 0-2.
It needed a quick response from the Gunners and we saw just that. Arsenal shifted it wide, Bellerin crossed to the back post and Sanchez attacked the ball beautifully to get ahead of the defender and nod home from close range. 1-2.
Amazingly, Arsenal got level just moments later. Xhaka picked the ball up in midfield, and unleashed an absolute screamer right down the middle, and while the shot was powerful Mignolet should have done better but who cares about him? 2-2.
Iwobi picked up a yellow card for a foul on Mane, and then incredibly we scored again. Ozil combined with Lacazette, the Frenchman slipped the ball behind the keeper for the German to run onto, and he pulled off that special finish, knocking it into the ground and over the keeper to make it 3-2.
Cech was the hero again when Mane was left free at the back post, but the keeper made a good save. Another Bellerin cross provided Lacazette with a chance but great defending saw some twat poke the ball over before he could finish.
Liverpool still looked dangerous on the counter, but poor defending allowed them back into it. Alexis lost it needlessly to Salah, nobody closed down the player outside the box, Koscielny stepped out of position and Firmino’s shot was too powerful for Cech, despite getting a hand to it the ball rebounded up and into the net. 3-3.
Bellerin forced Mignolet into a save before a second substitution was made with Danny Welbeck replacing Iwobi in the 78th minute. Alexis almost caught Mignolet out at his near post, and with 7 minutes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned to the Emirates pitch to a crescendo of boos.
Salah fired wide again, Walcott came on for Alexis with two minutes left on the clock, and the game entered four minutes of added time at the end with the scores still level.
In spite of both teams having late corners there was no real danger, and Ozil’s flashing drive was the last chance.
It was hard to complain about a point all things considered, and while it was good to see a reaction, the problems we have are obvious.
Anyway, happy Christmas everyone.
A glass case of emotions!
How can Arsenal be both so frustrating for almost all the game and so so beautiful for 10!?!?
We should have lost. We should have won.
I just don’t know any more how I should feel.
We conceded 4 goals earlier this season, and now we conceded 3! Wenger is completely clueless, he doesn’t know how to fix the defensive problem. Had they not squandered many many chances, we would have been conceded 5 or 6 goals in total! Poor Chech, played well but what else can he do? He doesn’t have enough protection from the defense.
Tragic defending from both teams, especially Arsenal. No discipline or common sense.
Agreed. I was at the stadium and after 50+ minutes and 0-2 down I am sitting there feeling miserable and cursing what a terrible team the Arsenal is and complaining about the quality of football we are playing. Before we finish our complaining the score was 3-2 and it got all so confusing. Guess this is how Luke felt when Darth Vader told Luke..I am your father!
Back four was rubbish
Average age of arsenal fans : 34 years
Seems more and more likely that Wenger will outlive most of us then with the kind of football he has made arsenal play..
We were absolute shambolic no doubt..so was mignolet thankgod..
I am sure a lot you would want to hide behind the what a game and what a comeback excuse, but honestly you need to look at what utter nonsense the defense is under Wenger. Liverpool score from two run of the mill breaks, and squandered more chances from breaks. Arsenal somehow find themselve not just back in the game, but in the lead and what does the defence do, you guessed it, offers up more cartoonish defending to let them equalise. This rubbish under Wenger has gone on for too long. He just doesn’t have what it takes to… Read more »
81st minute – Wilshere tracks back and robs Salah in our box.
Something you will NEVER see Ramsey doing.
Wilshere >> Ramsey
I love Jack & he did brilliantly to get back …and he then just booted the ball back to Liverpool & put us under pressure again. If that passage of play proved anything it is the lack of composure & game management in this side.
Wenger is done. A player like alexis who has been misplacing passes so poorly was last few games , any manager would have addressed that by dropping the player or make him approve. Today was his worst performance. We would have got battered if not for players taking the charge of the game themselves but still defending like its a friendly , we know its festive season but you dont give away goals. A team that used to pass so well cant even do a decent ten minuter of simple passes , there is a misplace pass every minute. No… Read more »
Shocking stuff again from the Chilean. He is like a puppy who just expresses his emotions with movement.
More desperation, more movement. But less discipline.
Someone needs to train him, not take him for walkies.
The opposition have noticed this and use his frustration to easily dispossess him and funnel all the play to one side of the pitch.
Without the balance on the right hand side, we are becoming too predictable, as Ozil comes over to the left for an overload and when we switch right, Iwobi will be on his own vs 3 defenders, we get countered…
Sanchez and Iwobi. Not just useless, but actually liabilities.
The price for having a one legged number 10
So was Cech. There was a time when a performance of that sort would get you benched / fired. Be it Jens.
Cech has been given enough. It’s time to move on.
Yes it’s so effing evident that sanchez has no motivation left playing for arsenal…And wilshere does everything that xhKa is capable and much more ..I dont get why many supporters are against wilshere-ramsey combination…surely it cant get any worse!
Ramsey in any midfield automatically makes it worse.
That was more of an lol than a like = agreement. Ramsey can play defense. Just not clear whether either he wants to or the manager wants him to.
Can’t take you seriously when you compare a bbm with dlp.and wilshere.yeah,he was decent.at best.watch the whole game dropping your wilshere daddy glass and you’ll see at least five times he got bullied of the ball and fair few wild challenges after losing positions and more often thn not being nowhere near ball.and he was culpable of bad decisions quite a few time as well.
He believes he is above the team ethic in possession. His flaws don’t really fit a possession style of play, which is why he was let go by Barcelona in the first place.
Robust performance 😀
holding/chambers in next one please…
I think failing to bring them in will send the wrong message that poor performances are ok, and that it doesn’t matter how poor the starters are the back ups ain’t going to play
That was fucked
wordy ‘strength of character’ interview imminent
Psychological damage from the united game? Can’t believe he is just stood between two pundits chatting shit
Considering the first half a decent result and, dare I say it, signs of life from our attackers.
How do you propose we resurrect the six feet under defence?
by showing togetherness, character and dedication… that’s how we solve things here .. 😀
Madness? THIS. IS. ARSENAL!
What an unbelievable character showed during the second half by the lads. Wilshere deserves a new contract right away. He’s my MOTM. Liverpool deserves a point for their effort.
Agreed Wiltshire is a hungry beast in midfield even beating players in the dying minutes of the game….
Yes, great character. 3-2 up, let in a stupid goal and spend the remaining 20 minutes too frightened to win a home game.
“Unbelievable character” they only conceded 2 goals
That was annoying
An immensely frustrating and brilliant (until they scored the equalizer the shitbags) game that was.
Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war… Jack is a dog of war. Jack fucking loves Arsenal.
Lacazette, Ozil and Sanchez had so much drive and passion tonight, and were looking really dangerous, such a shame we could not get the ball to them more.
Tonight showed that we NEED someone who can truly boss the midfield, is good on the ball, and get it forward to them quickly.
Transfer window is almost here, Arsene, Gazidis, Kroenke, you know what you need to do. Please do it.
Or a 3rd midfielder. We always play a midfield 2.
I would have taken a point before the game. I knew we weren’t going to hold onto the lead after we went 3-2 up. Kid had a nightmare. I hope we can keep Ozil. Let’s hope we beat Chelsea!
You watched the game and came to that conclusion?
I should be happy about the point but damn, we could have won it. Nice display from Wilshere. Sanchez is loosing so many balls.
could have lost it to
Sanchez needs to be benched. Can come on as an impact sub.
A fun game for sure and happy about the way we were able to bounce back.
The fact that yet again we had to bounce back is worrying though.
It was important not to lose. Slips and deflections, goddamnit
I guess you can call this game: “Who has the worst defence?”
This match looked to be one to decide whose defence was the most awful….. Great for the neutrals but there’s no way we can challenge for the league with this shambolic football Wenger provides; and yes it is him to blame, this is the same season after season.
Challenge for the league. We haven’t been serious challengers since 2007. Except for the season Leicester won , which we plundered away due to our love of dropping points against crap teams.
I know we haven’t; but we are a big enough club to at least challenge every season, or most seasons, like chelsea, united or city have been doing since we last won a league
Today’s game is the summary of both good and bad sides of Arsenal
There was nothing good. Just bad arsenal , bad mignolet. The five minute gameplay showed what can be achieved by good passing. 85 mins of bad .
That was a fluctuating cracker of a shot from Xhaka – take nothing away from his effort, please.
I don’t know which one i hate more , Sanchez , Wenger or Liverpool !
I just want Wenger and Sanchez out of our club.
We’re having one more season of “this” am afraid
Topsy turvy game… Nearly gave me a heart attack every time the Mugmashers counter attacked. But our 3 goals within a short spell in the second half was breathtaking stuff. A thunderbolt by Xhaka!
We were set up to concede with a 2 man midfield and a back 4. Why we don’t play a midfield 3 with one defensive player is a mystery.
I’ll take 1 point after being down 2-0.
Bench Sanchez if he doesn’t sign a contract, keeps losing the ball constantly. Cech looks worse every season.
AMN was good. As were Ozil and Wilshere.
We have to improve a lot to make the top 4 this season.
Cech needs some proper competition. He was shit for their third goal but guaranteed he starts again next week. Getting select regardless of performance is an ongoing theme at the moment.
Agree the same goes for Bellerin and Xhaka (though both were decent today). We lack depth in CB too and Holding/Chambers should get a run soon as Koscielny looks slow and Mustafi unreliable.
If the only other option is Ospina then you have to play Cech, regardless of form.
We did have another option. We sold him.
Thought Czech played well caught about 5 plus dangerous crosses and corners. Punched well from corners and made at least two v good saves on his near post. Alexis and kos fault for third goal losing ball and kos the goal scorer. Lee Dixon said he thought Czech played well also.
We showed guts as after the first half I thought we were gonna get hammered… Wiltshire and Ozil and Bellerin and Niles gave it there all
Proud to be gunner
What I want for “the Holidays”:
1. Put the tank out left
2. Start the kid in place of one of the interchangeable and not very good defenders Wilshire and Xakha
3. A back 4 with selection based on health.
4. Alexis to stop turning the ball over or never come deep.
Would like to see the kid a.m.n. In midfield like for England u20.
And buy Steven nzonzi fromseville to play d.m.
Sure, the fight back was great at the start of the second half, but I’m not sure how much pleasure I even take from that if we’re just gonna slip up defensively yet again to this team. At this point I really just want to feel happy at the end of a Liverpool game again. Can’t believe it’s been this long since our last win against them (the 4-1 back in 2014/15 I think).
Got away with murder to be honest. Lot of heart shown, especially 2nd half, but organisationally we are an absolute shambles.
Hardly any news to point out a DM should be top of our transfer list is there? It’s only been that way for about 10 years now….we all know Arsene has zero interest in doing anything about it.
But he bought Xhaka for £35m in theory to be a DM … just turns out he’s not good enough off the ball to do the job there.
Plus he also spent £35m on Mustafa. That’s £70m on two areas fans wanted signings in for years … and we still need improvements there as much as ever.
Sure a point but that was a shitshow beyond the ordinary crap we produce in defence. I’m not happy for a point i’m angry as fuck about the complete lack of gameplan, strategy and the fact the players have given up on Wenger. Any other manager in a big club would get the sack after this crap.
Exactly , the people who have down voted you are the reason that Wenger is still in charge.
Yeah, more evidence that Wenger is dead from the neck up. Team went out frightened and, like Man Utd, only released the handbrake when 2 goals down. Then when they went ahead, it all fell apart again. Players have serious psychological problems, and it’s because they no longer believe in Wenger. When a manager fails for so long, it’s pretty much over – nothing will make these players believe in his methods. I think they’d all be glad of a change. Clubs going nowhere, players all heading for the exit.
That wasnt a thriller. That was shithouse football. Two similar teams good at bottling. Please end this torture.
Not sure where the down votes are coming from, completely agree, these matches don’t excite me at all. Every game we play against Klopp’s Liverpool is a case of both teams trying to out-shit each other defensively and Liverpool having the edge over us every other game because they play with a more potent attacking style of play and create better openings. Don’t care how many goals are scored each game, and fuck ‘taking a point after that’, I’m sick of this same old crap against this team.
It excited me to get 3 goals in under 5 minutes.
Yeah, it was a fun few minutes, until they scored their 3rd goal and we could all tell the same script was about to be written for another season. Shocker, our fight back petered out and Liverpool had the more presentable opportunities going forward for the remainder of the game. So bored of it.
If these kinds of matches don´t excite you – you might have to consider Viagra or something. Lots of high pace, mistakes, 6 goals – defending your goal seems an optional duty. Loads of fun.
I’d have a laugh if I was watching tottenham shitting themselves against Liverpool for the umpteenth time, but the end to end chaos wears thin after a while when you’re watching your own team do it every year.
For me that was not fun. It was fun before but its an endless loop of idiotic football , it eventually bores you out.
I’d also like my heart palpitations to ease off a bit.
Well that was boring…
Arsene needs to start looking past Koscielny. He’s brought in AMN he needs to get Holding playing ASAP.
3 lucky goals by pool. 1 lucky goal by arsenal (Or mistake by mignolet).
What game were you watching? If Liverpool had of been more clinical they’d have been 5 up by half time, so the luck was all on Arsenal’s side cos of that donkey Mingolet.
If the crowd at the Emirates cheered like they did for Özil’s goal for every goal in every game it would be so intimidating to play in. That noise was absolutely immense.
Love the man to bits but this has gotta be Wenger last season. Time to freshen things up, lock up that consistently leaky defence and be able to retain stars.and ffs challenge to for the title. But im guessing we will the carabao cup and or the europa league and the board will be satisfied. #kroenkeout
Uff.. what a game!
The only thing.. that I am disappointed about is the fact that.. once we scored those three goals.. we shouldn’t allowed them to score again.. but such has been our defence. Cech was so good.. until that point in time..
Dare I say it.. we need to drop kos. It has been coming.
Exciting game to see! Wilshere and Ozil played well together, they see each other on the pitch. Maitland Niles did well, good passing and movement. Got pulled inside and left the flank exposed a few times, but I think he’s giving Kolasinac a run for his money. Xhaka had more positives than negatives today. Spirited goal! Alexis contributed a goal with a smart run (a big thanks to the Liverpool defender sleeping), but I thought he should have been subbed earlier. Gave away the ball for the third goal and a couple of times it was his sloppiness that caused… Read more »
Liverpool looking lost at sea after getting hit with three goals and Klopp going mental on the sidelines -> Priceless! haha
We can absolutely not accept a mediocre point given the effort we put into not only the comeback but also going ahead. I’m personally furious at the result. They beat 4-0 at their place FFS.
Kos had another shocker. Needs to be dropped
We have only won 1 of our last 6 and unless results go are way we will probably go into the new year 7th….
Disaster on the pitch and from me trying to watch it, sky go is 5mins behind and I had all 3 of our goals ruined when I looked at the arsenal twitters reaction to 2-0. Really ruined the moment.
It is what it is as long as we have this board and manager. People trying to find positives here.
Last 6 PL matches? W2, D3, L1. Last 6 in all comps? W3, D3, L0.
And we will probably be 6th after tomorrow. Whoever wins Burnley v Sp*rs goes above us. We stay 5th if it’s a draw. Then we’re away to Palace and West Brom before the New Year.
No.. it is 1win 4draws and a loss. Admittedly i was unaware that spurs and burnley play each so yeah 6th.
At 2-0 down I thought it was going to be another 4-0 thrashing. Up until our 5 minutes of madness we would of deserved it. Happy with the point, but don’t understand why it takes going 2 goals down to fire up and play the football we know we can.
Surely that’s the managers job to motivate the team so that we don’t have to go chasing games. Our first half performance was of a team destined for relegation.
I think it’s more down to teams preferring to defend instead of pressing so high, when they think they are safe. It works if you know how to defend which is obviously not the case with Liverpool.
I think it also has to do with them dropping and not pressing so much.
It wasn’t an exciting game , it was awful , if fans are happy about a game like this , i don’t think we are gonna win the league ever again.
Why do we defend like this over and over again? We can blame loss of possesion in midfield, individual errors etc, but the main reasons are twofold. One is that we lack defensive organisation when we’ve the ball. We just don’t cover dangerous counterattack zones/players when we have possession. One example is that we almost conceded after own corner when we’re in lead 3-2. Secondly our behaviour in own box. There’s no coordination between who press, who cover and who follows the midfielder run into our own box. Granit is textbook Arsenal here, he is in our own box, but… Read more »
People will blame the defence, and they didn’t cover themselves in glory (weirdly enough, they were more culpable for the many good chances Liverpool didn’t score than for the first two goals), but the more serious issue is midfield. A holding midfielder who is athletic, disciplined, can tackle, and can pass competently; we’ve needed one since 2008 when Gilberto and Flamini left. They don’t grow on trees but it isn’t impossible to find one; it’s a scandal that, a decade later, we’re still waiting.
Yeah. We’ve had Denilson, Song, Arteta & now Xhaka – all of whom were wholly unsuited to the position. The only players we’ve had in there the last 10 years who are suited to the role were Flamini & Coq….and despite both being really average they improved us greatly & led to the only periods where we came even close to looking like title challengers. Imagine what could have happened if we got someone who was really good at it. Amazing that Arsene just will not address it.
Then to top it off, all the top academy DM prospects seem to get converted into CBs.
Incredible comeback, but disappointed with the draw considering we were playing at home. Liverpool were there for the taking. But we couldn’t shut up shop at the back and it cost us a win. Our defence seems really vulnerable against quality opponents at the moment. Koscienly’s performance of late has been particularly worrying for me and it remains to be seen if he can play every 3 days during the festive period. . Besides him, Xhaka, Bellerin and Sanchez in particular are woefully out of form and need a rest. Ozil was magnificent again and motm for Me. I would… Read more »
Noticed when Axis scored there was not any of his team mates rushing to congratulate him. I think it’s time for him to leave.
Thoughts bellerin ok, yesterday, Xhaka, bit slow, but great goal
I’d like to think that was the virgil van dyke derby
Can’t just blame the defense. All of Liverpool’s goals came from our giveaways. We specialize in giving the ball away. And xhaka, yes he scored a cracker, is amazing at tracking back only to stop and watch his mark score. I wonder who is slower. Artera or xhaka. Maybe we can call gilberto back. Even at his age he cpukd still help us out. Leave it to arsenal to come roaringback only to give away the ball that leads to a goal. I’d rather we just sit back and plau on the counter. Our possession football falls apart after yet… Read more »
Tonight’s match? Well, it’s like when you were a kid on Christmas morning and you knew that finances had been extremely tight and that your parents have clearly made the effort none the less and what you received were perfectly ok nice presents – but you didn’t get THAT bike that you really wanted – and they knew you wanted – and for reasons known to you all they couldn’t manage. Simple as that. You knew that you should feel grateful and you hated yourself for feeling disappointed but you couldn’t help feeling disappointed anyway. Hate to say it, but… Read more »
It may be boring but if you play elneny to sit in front of the back four. At 3-2 . Or from first whistle. You protect the back four. When Ramsey fit I suppose we could come in place of iwobi. 451 formation. Which was wenger best formation , in the first ten years of his reign. He won all trophys playing , 4-5-1 , ( bergs amp- Wright, berg- anekla’, bergkamp’henry , Kanu-wiltord etc….) wenger he was /is the the best at 452 , fergie was best at 442, pep at 433, then wenger changed to 433 and we… Read more »
Iwobi, Alexis (with benefit of hindsight should have been sold in the summer), and Xhaka produced next to nothing in the first half. We were pretty lucky to be a goal down at half time. I have never seen Arsenal that poor at home, even against Barca and Bayern – I mean piss poor. I think Mustafi should have started, with Monreal at Left back. Niles grew into the game but Salah had a field day on our left side. It’s a good point all things considered. Sell Alexis asap, give Ozil a new contract and get in players to… Read more »
What a boring match