Arsenal went to Anfield and lost for the fourth successive season, going down 3-1 thanks to goals from Mo Salah (2) and Joel Matip.

Unai Emery’s tactics saw us let Liverpool’s two dangerous full backs have the ball, thus putting us under intense pressure from the start, but we didn’t help ourselves with some missed chances and poor defending for all three goals.

Read the report and see the goals here.

Here’s how the players rated this afternoon.


The ratings are now hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Bernd Leno. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Putney Swope

Can’t get my head around Torreira not starting. Maybe he can only play 60 min but better than put him on when we are 3 in the hole.


Kinda scary that if Matip doesn’t score from the corner, Luiz could’ve given away a pen for grabbing Van Dyke. You would have thought a player of his experience with VAR in operation would know better.


It was sokratis


Aye Papa and Luiz both at it. Luiz comments about it being reflex and not a hard pull worried me a bit. He and Papa are older guys with reflexes built over time, that will be hard to break, and may cost us again through the season.


Agreed. This shirt-pulling habit (Xhaka as well) is disgusting. I’m all for being pragmatic and a little cynical, but there is literally no legal defensive outcome from gripping at a shirt. And in the penalty area? Beyond stupid.

I hope the manager privately threatens them with some internal discipline if that happens again.

Keeping it Monreal

It was Papa…


It was? My mistake.


It was actually Guendouzi, Sokratis lost the aerial duel, Guendouzi had a fist full of Van Dijks shirt.


nope. guendouzi was caught between sokratis and vvd, sokratis clutching vvd’s shirt actually closed the players around guendouzi, pratically stopping guendouzi from doing anything positive in that instance. the fact that papa had VVDs shirt in such a tight grip, with guendouzi between them meant that sokratis couldnt jump as high or as steadilly and therefore meant he missed out on the header vs matip. so if sok had let guendouzi marshall VVD or switched targets with him to cover the more mobile matip then we would have a different situation. love me some papa arseholery but this after luiz’… Read more »


Nope, I’ve seen the highlights on TV in slow motion, it was 100% Guendouzi.

And it’s a bit much to call Sokratis our best CB. No pundit who’s opinion is worth anything rates him much higher than Mustafi. And last season it was pretty clear that even Koscielny in his geriatric state was still a better defender than him.


You could argue that Guendouzi was held back too. You’re rarely going to see penalties given like that due to the nature of all the small tugs going on.


It was mustafi.


Torreira reminded everyone of his quality today, but by his own words he fell off at the end of last season because he’s never played so many games in such a tough schedule before.

We have to manage him carefully, he didn’t have a full pre-season either.

The real shame is why more experienced players than him like Ceballos and Xhaka were somewhat disappointing.


Torreira is older than Ceballos by five or six months.


Sure, but I said experience not age.

Ceballos has started games for Real Madrid, he should have more big game experience than he showed today, but sadly didn’t justify his selection.


theres only 6 big games a season in la liga, theres at least 12 in the prem

Freddie's Kids

There are 38 big games in an EPL season


Özil is way more experimented and was missed in unlocking space.


Xhaxa is going to be the player that gets Emery fired.

Mayor McCheese

Why? For being one of a handful of players who actually did fine in one of the hardest games we’ll play all season?

Come off it.


You just proved my point. ‘Fine’ isnt good enough. And if you haven’t noticed the team is being built around fine. I like Xhaxa but with him in the side in such a pivotal position all we will be is fine. I would take 2 Center mids from all of our rivals rather than Xhaxa. Teams like wolves and Watford have better cms than Xhaxa..And hes the guy i young guys have to learn from.

Mayor McCheese

Actually, you just proved my point, because you seem to think that in the hardest game of our season, players who come out with some credit deserve to go. What a bizarre assessment.


You know nothing about football. Keep believing in Xhaxa and see where we are at the end of the season. Did i say he had a bad game? The teams tempo is controlled by Xhaxa, Wenger and now Emery have built the team around him he is a decent player but not good enough if we wont to even get top 4. He is a glorified arteta. Without the consistency. Don twist my words bellend.

Mayor McCheese

Ok Don bellend.


do we now credit players for being average? Is that how low your expectations of our once-invincible team have fallen? Xhaka added almost nothing to our creativity on the counter yesterday – and remains a liability in defence. He just does not seem to have any instinctive sense of how to close down space or pre-empt angled off the ball runs when opposition have the ball – is continually caught out and then having to play catch-up when it’s too often too late!


Remember that he is treading in the steps of Viera and Gilberto… filling their shoes? I dont think he can even untie their bootlaces at this point!


duh….see emery and guendozi …. bang average plonkers


Emery is going to get emery fired. #emeryout is already trending and it’s only 3ganed into new season. Honestly he cost us this game. Everything from tactics to team selection to formation to game management everything was very poor today

Mayor McCheese

Yeah, you should be proud that we’re now Chelsea fans, basically. Hashtag Emery Out? Don’t make us a joke. He’s had one season to sort out a massive transition with players most of whom were not of his own choosing, and three games into a season in which he finally has some players he wants, you and the hashtag Arsenal (a.k.a Chelsea) fans are calling for his head?

Such an embarrassment.


As stupid and entitled as we arsenal fans are, we’re not chelsea fans. They’re racist sumbitches, and l like to consider, that were not, aren’t we? Aren’t we?


How’s childish. Shows how little you care about racism that you’d tarnish a lot of decent people (including many Chelsea fans) with such a dopey claim about such a real problem. Adolescent.


Where is it trending CRAIG? In your f*cking imagination?


“Trending”? That means fucking nothing – only a tiny percentage of Arsenal fans actually use social media so whatever people are twitting about is fairly meaningless.

don’t forget

My biggest disappointment was Emery’s team selection and tactics. For all his “protagonists” talk, I didn’t see any protagonism today. I understand the result, I’m just disappointed with how it happened.


Exactly. Passages of this game were hideous to watch. We were like a boxer on the ropes. Feel Sky pundit comments were daft to indicate they felt Arsenal had been better than in previous visits. I thought we were just as meek and bullied.


We were better than previous. But second half collapse. Still , liverpool are a great team

My Cousin Vinai

The idea to give Liverpool’s wide players and fullbacks all the space was always a silly idea.

And I’m glad people remember Torreira. After Burnley, I think too many fans just forgot about him with dreams of Guendouzi Willock and Ceballos.

The Swede

Tbf i dont think that their wide players was particularly threatening before the first goal.


Exactly, they produced nothing from wide positions. The key goals came from a set piece and a dumb pen and should’ve been avoided.

Basically they punished our mistakes and we were unable to punish theirs.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Our right side was a highway with no speed limit for them. They played their game and did not particularly try to exploit the space given to them on the wings. Emery did nothing that stopped them.


The idea was to let there full backs come up and then counter with Pepe and Auba drifting into the space they left. Nearly worked on several occasions. The problem was playing Ceballos on the left of the diamond and playing Xhaxa ahead of Torreira.
Dont know why Wenger and now Emery not only persist with Xhaxa but build the team around him. Not a bad player but he and his feet are so slow. He is the antithesis to how Arsenal have played the last 20 plus years. Really need a vieira/Diaby type in the middle.


In this match the problem was not Xhaka. It was Guendouzi and Willock

North Bank

@ I Am Arsenal
Citing Uncle Albert from Only Fools And Horses….. During the war…


This is the most sensible comment have read in a long while… I hardly comment but i just have to give my opinion on this… I cant just imagine Arsenal’s midfield without Torreria…whatever formation…you playing with 2 CMs he has to be one…You playing 3 CMs He’s gat to be one…a diamond midfield ??? still fit him in he is quick thinks faster can protect the ball and draw a foul if he’s crowded…there’s just no way Xhaka starts ahead of him except alongside him…if i were Arsenals manager i would play Torreria Ceballos and Willock Behind Aubameyang Lacazette and… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

You’re disappointed that we weren’t “protagonists” against the best team in Europe at their home ground?

Either you don’t understand the meaning of “protagonist” or you wanted us to get done by a cricket score. You don’t go to Anfield in 2019 and play an open, attacking game.

If Emery had gone there with the plan you so long for, you’d be crucifying him right now. Oh, wait, he didn’t, and you’re still doing it!

The Swede

Outplayed for 90 minutes? No, they didnt outplay us in the first half, not at all.


They created very few chances in the first half

Mayor McCheese

Someone said earlier that we matched them for the first 40 minutes. Not sure about that, but it was a better first 40 minutes than that of last year’s fixture at Anfield…


We didn’t let them score, we certainly didn’t match them.

It was inevitable with the amount of space we gave the fullbacks and wingers, they could hold the ball all day and because we never went out to meet them we couldn’t control the game.

Mayor McCheese

What did the fullbacks create, exactly? Such a tired narrative. They scored from a set piece, a penalty, and a piece of Salah magic. Giving the fullbacks space was deliberate, and it was effective as they got no joy.


just because they didnt score from a full back assist doesnt mean we nullified them. leno made plenty of saves, as their full backs had plenty of crosses. the plan was to hit them on the counter with their missing fullbacks. trouble is once we hit them on the break it was 2 v 2 for 10 seconds then the pool team got back and defended…but no arsenal players pushed up to support, probably the plan as to not expose ourselves when they inevitably counter our counter, but still our 2 attackers were desperate for support. and thats where i… Read more »


xhaka as the central defensive mid, guendouzi and torreira as the wide mids.
loved how well willock did, but feel he is a more mobile midfielder when emery looked at more defensive players today.


One prob with your suggestion above – and that’s the word defensive as applied to Xhaka… he just cannot be trusted on defence. Sometimes OK but too often either off the pace, fails to read a run or just flies in rashly and gives cheap free kicks or gets himself booked.


I dont know, we couldn’t string three passes together until after they had scored 3 and let off on the press. That was my biggest concern -an inability to hold the ball and panicked passes that went straight to the opposition.




Wow, Caps Lock and all. Reminds me of the Mustafi comments from not too long ago. I wonder who’ll be next.

Reality check

Xhaka was definitely not worse than Matteo and Joe, played the most passes and won the ball back the most. His forward passing was also decent. His through ball helped create the goal too.. none of the goals were his fault neither did his mistake gave them a chance. Blogs and some fans need to be more reasonable, he’s not the reason we lost today.


Exactly what I wanted to say. Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Luiz, and Maitland Niles played worse than him. Every game they say he’s the problem, but I don’t remember him doing a thing wrong.


He give away 2 unnecessary free kick in the first half and panickedly clear the ball to corner kick which lead to their goal. He to slow and sloppy with heavy legs.

North Bank

LOL. He gave away the corner kick???
This hatred is turning into humour now.
How dare Xhaka gives away a corner kick?
I blame Mustafi, personally!


Xhaka didn’t contribute the hard work required for his role in the game and the setup. He may not have been at fault for any goals, but neither were the players on the bench, which is where Khaka should have stayed in favor of the more hard working Torreira. Quite frankly, Xhaka did bugger-all, and made it look like the little he did manage to contribute looked more positive than what he should be judged on – his entire overall contribution. Xhaka and Ceballos were basically passengers. On the other hand, Guendouzi and Willock were left to drive the bus.… Read more »


I like David Luiz but the mistake before the second goal is something I’ve seen him do time and time again. I’t maddening because some of his positioning was very good today.

Fireman Sam

That’s David Luiz for you. One reason I never liked the bloke – he just has these massive self destruct moments.

Gabe the Gooner

Reminds me of a certain bloke we know

Mayor McCheese

Really, Gabe? Did Luiz throw himself to the ground in a hopeless tackle or fail to protect the ball while an attacking player was on his back and then blame the keeper?

Why can’t people distinguish things like this?

Guns Up

The fact that they’re different types of poor decisions doesn’t mean each isn’t a poor decision, and that was his point. What Luiz did was idiotic and indefensible, and I’m a little amazed anyone would try. At least Mustafi’s karate kick flying slide tackles have some chance, however slim, of success. What Luiz did is a PK and booking every single time, particularly with VAR, which is exactly what makes it “a self-destruct,” re: your post below.

Mayor McCheese

A shirt-pull is not a self-destruct. Why is this so hard to understand for people who have watched a modicum of football games in England?


Tell that the ref and the VAR chappies… Luis is supposed to bring us smarts and experience. What part of VAR’s no-place-to-hide in the pen area didn’t he understand?
Obvious and prolonged pull on the shirt in the area – in what world did he think that would NOT be picked up by VAR?


And this just minutes after conceding the first as a sucker punch before half-time… he gifts them another in quick succession? You cannot underestimate the stupidity of that decision, nor the effect it had on the second half… any and all the dressing chat and planning for the 2nd period now go out the window with the shock of the immediate second goal.
The timing could not have been worse and set us back by a lot more than just an additional goal


Xhaka not at fault for any of the goals to be fair… But just too ponderous a player to play against a team like Liverpool. Clasping at straws but this should give us a kick up the backside just in time for the sp*rs game


Playing The Slow and The Slower together (Xhaka and Guendouzi) does not work. We can afford only one slow player in there at a time.

Reality check

Pls name a great midfielder who was particularly fast? Xavi, Alonso, Pirlo, Zidane, Modric or everyone’s fav – the Welsh Jesus. Since when speed is what we associate with midfield playmakers. Xhaka or Guendouzi weren’t the problem, inviting so much pressure from very good attackers was the problem, especially with the defense that we have. It looked good for as long as it worked but it was asking too much of the defense that conceded 50+ goals and struggled to score in crucial moments. Auba only has 3 in 14 against the top 6.


You all are talking about different things. Chaka definitely isn’t fast, but he also isn’t quick. Mentally or physically. Mateo also isn’t fast, but he is quick. Contrast that with Pepe who is very fast and physically quick, but mentally he is hesitant. Probably because of inexperience. IMO Arsenal was stubborn today. Insisting on playing from the back when a few more long balls were called for. Didn’t like the formation or selection. Not a xhaka fan, would have preferred Luis. As far as formation, if ever a Christmas tree was called for today was it. Pepe and aba pressuring… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

Who are Chaka and Mateo? I love your hair splitting of “fast” and “quick.” Required reading for all linguists.


Your self importance, arrogance and myopic condescending ripostes are pretty annoying….. But hey! You know “British football”.

Mayor McCheese

That’s a pretty condescending riposte, IceBerg.


You fail to note the difference between ‘annoying’ and ‘condescending’… cue those linguists of yours?


Xhaka is not playmaker, never was. I am actually a bit confused about this what is his position? He is neither palymaker nor defensive midfielder so what a hell he is doing in any team? He was not bad as per his play but he created uncertainty in the middle. He was slow by his thinking as well (side pass after side pass) his defensive positioning is a nightmare. So summing up the whole game we took a deadhead through for one pass…..

Alex Alexsson

Ngl, I really don’t think it should be all doom & gloom after this result / performance. Liverpool at anfield has been our toughest game of the last few seasons and it was definitely an improvement on how I’ve seen us play there recently. Obviously I’m disappointed but Let’s have some perspective – it’s gonna take us some time to reach where Liverpool are at atm. COYG & roll on the spuds


Agreed – actually a game of fairly fine margins if Auba’s lob has an ounce less welly on it… Pepe picks either corner and Luis doesnt have that brain-fart.
Just saying…


Suprised my the negativity Blogs, had we come up against Barca/Madrid off their recent champions league wins and lost like that would you still be upset/angry? They havent lost there in 2 years in the pl. Not much can change 3 weeks into the season…onto Sp*rs lets try and keep the early season positivity going ?


We were very good against Barca and Real during the pre-season. Oh, yes, Özil was playing.

Public Elneny

Tactical masterclass by Emery Play Xhaka as one of 4(!) centre mids against one of the best pressing teams around. No width whatsoever, giving the two best attacking full backs in the pl total free reign of the flanks. Limit yourself to 2 attacking players against a team who look out of sorts in defence and have ringed in Almunia mk.ii as GK. The focal point of those 2 forwards being someone who possesses no hold up abilities with which to bring the other into the game. Which also forces us to try playing through a ridiculously overcrowded midfield or… Read more »

Alex Alexsson

Tbh when I first saw the lineups my initial reaction was exactly the same as yours (wtf? No width? No laca? Xhaka?) but i actually think tactically it was working pretty well until we conceded. Liverpool were always gonna create chances against us. But for much of the first half we pushed them out wide and they were pretty limited to mostly unthreatening deep crosses from Robertson / Trent. I don’t really understand how you can say we’d lost before we’d gone out when Pepe & Auba had the 2 best chances of the first half. At the end of… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

Alex, that is sweet melody of reason right there. Well done.

don't forget

I undestand what you’re saying and what we were trying to do, I just think it was the wrong approach. Even when it was “working” we couldn’t get out of our final third except for a few long balls. Liverpool always looked dangerous as we basically allowed their fullbacks to make uncontested crosses into our box. We simply were unable to hold possession and move the ball into the middle of the pitch where we needed the play to happen in order for our tactics to work. This is why I think he got the formation and tactics incorrect on… Read more »


You would’ve sing a different tune had pepe and auba buried their chances and liverpool didnt get lucky on corner kick and david luiz didnt grab that shirt.


I think the point is that the tactic wasn’t necessarily flawed – it was the final part of our execution of it i.e. we dealt well with almost all the crosses coming in. However having dealt with them, we did not use the ball to make Pool pay at all, invariably just handing possession straight back to them through poor clearances and no real ‘out ball’ opportunity.

Public Elneny

We were lucky that Liverpool haven’t quite clicked yet. TAA especially, but also Robertson, given that amount of time and space would usually create far more than they did here. Leno did well defending crosses, and we’re clearly defending as more of a unit so far this year. This, as well as pure chance, more than account for the difference in scoreline to the corresponding fixture last season. The tactics were an absolute millstone today, not that they were good last time. Our best chance came as a result of a rubbish through ball and some absolute nonsense goalkeeping, and… Read more »


Or maybe TAA and Robertson weren’t able to create more and Liverpool weren’t quite clicking because our set-up was actually quite effective at stifling their front three, which meant the onus was on their two full-backs to create from wide. If we’re gonna write off the parts of what we did as just “Pepe being a good player”, then take out Mo Salah today and what do Liverpool have? We blocked everything that came from Firmino and Mane. Was Salah’s 2nd goal not a miracle like what we were expecting from Pepe? We should all be pissed off, but what… Read more »

Alex Alexsson

By all means man be pissed off, but this totally anti – emery tirade is ott after this particular game. No matter what system we we played it was gonna be extremely tough. Liverpool just won the CL. Their home record is insane.

We clearly had a tactical plan. Defensively to limit their attack to their fullbacks and going forward to counter their high line with through balls. We tried something, it didn’t work. Countless other world class sides have lost at anfield recently. Let’s have some perspective


98% agree – but loved the veiled understatement of ‘working pretty well until we conceded’ – a bit like saying it worked pretty well until it didn’t?


You’re exaggerating

Reality check

So your choice in midfield along with Torriera would be Ceballos and Willock, who haven’t played a single big game between them, or Guendouzi who is yet to register an assist or goal in the league.

Public Elneny

Ceballos-Torreira-Guendouzi, yes – because their ability on the ball, mobility and feistiness suited the task at hand. Xhaka doesn’t deal well with being pressed, we all knew this long ago. His strengths are his long/medium range passing (negated if there’s barely anyone ahead of him), and his positional discipline (a bit pointless with 3 midfielders in close proximity) – today was the not the game for him.

And Guendouzi’s lack of goal/assists would be less of a problem if we had 3 attacking players on the pitch.


He doesn’t deal well with the press but on the day he was better than all those midfielders.

Mentally Drained Gooner

We are going nowhere with xhaka. Play kids with energy in midfield who want to make an impact. We have been loosing to Liverpool and City for past many years . Let’s atleast try something new


Doesn’t even have to be the kids. Just stop messing around and play Torreira and Cabellos in the deep positions with our attacking players ahead of them. I’m all for respecting the opposition in tough away matches, but these meek conservative line-ups allowing the opponents all the possession they like was a real stain on Emery’s first season, and today was more of the same unfortunately. It’s clearly not getting results. We’re not a great defensive squad (especially without our first choice full backs to call on), so let’s utilise what we have in attack and try and be brave… Read more »

SB Still

That’s the disappointment, our midfield 3 of Willock, Ceballos and Guendouzi played very well last game, albeit against Burnley, at home. Against a team like Liverpool we needed players who are mobile and can move the ball quickly – it wasn’t a game for Xhaka.

Luiz was more directly responsible for our loss today than Xhaka. However, we do have much choice, certainly in hindsight Chambers would have been better. In case of Xhaka, it was more obvious to play Torreira than him!


The truth is liverpool and city are far to good for us and most others, our season will be shaped on how we do against the rest. Heavy Way defeats against the likes of man u and chelsea etc will no longer be tolerated. Defeats against palace and the like just should not happen as regularly as last season. Happen to hold judgement until we play in our own league against the rest then we have no hiding place. 2 horse race we are miles off and just have to accept that we are in transition and are a work… Read more »

Kiran Krishnamurthy

I ask myself why is it that Arsenal is the only team to get battered by Liverpool and City away from home when smaller teams manage to lose by a goal or two and sometimes even manage to win it. After so much preparation and effort, we still end up getting battered. Is it just our defense? Is it the mentality that makes us weak opponents? Honestly no idea how we’re going to get out of this. With that team, I’m thinking surely we could’ve played better.

The Swede

The only team?

Kiran Krishnamurthy

One of the stats that stood out was how we haven’t won away from home against the top 6 since 2015. That’s 4 years of our lives gone since we saw an away win against top 6. That’s worse than almost every club who’ve remained in the top flight since then.


Even crystal palace managed it today!


Liverpool haven’t lost a home game in two years. As to why our record is bad, no-one is rocking up to these grounds hoping to win shootouts. The formula is simple – play pragmatically, take your chances.

My guess is that if that is our consistent approach to these games, our away record in the top 6 will improve this season.


We did get battered last year at Liverpool. Only West Ham and Newcastle had the same negative goal difference. City was a different case altogether. We lost 3-1 while other losers at City were: 6-0 (Chelsea), 6-1 (Southhampton), 6-1 (Huddersfield), 5-0 (Burnley), and 3-0 (Wolves). Other 3-1 losers at City were: ManU, Everton, and Bournemouth.

On the facts, your statement/question only holds up for Liverpool and not City. Lets make sure that facts get in the way of a good story this year, please.


Some facts mate;
– we are not the ‘only’ team to get battered….
– we did not get ‘battered’ today – gifted them one goal and fell asleep for another; and should had 2 or even 3 if our strikers had had the rub of the green
– no team has ‘sometimes’ managed to beat Pool away for over 2 years!
– Saturday’s team did not ‘mentally’ capitulate and actually managed to pull a goal back

My Cousin Vinai

2 out of 10 for Luiz is incredibly unfair. You can always tell when a player is liked by vlogs and not.

Penalty aside, he was still ours best defender, which says it all. Not a 2 out of 10 performance.

The Swede

The third goal?


I exercise my freeeeedom!!

Definitely a 2.735 at least!!


Unfortunately, I could see Papa doing exactly the same – oh wait, he did but they scored anyway.


Agreed. The 2 for Luiz isn’t a problem for me, but the 5 for Papa is generous. We are desperate at the centre half position. I hope Chambers and Holding get a sustained run playing together in the league this season.


Yeah not saying Luiz’ mistakes weren’t costly, but Papa looked to be at fault for not winning the aerial duel with Matip for their first goal when we were so close to going into halftime with a morale-boosting clean sheet.


I was pissed then confused by what I saw on Matip’s goal. At first I thought Guendouzi was being held down by Virgil with both arms. I was sure that the goal would be overturned on VAR. Then I saw another angle where Guendouzi was reaching back over his shoulder to grab Virgil. Was that really Sokratis?

My Cousin Vinai

Not denying the mistakes, but he was still oddly our best defender. A 2/10 defensive performance is like the Eboue performance where he got subbed on then off. That’s what a 2/10 performance is, when you’ve done nothing right whatsoever.


Yeah, 2s completely fair for Luiz. I thought Emery’s gameplan actually protected him and Sokratis quite a bit.

If we allowed Mane and Salah more dribbles directly at them in the penalty area, I shudder to imagine the consequences.


100% agree cousin

Mayor McCheese

Agree that Luiz was otherwise very good today, but I think the low rating reflects the sense that you expect more from such an experienced defenders. Shirt-pulling is something all defenders do, not just Luiz, but with VAR they’ll need to learn to cut it out, or be more strategic about where they do it.


Totally agree with you. It’s totally unfair, it’s at least twice the rating he deserves. Best defender? LOL

Reality check

Not sure about Luiz but Xhaka’s rating definitely smells fishy on blogs part..


Agreed. 2 is very knee-jerk and Luiz was far from being that abysmal. All of the ratings are pretty knee-jerk really.

And, even though I don’t like rat face, there were positives.


The problem is xhaka. He is a liability. Team selection was poor. the coach could have done better. Torreira and Guendozi were better off starting together with Lacazette. When is the coach gpoing to get these obvious decisions right. Going back to wenger era.


I can’t blame Xhaka for everything.

We put ourselves under so much unnecessary pressure by insisting on playing out from goal kicks etc when the Scousers press so well. We really need to put it long on occasions so that they don’t just expect it all the time What happens is we either lose it or end up with a defender playing it long anyway. Make opponents wonder what we’re about to do.

Our players just don’t look convincing in the tackle when we try the same high press.

Reality check

How was it Xhaka’s fault today?

Mayor McCheese

Don’t think you’ll find an answer here, Reality!

Greg in Seattle

Mayor, now all you are doing is playing hype man for anyone who shares your position.

Mayor McCheese

Explain hype man?

Also, do you have an answer to the question posed?

Mayor McCheese

I bet you don’t!


Clearly you didnt, just another faux humourous jibe


Apologies in advance if I risk being ‘condescending’


Nope, he talking absolute sense. I don’t see how anyone can blame xhaka for that loss he done his job. Too much emotion and no common sense. Ceballos and Matteo “40 touches guendouzi slowed the play yesterday”


Dude that’s one of our worst midfield partnerships…..literally no creativity there.


I only blame Emery for this terrible performance. STOP BENCHING LACA.. WTH. LACA AND AUBA SHOUD ALWAYS BE PLAYING TOGETHER… I thought he would change tactics 2nd half becaue it was obvious we weren’t doing much. I miss bellerin in this game


We had all the chances in the first half. if you’re so blind to think we lost this game because of tactics that’s your own fault. They scored from c corner and we made stupid mistakes. How can it be Emery’s fault…

Kiran Krishnamurthy

I love Ainsley, can’t fault his effort or dedication, but he’s not going to help us compete at the highest level playing in that position. Can’t wait for Tierney, Bellerin and Holding to be back.


5 for Xhaka, really blogs? Did I watch a different game? ?

Reality check

Blogs encouraging unfair scapegoating of the player.. not very classy, should be more reasonable.


He was better than all the other midfielders on the day.

Olivije Žirod

It is really time for some fans to stop defending this pathetic “chameleon” football and raise expectations. The way we set up again was not to win. We were just postponing the obvious. Inviting Liverpool into our 3rd is game over. Sooner or later they would score and they did. If I may, we also absolutely had no plan to become a protagonists. Even though that we knew that at some point of the game we will have to take a control on the pitch. Why we can’t just try to play like we did at home against them last… Read more »

Greg in Seattle

I agree, OZ. I’m hoping Emery wakes up to the fact that culturally deciding that you will dictate the tenor of the game is how big clubs behave. When Klopp came in he knew how he was going to play, and did that with mixed results until he got the personnel he needed. He would rather have tried to outscore teams and lose than concede his on-field values, because in the process the system and belief was being ingrained. I don’t know what Emery’s values are because one thing he is not, is an alpha manager. All I see are… Read more »


The problem is we tried that already. We had all the values, beliefs and philosophies in the world under Arsene – and still became a laughing stock with our 10-2 aggregate Champions League exits and humiliating 6-0 and 8-2 losses to our rivals.

And didn’t the same Klopp you’re eulogising revert to a direct long-ball style in the CL Final? Please, let’s stop pretending top coaches don’t vary their tactics depending on the opponent.


I despair at seeing these ‘we need to act like a big club’ comments, I really do. I mean I agree, but that means spending 75 million on a centre back (in addition to, not instead of all the other expenditure). Have we done that? Then on what godforsaken basis do we want to go to Anfield and take it to them? Also Lacazette likely didn’t start because he expects to start him at the derby. This ‘best XI, best XI’ nonsense doesn’t even work on video games any more, I’m amazed that people believe this is how a real-life… Read more »


Just because you try and impose your big club mentality on the pitch doesn’t mean you are a big club and that it will work. Compared to Liverpool we are a much weaker side and we’ve tried many years to play them off the park with the effect of getting humiliated quite often.


One of the few positives I think is the play of Willock in his first big game in the league. Emery did no favors for any of the three younger center mids with no outside wings and a slow footed Xhaka that all three had to cover for throughout the match. Luiz showed us his negative attributes today (his inability to defend much primarily) and Xhaka showed how behind the pace of the game he was. Was nice to see a full match out of Pepe and he showed some brilliant moves, but has much to learn about the league… Read more »

Reality check

Can you expand on how were other three midfielders were covering for Xhaka when he is the one who won the ball back the most.

El Piresidente

Bonus rating 1/10 the feeling of not being able to think- oh well we did our best but lost to a better team- because of diabolical team selection

Mayor McCheese

And what would you have done? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? For what it’s worth, I think Torreira would have started if fully match fit.

Pepe's joystick x button

Boy I hope I’m not broken


1/10 for Lee Dixon commentating on this side of the pond. After Matip’s goal he said “arsenal crumpled like a cheap suit.” We had played well up to that point, and could’ve been a goal or two up. Criticism is fine but not when you’re wrong all the time, like he is.


I agree, we didn’t collapse the way we’ve seen before. We have to acknowledge Scousers are way better at this game than us at present

Our real test is NLD next week; they got good point at Citeh but we’re equally outclassed overall.


Hard agree! He strikes me as a bitter ex pro sometimes. Or like he thinks he has to go hard against arsenal otherwise he’d get accused of bias. Goes with the mentality/character cliche all too often instead of providing analysis. I do think he did end up providing good commentary on the lack of adjustments from the manager as the second half rolled in. Seems he’s one of us gooners who’s not all that convinced by Unai

Obama Young

He must be so incredibly sick of watching Arsenal defending so poorly for so long now, I don’t blame him.

He was part of one of the best defensive lines in the history of the league, but for over a decade now he’s had to watch Arsenal defend horribly and fail repeatedly against big rivals. I don’t blame him one bit for being sick of it.

Nam Pizdyetz

I understand what Emery was trying to do and until the corner it was working, but once they had scored he had to change tactics, not wait until half way through the second half. I am not a Xhaka hater, there is a place for him in the team in certain situations, but against a high press is not it. He does not open his body when receiving passes, so needs time to turn once he has received, so as we try to play out of the bin dipper’s press, he can only play the ball the way he is… Read more »


I have no interest in piling on Xhaka. He’s not the reason we lost and today was always going to be ugly with all the new faces we’re integrating. That said, he once again showed how out of his depth he is against big 6 clubs. If you’re not athletic and you can’t break the press with your dribbling, why are you at the base of Arsenal’s midfield against Liverpool? Why is he routinely the focal point of Arsenal’s intricate build-up if his only redeeming quality is his long passes under zero pressure? I’m sure the man has intangibles that… Read more »


Damn it, I definitely piled on Xhaka.

Olivije Žirod

In 9/10 games we won against top teams Xhaka was one of our best performers, if not the best. I really don’t know what games some watch. Today he was the best of our midfielders but that it is. You can’t have a good game going forward if the set up is to sit back. Football is really not only about agillity, speed and flashy dribbles. A little objectivity for some wouldn’t harm.


What kind of fakehistoryporn is this? I don’t think there’s 9 games in 3 years that Xhaka has been our best performer, friendlies and the like included, let alone being our best performer in our wins against top teams? My friend that is fucking nonsense.

Reality check

Xhaka was one of the best if not the best today.. what do want from him, you’re expecting Xhaka to be a God in midfieler. Pass, dictate, tackle, intercept, dribble, create, score. Problem is with your expectations, not him.. lay off the FIFA..


“9/10 games we won against top teams” ? When did we win those?

Sky graphic showed our performances against top teams has been woeful for years and Xhaka certainly wasn’t around when we last did it!


Errr… we haven’t won 10 games against top teams mate.
Not since Ma caught her tits in the mangle, at any rate.


Liverpool (and City) are a lot better than us ATM but a baffling team selection didn’t help. No Laca or Torreira, wtf??

Mayor McCheese

Torreira not yet match fit, Laca carrying an injury. If you think having them on would have been the difference between winning and losing then you haven’t been watching Liverpool for at least a year now.


As I said, they’re a very good side but they’re not unstoppable. If it really was because of injury and match fitness then fair enough.

Martin L. E.

On to the next one. Hope we can start with Laca and Torreira against the Spuds.
In my opinion, Luiz should keep his place. Did a couple of mistakes today, big whoop. Even our most trusted defender over the last decade, Mr. Bordeaux, would have against this opponent.


Then again, Mustafi only tended to gift wrap a goal for the opposition once per match.

Just saying…


How do you play counter attack football when your midfielders can’t evn hold the ball, our Transition and positioning was very poor, they were mostly playing the ball into open spaces without even looking for their player…. It was really painful to watch


Leicester won the league by doing just that and getting Vardy to anticipate it.

Oliver Rodwell

I think a lot of the players criticism here is pretty unfair. They seemed to do what they were told fairly well, problem was they were told “remember Inter vs Barcelona in the 2009 champions league final? We are Inter today.

Oh and by the way, when you do have the ball, play 3 yard passes in your own box, none of that progressing the ball now, there’s a good lad.

Emery is really starting to smell of coward for me.

Monkey Joe

This one is on Emery – 1/10. Very conservative starting lineup, nor here nor there. Not starting Laka was crime. He is our most dangerous and clinical player who can score out of nothing. Very disappointed. One more cockup from Emery and #EmeryOut will be trending like there is no tomorrow.


I think Laca is the far better target man to play centrally but Auba and Pepe would have had to work back far harder than they would ever do in that formation.

It was a plan that didn’t work because we play the ball out too slowly from the back. If you want to play on the break then long balls work. Even if they don’t, it at least beats the press and gives opponents different concerns.


As I saw, the tactics was about we blit up two deep defensive lines, mostly focused on the middle of the field. We always tried to build up our attack from AMN side with short passes, and that was pathetic how we did that. Apart from this, when we could bulit up an attack, mostly a counnter attack,it was OK (Pepe should score that..) I understand that why Xhaka started, because of his good long passing skills, but we lost more with him, than won. Ceballos wasn’t that sharp as last time, he worked with a lot mistakes. Willock at… Read more »


Bonus rating: Emery 3/10. Got it horrifically wrong tactically, made no effort to change things until far too late. 3 because has to be a higher rating than whatever the hell Luiz was doing (2), and more VAR nonsense (1).


We all know Emery is great at tactics because the media keep telling us that. And it’s true. Waiting until we are losing 3 to 0 and the 80th minute to bring on Laca was incredibly brilliant. We had liverpool right where we wanted them, and obviously Laca is such a good presser to the ball we want to keep him on the bench for the first 80 minutes.

I also think Ozil had a great match.


With Pool 1-0 I thought the gunners still had a chance. Luiz tugged Salah’s jersey and
although the latter didn’t fall,the ref gave a penalty.
If its the new law that such an incident merits a penalty,wel and good.If not Arsenal have
been made to pay and the ref shd beheld accountable.If that were the case the FA
shd have a sheme for punishing erring officials.
I have seen numerous cases where the guy in black decides the outcome of games.Some involve relegation wheich could cost the relegated clubs miilions ,if not billion,of gbp.


Pool don’t pay a one dimensional style. They can pass,hit long raking passes and have players
to run at defenders.Arsenals pass and pass though maybe less than under Wenger’s watch,
gave Pool defenders time to regroup.
As a result.Abu found the going tough. In contrast our defenders were spre ad too far apart
wen Salah scored.When Abu was about to shoot,a Pool defender got in the way.


Diaby hasn’t played for us for years mate.


Ughhh..baxk to our old ways..i give Emery a.0..i think his tactics.cost us.

Pepe looks.very Gevinho esque…..nice skill but no end product and over drivbles….nice skill but hou gotta score that. AUBA also should.have scored.

In all.emery set us up to fail. Shoulda started Lacazette.
Xhaka adds nothing…hes too slow to afect the match.

Nachos cant keep up with the likes of Salah.


How how how can Xhaka start. Blogs oddly Has a somewhat blind spot. He would do well playing in Italy but for the game we should be playing he is so so wrong. He always takes a touch. One touch football is drilled at U-9 level.

Hate to say it but Rafa B. is actually what this team needs.


David Luiz in a back 4 does not work well.


Maitland Niles is an interesting one. He is good cover and has good stats to back it up but too often he gives the ball away in brain fart moments rather than, say, getting tackled off the ball. He’s always got brain dead moments in games, and today was especially bad. I think it was Paul from the arsenalvision podcast that first pointed out that his mentality (and I hate to go to intangibles but in this case I think it’s more than that) can be a double-edged sword. He’s cool and composed when you need him to be but… Read more »


Starting a game of this magnitude with Xhaka in the midfield and the inexperience of Willock, what do you expect?!


Torreira for Ceballos is a change I would have made at half time. We needed more off the ball work especially after the first goal. To win against an elite team, we cannot conceded penalties or set-piece goals. We should have taken at least one of the chances we had in the first half. This would have been a different game otherwise. We are marginally improved, but still nowhere near where we ought to be. For those saying Luiz and Xhaka were problems, no, absolutely no. Both of them work in this system and were the reason why Auba and… Read more »


That rating wasn’t fair for luiz..Apart from that stupid mistake Luiz was the best defender, look for the highlights closely, 3 to 4 clear goals he saved.
Stop attacking him and I am optimistic he will be starting 11 against tiny tots.


1) Leno – As I mentioned, he needed to come out for crosses. Current backline is vulnerable to aerial threat. He did mostly decent but again the way Emery wants us to play from the back, deeply frustrating to have to see Leno wait for the Liverpool team to get into position then predictably pass it out 5 yards to our nearest player. Why? 2) AMN – Again a mix bag. Some good resolute stuff going forward and defending but one or two lazy passes or lapses. BUT to be fair to him he is still young and on a… Read more »


First goal was actually more frustrating for me. Papa couldn’t rise to the header because he was too busy holding shirts. If it wasn’t a goal it would’ve been a penalty. Good to knock some of this out now. They can both be scolded for obvious fouls, hopefully learn we’re jn a new VAR era, and we didn’t lose a “must win” game to learn the lesson. I am disappointed in the wait between goal three and Laca sub. My assumption is Emery really just wanted to push his luck on this game (which if it wasn’t for poor Auba/Pepe… Read more »

Cultured Determination

so we basically sacrificed laca to start xhaka? really?


Both are useless


Not a bad result considering when everyone is match fit. This whole back four won’t be in our starting eleven.

All those criticizing tactics, remember Barcelona got slaughtered last season at Anfield. Looking for excuses are fine but sometimes one has to tip hat to opposition n applaud them.

Liverpool is a team right now who lost PL by one point. And are European champions.

With our youngesters coming up and a whole new back 4 coming in. Can we be better than Liverpool in coming yes.



I know Liverpool are European champions, but to see us play like a small team really hurt.


Despite the defeat Arsenal are not a million miles from Pool.The problem is the speed of the
Pool attack which is much faster.If the gunners can speed up the attack and not make
silly mistakes in defence,perhaps Emery can show he can challenge for 3rd or 4th.

Dave Cee

Before people decide to go open season on Emery, try to remember that the Liverpool team have been together for 3 years whereas this is only the 3rd game for this Arsenal team and Pepe’s 1st start.

John C

I think we can’t over look the fact that our starting eleven was short of probably 4 players that should greatly improve the quality of our team over the course of the season. Bellerin is greatly missed, AMN hasn’t convinced me at all at right back. He is repeatedly dribbled and relies on recovery pace to get back but that only works against the poorer sides, the moment we’re faced with top quality he gets exposed, plus his passing can be shocking. Despite having not seen Tierney play i can only assume he’d be an upgrade on an ageing Monreal.… Read more »