Unai Emery admits Arsenal face a ‘big challenge’ when they travel to Liverpool to face the Premier League’s greatest ever side.
The Gunners more than held their own against Jurgen Klopp’s men when the two clubs drew 1-1 at the Emirates in November, however, since then the now league leaders have won a shiny medal for conceding the fewest goals after 19 Premier League matches in the year 2018 and an Oscar for best dive that won a penalty and didn’t earn a retrospective ban.
The Reds are also still unbeaten in the league; a fact that has moistened the festive loins of Fleet Street’s finest. Faced with such well-endowed opponents, many men might flip out, field the reserves and take a 15-0 beating on the chin, but Unai is eager to see how his chaps will fare.
“It is a very big match for us, and for them,” he judiciously noted in his pre-game press conference.
“They are unbeaten this season, with a very big confidence and big performance from their players.
“I look at their progress over the last year and they are maybe in the best moment now.
“But for us it is a big challenge and a good test to know who we are, the difference between them and us in the table is clear and also I want to look at the pitch.
“We have one test against them at the Emirates, we drew but it was a good match. In Liverpool is going to be a different match to what we played here.”
Asked if Liverpool can emulate Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles – an overrated lot that secured the league title at a canter, becoming in the process the first team to do so without losing a game since 1889 – Emery added: “At the moment, they are doing it and they can do. They can do that because they are doing it at the moment.”
The Spaniard also suggested that Klopp’s carefully assembled band of demi-gods (plus Dejan Lovren) could be an example for his mere mortals.
Reflecting on a previous experience facing the Scousers with Sevilla, he went on, “We played against Liverpool three years ago with Sevilla in the final of the Europa League and I look then, at this progress, in this process and they are a very good example.
“I am also looking, with the coaches also, at how we are now and with the difference in the table before those years and with us and with other teams. The progression with Liverpool is clear.
“Three years ago, they were out of the Champions League through the Premier League and through the Europa League, because they lost against us [at Sevilla]. This progress is also one example for us, now, in our moment.
“But we need to be very, very demanding of ourselves to do this step quickly in our way. But we need also time, and sometimes the patience is very important for us.”
Arseblog News is happy to be patient so long as it brings us the same level of success as that experienced on Merseyside in recent years.