Report: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

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Result: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 24 August 2019
Venue: Anfield

Starting XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, Aubemeyang, Pepe.

Subs: Martinez, Chambers, Kolasinac, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Nelson, Lacazette


Liverpool condemned Arsenal to a first defeat of the season as goals from Joel Matip and a brace from Mohamed Salah, one a penalty, saw the Reds run out 3-1 winners at Anfield. 

Substitute Lucas Torreira reduced the deficit in the closing stages but despite an improved performance, particularly compared to the same fixture last year, the gulf in quality between the two sides remains clear. 

First half

Unai Emery handed a first start to record signing Nicolas Pepe, while Alexandre Lacazette was left in reserve on the bench. There was no place in the squad for Mesut Ozil.

Arsenal’s diamond was charged with keeping things tight in midfield but it also left spaces in the wide areas. Inside two minutes Robertson bound forward off the left flank and fired a low ball that just escaped Firmino at the back post. It was an early warning. 

The home side barely let us have a touch in the opening stages. When we did get on the ball, usually from Leno goal kick, we were immediately penned in. Wijnaldum had a snap shot went wide as we rode our luck. 

Our policy was one of patience. If we could hold firm at the back, maybe we’d get a chance on the break. On 12 minutes we got a glimpse as to why. A mix-up at the back saw Adrian hack a clearance away that left him exposed and Aubameyang’s attempted lob fell just wide. 

Pepe, making his first start for us, was a constant threat. Twice in the first half he made good use of the ball having been found by Willock to make space for a shot. On both occasions, he cut onto his left. The first effort forced Adrian to get down low. The second whipped just past the post. 

The Ivorian also made a total fool out of Robertson as he picked up the ball in the Liverpool half, drove forward, beat the Scot and struck straight at Adrian. Our new boy’s contribution was undoubtedly positive, but not taking his chances proved costly. 

While the home side were certainly wary of the counter, it wasn’t like they changed their game. Time and again they quickly shifted the ball from flank to flank to stretch our midfield. They also created chances. Salah nearly took advantage of a suicidal pass by Ceballos. Leno was well placed to collect the Egyptian’s shot.

In the final ten minutes of the half, the Reds turned the screw. Henderson’s deflected shot went just wide and we survived a VAR check for an infringement in the build-up. Salah then turned on a sixpence to escape Xhaka but sliced wide. 

Not long after, the Reds’ pressure finally told. A corner into the box was met by Matip who climbed over Sokratis to crash home a header. Even if the goal hadn’t been scored, there’s a fairly high chance that the Greek’s holding of Van Dyck might have resulted in a penalty. (1-0)

In stoppage time, Mane had a very similar chance from a corner but his header flew over. 

Second half

Two minutes after the change of ends, the Reds doubled their lead. Clever play saw Salah escape Luiz, courtesy of a great flick by Firmino, and when the Brazilian pulled the Egyptian’s shirt there was never any doubt that a spot-kick would be awarded. Salah put the ball in the top corner. (2-0)

Aubameyang had a chance to reduce the deficit when he was fed through on goal by Pepe but he was slow to get his shot off. He won a corner.  Replays showed that if he’d scored it probably would have been disallowed for offside. 

There was a swagger about Liverpool. We were trying very hard but we were chasing shadows much of the time. The Kop loved it. They howled in derision when we had the ball and roared when we lost it. Salah headed over from close range

On 59 minutes, the Egyptian helped himself to a second. A simple touch and burst of speed saw him escape Luiz and after that he just charged towards goal, opened his body and curled home. (3-0)

The ineffective Ceballos was replaced by Torreira as we looked to stem the Red tsunami. Not much changed. They cut through us with ease and when we tried to build play further up the pitch, we looked very laboured. 

Pepe‘s quick feet will make turnips of future opponents but as the game wore on, Van Dyck and his cohorts got wise to the shimmies, feints and cutting in from the right. 

Surprisingly, Emery kept the new boy on the pitch and decided to throw Lacazette into the fray for the final 10 minutes as we went all-out for a consolation goal. It came on 85 minutes as Torreira’s tenaciousness paid off. A first shot was blocked, but he pounced on the rebound to curl nicely beyond the keeper. (3-1)

Can Unai Emery take heart from the performance? Possibly. This was far from our worst performance at Anfield, a ground that regularly plays host to horror shows from us. Joe Willock looked decent in patches, the front pair will make many other teams soil their pants and we’re more comfortable playing from the back. That’s for sure. Anyway, we don’t have much time to dwell on the bad stuff, next up it’ll be Sp*rs at the Emirates and a chance to get back on track.

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Mayor McCheese

We lost to a much better team. Let’s keep this in perspective. Our aim was and still is for top four, not 97 points and the Champions League trophy.

Also, we need fullbacks. Now.

Axedsoul

Too much width for Robertson and Arnold.

VAR will solve the problem

I still think Emery bottled it with the selection. Doesnt make sense to leave Laca on the bench. PAL in front of Dani, Matteo and Joe would have gove us more fluidity…both of them made a huge difference after comning on. …it would have probably allowed Ceballos to play in Xhaka’s position…we had a crowded midfiled that were in each other’s way instead of having a synergy. If the game plan was to conceede wing areas to Liverpool (which was kinda working in the first half) then should have a fluid midfield instead of having extra bodies…and no real focal… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

I think people are reading too much into how we got back into it at the end. Mentally, Liverpool were already in the dressing room. The game was finished.

Emeryging Talent

The game is never finished until ref blows his whistle. Giving up after a second goal against has been a trait of arsenal for too long. I’d prefer we try even if it ends up pointless you never know. Look at palace v manure today…

Mayor McCheese

Um…I think you missed the part where I said Liverpool were already in the dressing room, not Arsenal. The reason they sat back a bit at the end is because they knew the match was over as a contest, not because they were suddenly dumbfounded about how to deal with Torreira and Lacazette.

Kran Stoenke

Yeah xhaka was brilliant today dani can’t defend like he did or find the passes that xhaka did. I know you probably hate xhaka but he did his work today. Willock had to be removed after being invisible in the second half. Benching laca the first 45 minutes was understandable considering emery decided to play hoof balls but not doing the double sub while taking of dani was just poor decision making. 3-1 from 5-1 do a couple seasons down the line, arsenal should be winning 1-2 at anfield.

Goonerink

he did do his work, and was solid defensively (hence the 3 goals…) but seriously he did well, its just a shame we were playing 0 – 0 vs liverpool because had his appearance today been in the 75th minute to sure things up after we had already taken the game to liverpool he would have been praised to hell. emery was way to pragmatic today. in the last 2 games we have been quick and dynamic. today we had a static back 8 and 2 cf’s. the upstairs seems to be improving at arsenal but emery is starting to… Read more »

Ordnance Dave

Laca is carrying an ankle knock and Torreira is still in pre-season. Can’t fault Emery for that. The idea to give Liverpool the wings was wrong though. The Manure game is the one im looking at. No excuse to lose to that lot with with these players.

Mayor McCheese

Yes, United and Chelsea are there for the taking this season. This, and the excellent work done over the summer — the fruit of which we’ll start to see over the coming months (not after three games, as some people expect) — give me confidence we’ll finish in the top four this season.

Tony Adams Nose

He could have started with Chambers, Luiz and Sok in a back three. The crowd the midfield with Torreria, Douzi, Ceballos, Nacho and AMN with Pepe as the Number 10 in front of the midfield and Auba up front. We lost this game in the midfield and had no plan B. If you go to Anfield and do not crowd out the midfield, they will kill you.

Mayor McCheese

Except that if you did that people would accuse Emery of being too conservative and weak-minded. Oh! Wait! People are doing that anyway despite his formation.

You don’t need to crowd the midfield to beat Liverpool. You need to be insanely talented and lucky to beat Liverpool. Only one team did it last year.

Can we keep expectations realistic for a change?

G-Man

Emery got his 1st half tactics right today…if we had Bellerin and Tierney. Not Niles and Monreal. His tactics made it a fullback vs fullback game but that only works if your fullbacks are better than the opposition. To be fair on Niles and Monreal, they did well in that half. It was our CBs that let us down for goal 1 and 2. Goal 3 was a touch of class but I tell you something… I am confident about this team once Bellerin, Holding and Tierney are in. If our CBs were sharper/better, today would have been a 1-1.… Read more »

Caligunner

@gman

That’s the whole point of tactics is to see where we might have an advantage and exploit it. You can’t say he had it right and than blame the players for not being better than the opposition.

That’s saying AW had it right all along but the players just weren’t good enough to execute the plan lol

MacHans

mwhn! You are so so on point. The return fixture comes to mind.

Alex

I found the first half hard to watch. The players constantly playing it out from the back, inviting pressure. It was the worst of all crimes – boring.

Der32

I only wish Emery can teach the players to pass quicker. More one touch football, less ponderous looks forward and sideways. We didn’t show enough how talented our team really is so that’s disappointing.

Mayor McCheese

I’m with you Der. We are talented, but players like Ceballos, Luiz, and Pepe are new to the team, with the latter still working his way back to fitness. And we’re waiting for Bellerin and Tierney to be fit. There are going to be disjointed performances, and, you know, we were playing Liverpool and Anfield…

para

When our team can just not care where we were playing, not to let the venue distract, then we will have a good team. When we go a goal down we seem to lose focus instead of being more focussed and determined to rectify that.

Adams9802

Agreed Xhaka doesn’t help in that respect, or in any respect frankly. He’s a slow sideways passing dud that cant shoot, can’t tackle, mark or run.

Mayor McCheese

Xhaka was fine. Didn’t he assist for the goal, too? I don’t think he did much wrong today. Ceballos was all over the place. In the bad way. He’s better than that.

pitzkale

Auba assisted

Mayor McCheese

Ah, but I seem to remember Xhaka being involved. No?

Kolkata_Gooner

Xhaka played the pass to Auba I think. He was involved in the build up basically.

Naked Cygan

What game were you watching?

Mayor McCheese

Stop it with the what game were you watching nonsense. Such a useless response.

Adams9802

It wasn’t Xhaka it was Aubamuyang.

Caligunner

@mayor

Maybe he isn’t better than that against better teams. It’s not like he’s coming from a small club without big match experience.

Martin L. E.

Can’t shoot?
Man u better check yourself.
Xhaka was fine today. I shook my head when I saw he started over Torreira. But the man did just fine.

para

In the 1st half defending we moved the ball quickly, so we can do it, but it seems that we were scared to do it in their half. Yet we need to improve lots in moving the ball fast to reach Liverpool level, some of our players will not ever reach that speed with the ball. I thank Liverpool for not continuing after scoring 3, they relaxed. In the 2nd half you can see that Klopp had analysed our tactics and instructed accordingly, Torreria should have replaced Xhaka and Laca on for Cabellos.

Maniac

A stupid decision and a lapse of concentration from Luiz took us out of the game. The formation was wrong and we should have played Lacazette from the start but, considering seasons past, 3-1 away at Anfield is an improvement. Not feeling that pessimistic tbh.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

What’s the ETA of Tierney and Hector?

Mayor McCheese

October. Sadly.

Didrik Plehn

Liverpool is better than us and our formation doesn’t change anything. I would have have started Laca and Torreira, but I’m not sure it would have made any difference

Sbdjubor1306

What better team did we lose to? We were undone by the inferiority complex and mediocrity that have plagued this club over the last decade. We go in with defitist mentality. What formation was that? The stubbornness that was seen during the last years under Wenger are still evident. We played with a slow midfield that offered little protection for our defense and very little link up with the forwards. The manager is fully responsible for this defeat. His team selection and playing Ceballos out of position, and having no one to hold the ball up are his fault. We’re… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

It was a diamond formation, and actually it was a good call as a response to Liverpool’s midfield.

And you’re not seriously asking “what better team did we lose to,” are you?

How many games did Liverpool lose last season? I’ll wait while you look it up!

kaius

They think we should’ve gone to Anfield and played like it was a home game. Kids these days

thw14

It has to be kids, right?

Does any adult who’s watched more than 3 seasons of Arsenal genuinely think we should have ‘gone for it more’ in this game?

On the basis of what footballing logic?!

Caligunner

Yes we should have started with our front 3 of laca, Pepe, auba. Did you think we were going to keep them from scoring today at Liverpool? Play to our strengths than lose as bad as we did playing with a weaker lineup.

kaius

It’s just naive to think we’re ready to play all three star forwards without leaving our midfield horribly exposed.

Everyone wants to play champagne football mate, but sometimes you need to respect your opponent.

Mayor McCheese

Cali,

I guarantee if we had done as you suggested, you’d be moaning right now even more than you already are.

Or maybe ‘guarantee’ is too strong a word, since, as I’m sure you’d agree, hindsight is 20/20. Right? I mean, I’m sure your selection is based on more than just ‘we could score more!’ wishful thinking?

Yeah, you’d use PAL. Good for you.

Flavoured Rice

Don’t play the it’s Wengers fault card now. Open your eyes, this is all on Emery

kaius

He didn’t say it was Wenger’s fault. But the reality is – we’ve been terrible in top-four games for nearly 10 years now.

People act like Arsene left us a team that always beat our rivals and Emery came along and ruined it. We’re a work in progress, not the finished article

CRAIG

Bad bad management poor decisions from UNAI I think if this was another team his job should be on the line after today. I’m putting him on the sack list. That was bad from unai. It’s his fault alone today. Can’t fault the players today.

alex lacapeppe

scoreline would have been 1-1 if not for luiz two costly mistakes

para

A thought came to me when he made the first mistake, you know how it does, that Luiz is Chelsea’s secret weapon ? Hey, did’nt i say that about Cech?

CRAIG

Unai poor press conference saying we are scared of Liverpool didn’t give players confidence. Bad management Unai formation and team selection very poor. Plays and inexperienced 19yr old midfielder and epl and anfield inexperienced Ceballos and then he benched arguably arsenals most clinical finisher Lacazette???. Poor management. Plus on top of that plays a diamond 4 3 3 and does absolutely nothing at nullifying their fullbacks. Poor management. He does nothing at half time to change the shape of the team or formation or personell. He waits till 75min for his first sub at 3nil down. And then waits another… Read more »

Heknockedoutjohnterry

Thankfully the club is not run by people who shit themselves because we lost an away game to the european champions.

Mayor McCheese

The outrage is absurd. What magic wand do people have in mind when they expect a rebuilding Arsenal to show up at Anfield and boss the game? We’re a work in progress. Liverpool are complete and have been for a couple of years now.

SaraBoGunner

Agree with all but the last sentence. Poor management today. Not poor management overall.

Martin L. E.

Who the hell are hitting the thumbs up??

Tape delay gooner

I think calling for the sack after this game is a bit early at this point but I totally agree Emery managed this game extremely poorly today. The failure to react in the 2nd half with a substitute to change the shape/game was especially perturbing.

Deano

It was tactical to allow their fullbacks the freedom of the park and funnily enough it backfired.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

At least AMN, Willovk and Guedoozi got some big game experience. Kinda late with the changes I thought.

STANZY

like I said bad management

Reality check

The man said he didn’t wanna play Liverpool, he showed why..

Chamakhyungpark

Yeh, Liverpool are a lot better than us, it was going to be a huge ask the third game fo the season and get anything. Our midfield was completely overpowered and overrun. When we get Tierney and Bellerin back we will be a lot harder team to defend against as they both offer pace out wide and we lacked that a lot against Liverpool today. Flashes from Pepe too.

It was a bit of a thrashing, but I guess that was to be expected. We will be better against spuds.

Axedsoul

We sat deep and we got hammered. We started pressing in the last 10 minutes and suddenly ‘pool were under pressure. Who would’ve guessed?

Mootilated

Right? It’s almost as if playing your strongest 11 gives you better chances ?

Deano

Mootilated why not pick our strongest 11. Most of last season away from home and now today we stuck one of our goal machines on the bench. You only see Firmino, Salah or Mane sat on the bench if they are either an injury doubt or coming back from injury. Aubamyang reckons we have a front three that can be as deadly, do well to hammer one home from the bench. We need Torreira week in week out as well, only aggressive midfielder that we have. Not going to hang the full backs the tactics was to invite theirs upfield.… Read more »

Goonerink

laca had a knock but still

Reality check

Laca is not a goal machine..

Anonymarse

Liverpool stopped pressing in the last 10 minutes

Comedian

Exactly

Sbdjubor1306

What stopped Arsenal from pressing them during the first half? By the way, where is Emery’s “High press” we were promised when he was hired?

kaius

Not sure where you got that from. We weren’t promised pressing in every game.

Anyway, you either hold a solid defensive structure, or you break it to go and press. But when their talented players bypass the press fans would accuse the coach of “playing too open”.

Onenil

Not sure how we can high press when all our possession is near our own box, and all their possessionis in our half?

Didrik Plehn

What stopped us from pressing Liverpool? Did you watch the game? Liverpool are much better than us, have better players and have had many hours more with practice. High press against them now would have trashed us…But, I’m optimistic and we are going to get better, but Emery will need a few years to compete with Liverpool. Don’t forget how bad we were in the 2017/18 season and it’s not long time ago…

Mayor McCheese

We put them under pressure? Keep in mind that by that point we were playing a team that knew they had won the game. I don’t think for one minute Liverpool felt ‘under pressure’.

Sbdjubor1306

The diff5 between Arsenal and the likes of Liverpool is confidence. A confident team believes they can beat anybody regardless of the scorelines. Arsenal go into big matches with their tails between their legs, the results are always a foregone conclusion. We’re a mid table team in all honesty.

Vonnie

Emery was scared of mid-table teams last season, this season he’s telling everyone we don’t ever want to play against Liverpool. I think the players are up for it and the manager is the problem. What message does it give the players when Laca is left on the bench?

Dawdler

I can’t believe he actually said that by the way! If I am a young ambitious player of course I want to play Liverpool!! Hell I am a washed up, old ass, never was and I still dream of playing Liverpool and scoring and achieving glory! What kind of mentality is that. I am sure he was being glib, maybe joking, but psychologically you have to be bit more cognizant of what you say in the build up to a big game like this.

Mayor McCheese

Think of the children, right Dawdler? ‘I can’t believe he actually said that!’

Please. You must think the players are made of milk toast.

Mayor McCheese

Yeah, and then he said on Thursday that even though Liverpool are ahead of us right now we should go there with real intent.

Do you really think the players are sitting there going ‘you know, I was up for the game, but then Emery made a joke about Liverpool, so I’m downing tools!’

Managers of clubs lesser than ours have said similar things about us and walked away from the Emirates with the points, so please stop with the nonsense that Emery’s words have any correlation to the result.

Dawdler

You’re really on one regarding this aren’t you Mr. Mayor? I’ll add some context for you. I don’t think the players are so fragile that the manager’s statement destroyed their psyche. I DO think every single player wants to play, and so you try and satisfy what the boss wants. You embody his ideals. You stick to the game plan. When you start to believe your manager is more concerned with not losing than winning then you play that way. You are less likely to take the risks that moments of brilliance and games can turn on (when they come… Read more »

I'm 14 Again

So they played with the handbrake on ????

Kostas

If we played openly for 90 minutes are you sure the score would be less?

Anonymarse

Seems unlikely …

Realist

So you think every team in PL would concede more than 3 goals to Liverpool ! No they don’t and we currently have better team than many of them , this loss is on Emery. I think he should go before its too late.

SB Still

You are probably right, we would have probably conceded more. However, most of the investment and focus has been on the attacking side, so why not use it. We may have lost by a wider margin but I think it would have been less embarrassing. We played with the mentality of a lower mid-table team

Onenil

If we had shipped 5 again that would have been way worse. This was respectable against the European Champions… and no I didn’t enjoy watch it and I wasn’t happy losing.

Emeryging Talent

I reckon emery has to own this today. Think with a more positive set up we could’ve taken it to them today. Watching arsenal is like slow motion sometimes…Luiz made mistakes which count for two of their goals and we definitely should’ve put one away in the first half, either Pépé or Auba… not all doom and gloom there’s positives but disappointing nonetheless and feels we’re a long way from challenging. Hopefully we can be more the “protagonists” next week against that lot down the road to make up for it. COYG

Adams9802

Well they had also withdrawn Firmino and Mane by that point so the Gegenpress wasn’t in full effect.

thw14

They get tired in the last 20. It’s the time to go for the kill. Keep the deficit to 2 goals and they are there for the taking.

goonero

Way too conservative from Emery, we could have given Liverpool much more of a game than this. I could care less about losing, but getting rolled over without much fuss like this is what gets to me. Why would you play Xhaka as the base DM in a 3 man midfield when Torreira is fit? Why play a formation that leaves a team with fullbacks like Liverpool’s so much time and space? Why put your best ball playing midfielder in Ceballos at 10 in a game where you’re a) in need of someone to beat a very high press and… Read more »

PeteyB

We had a couple of great chances in when the score was 0-0; Auba lob when Adrian had a moment, then Pepe going clean through. If either of those are goals I think the story and opinion would be totally different…
Onto next week and 3 points from the NLD thanks.

Jijo

We scored first the last time around.. Story was worse..

PeteyB

true enough! But I’d like to think we had a little more going for us today than last year.

Caligunner

Liverpool had great chances too at 0-0.

CRAIG

Unai poor judgement and management cost us today

Mayor McCheese

Which ‘judgement’ and ‘management’ are you referring to, exactly? Criticism is all well and good, but too many people are just being vague and unrealistic in their criticism of Emery. Name me a manager who got it spot on at Anfield last season and walked away with a win.

Cheers.

Glocken

I’m sorry but I think a big reason why we lost today was really poor management from Emery. The formation was wrong, the tactics were wrong & the players picked were wrong. Playing so narrow & inviting their fullbacks on was suicide. As was not starting Torriera or Lacazette. This was too big a game for someone like Willock. We had no out ball, no pace on the wings to trouble Liverpool aside from Pepe. Emery didn’t change it at half time, only put Torriera on when we were 3-0 down (and scores) & our 50 million striker coming on… Read more »

Tony Hall

Emery was not responsible for sideshow Bob conceding a needless penalty and being left for dust for the third

Glocken

True, but it was clear his starting tactics were not working & he waited too long to change. Torreira & Lacazette should have been on at half time (Both should have started).

Mayor McCheese

I don’t know what happened with Lacazette, but Torreira isn’t yet match fit. He came back late this summer.

I AM ARSENAL

Laca picked up some sort of ankle injury against Lyon in pre season

kaius

We all love Laca but truthfully he’s got a very bad scoring record in away games

Adams9802

No but it was obvious from the first minute his little tactical plan wasn’t going to work. Also I think by now we must concede that giving up penalties can happen at any moment for us no matter the opposition.

NisargC

All thanks to David Luiz.. He is too rash when beaten

Sbdjubor1306

Where was the midfield cover for Ruiz? Now he’s going to be the scapegoat for our incompetence

Jijo

I just don’t understand all the talks of being protagonists , spending a lot on attacking, talking about it again and again..and then setting up play like fucking stoke city. We actually have enough firepower to go head to head pool actually. I don’t blame the players because they play like how they are asked to. I have a feeling that all our beautiful identity will be sucked out by the time we end the season. I would have been content with a stylish defeat today..not like playing like cowards and not realising your strength! Willock was excellent. Xhaka and… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

If you go to Anfield and play Liverpool like ‘protagonists’ you will lose by a cricket score. 3-1 was a welcome non-humiliation.

Sir Obi

Chicken shit!

Glocken

A welcome non humiliation? Not good enough mate, Palace beat United today despite being massive underdogs.

Mayor McCheese

Um, no. Anybody can beat Solskjaer’s United these days. I’m confident we will, too.

Adams9802

United are managed by a out of depth idiot who thinks “passion” and some nonsensical “United way” is a substitute for technical and tactical ability. Oh they’ve also won 3 in 16 since they bet PSG in February.

OneBeatOff

Shhhhh … someone might hear you and do something about it. I think things are going splendid at Man United.

Jijo

So we go there and play for not losing? The longer the team keep that mentality, the longer it will take us to win there. How do you think Liverpool or Man City play like leaders away from home as well? They have the players and they just play their game. We also have the team..but we just don’t do that! Heck..we used to play our game when our team was far worse!!

thw14

Yeah and we lost 6-0 to Mourinho. Who actively encouraged his teams to minimize their possession.

Maybe it’s just different appetites for humiliation, but all the pretty passing in the world doesn’t make up for results like that. No more kamikaze nonsense.

Jijo

Valid point had we won the game today.

Mayor McCheese

Liverpool and City have settled squads. Give Arsenal a bit more time, ffs! There’s still work to do and defenders to come back.

Anonymarse

and a lot of young players in our team who will hopefully improve

Deano

Mayor McCheese I’m pleased that you feel not getting stuffed is a good result. Fantastic that we went there with damage limitation rather than winning on our minds.

Mayor McCheese

I love how you and the fella above think that Arsenal’s players went into the game with the same mentality as Mayor McCheese after the game. Seriously, what’s going on here?

thw14

You’re being sarcastic but I am, in actual fact, glad that we did that Deano. Saves the trouble of picking up the pieces of shattered egos, which generally makes the next 2 to 3 games unwatchable.

Here, we can take some pride in sticking to a good defensive game plan for 45, compartmentalize the mistakes in the second half, and move on. And hopefully not have to hear stuff about mental strength.

kaius

It was brutal at times, but definitely agree with this.

Instilling tactical discipline was ugly and painful today but it’ll reap benefits later this season

Deano

I have started calming down thw14 but in truth I feel some people are listening to Gary Neville “oh well at least they haven’t capitulated this time”. I’m sorry we ain’t good enough defensively to park everyone’s arse behind the ball and lob it up field for a counter attack goal. This is not a beef about today, this is a beef about our away record in general under Emery. I’m tired of seeing one of our most dangerous players sat on the bench away from home. People are going on about this Liverpool team being invincible, we believed that… Read more »

Sbdjubor1306

I couldn’t agree with you more. We go into big games with our tails between our legs like a newly promoted team.

thw14

We do not have enough firepower to match them – that’s just a fact. The forward lines are a wash, I’ll give us that. But our ‘best’ midfielder is on loan. They spent 100 million-plus on three centre mids at the top of their game, one of whom set Salah free for the third goal out of nothing. Chamberlain and Shaqiri are squad players there. That is not an even match, as things stand. I am sick of losing by big scores, please. Please. This 3-1 was not great, but it’s at least a step in the right direction. If… Read more »

Arskicker

Fabinho is a DM…Winaldum (Ex Newcastle), Henderson (Ex Sunderland) & Milner are not what I would regard as spectacularly creative or dangerous players…The Ox was more or less a squad player over his time at Arsenal & Shaqiri came straight from relegated Stoke… I am amazed at how some ppl continue to over rate other team players and under rate our own players… IMO we have a good squad this season I am dissapointed to see we showed up at Anfield yesterday adopting adopting Stoke tactic … Unai game plan was clear for all to see ….but what dissapointed me… Read more »

ricky rick

Agree. Also didn’t understand Ceballos on the left, when you’re trying to hit them on the break, wut? Play narrow that’s fine, but then why not risk a player with more pace out wide once you invite the opposing fullbacks forward.

Caligunner

@glocken

Have you not watched arsenal all last season? Isn’t this emery’s style? Constantly changing lineups and/or formations regardless of our opponents? When he gets it right he’s a genius and when he gets it wrong at least he tried lol

thw14

What do you mean no out ball? We created the clearest open play chance of the first half, a one-on-one for Pepe. Those need to be put away.

I thought the plan for the first 45 was as good as I’ve seen in big games in the last 5 years. He needed to keep Liverpool guessing in the second half – he picked a really bad game to avoid the half time sub.

kaius

This kind of crap where Arsenal fans are talking about changing the coach after 3 games is so tragic. After 3 games!

Sadly it’s the end result of Prof Wenger staying for way too long – he has effectively stolen any kind of honeymoon period for future Arsenal coaches.

No more patience, no attempts to understand how hard the Arsenal job is given the strength of rivals like Liverpool, nothing. Just “change the coach” like we’re in a relegation dogfight lol. What a farce

Yankee Gooner

Emery has more than a 3-game résumé at AFC to draw upon.

Mayor McCheese

That’s right, he’s had one season, and then after some excellent work in the transfer window, we’ve got Gooners shouting at him to leave because he hasn’t successfully integrated new players into a settled system…after three games. One of them at…Anfield.

Pfft. Let’s not be silly.

kaius

There is nothing more pointless than talking about sacking a coach who only has 9 months left on his contract anyway. People really need to grow up about this

Caligunner

@mayor

What great work??? That’s to be judged later. We needed a top cab and got a 30+ has been and 18yo we can’t even use. Lb who is injured. Ceballos on loan.

Pepe is great but we needed more defense than attacking options if we weren’t getting any help defensively.

Get settled in what system? Lol he has none. That’s the point.

Mayor McCheese

I said we did “excellent work in the transfer window.” You’d take issue with that? We addressed our needs and brought in Pepe along with one of the most talented young players in Spain. Tierney is a special player, too.

The whole ‘Emery has no system’ thing is a myth. Do you really not see what he wants the players to do?

Mayor McCheese

Love the non-response, by the way. You can’t really see what Emery is trying to do? Seems like someone can’t read the game.

Deano

Kaius what kind of crap are you talking, pretty sure he has been here more than 3 games. I distinctly remember us being dreadful at the end of last season. I’m not calling for him to be sacked but he needs to sort out that away record.

kaius

Well, I remember us getting to a European Final for the first time in 15-odd years. I also remember us being as high as 3rd in the table until Ramsey’s untimely injury exposed how weak/young our CM options were.

Anyway, I agree he needs to improve away, esp. against our rivals.

mrugunner

not a fan of emery but the game would have been different had pepe and auba scored. but yes emery talks about being protagonists. more like passing from the back to nothing really productive.
auba is still a mystery. he scores a lot but should have scored a lot more.
but it was clear from the start guendouzi was too narrow and let robertson too much freedom! let’s see next week

thw14

Guendouzi kept switching beautifully to Robertson when Robertson made the overlap (and not before). It was a great display of how to play the shuttler role in the diamond, while addressing the key weakness of that formation, which is the lack of width.

Liverpool were reduced to crossing at their front three, which is not at all what they wanted to be doing. Getting a young midfielder to time that switch consistently against a top side is good coaching, and good execution.

Heknockedoutjohnterry

I love Laca but he still hasnt done enough away from home to be a lock for games like this. Its easy to pick holes in retrospect and one side effect of a stronger squad is that there are always going to be good players on thr bench for you to point to.

kaius

Laca himself said we haven’t seen the best of him yet. It’s funny that he knows he still has improvements to make while some of our fans think he can do wrong.

HelderHughes

Just a better team. No real complaints. Disappointing not to see Laca start. Tends to be a big game player and it felt at times like we had two wingers and no striker.

Feel like we’ve seen everything Xhaka has to offer and it’s just not good enough. Ah well, onwards and upwards. Let’s smash the spuds.

Scwibble

I saw good things from Xhaka. What game were you watching mate? I don’t think you know what day it is.

HelderHughes

Didn’t say he played bad. Just not quite sure what he does. Would’ve preferred Torreira from the start.

Comedian

What game were you watching??? He is saying we have seen what a limited and useless player he is. But to make him Club Captain is just hilarious.

Eduar-do a deer

Why be so rude? The guys just expressing an opinion.

James

You’re taking the piss

Jean Ralphio

I think Xhaka didn’t play too bad. He also helped create our goal.

Play well

Xhaka made to many mistake, silly tackle, heavy foot, cant drible, clear the ball to corner kick leading to the first goal, jogging when they hit us on counter. He just not good enough for Arsenal

Sir Obi

We were tactically bankrupt from the onset. Pepe was stretching them in the first half, all we need was Auba on the other flank and Laca down the middle, with Ceballos behind him. Torreira protecting the defense.

Caligunner

That’s how the tactics were set up? 2 up on top playing wide going in on the attack?

Xhaka I thought was wrong from the start but in this formation today he wasn’t the problem.

Sbdjubor1306

A confident team but don’t believe they are unbeatable. Poor player selection and formation by our coach.

Tim

At this point, if you watched the game and feel like you must single out Xhaka as the “not good enough player” on the pitch, then I feel sorry for you mate. Granit wast the least of our problems today.

HelderHughes

And the award for massive overreaction to a throw away comment goes to….

Tim.

Well done mate.

Mikeytaryan

It’s a process but I’m still happy with what I’m seeing so far with this team
…….but now I know for a FACT that Sokratis is our best defender

Mentalist

… And terrible in the air

Thierry Bergkamp

That’s not something to be happy about.

Sbdjubor1306

If you think mediocrity us a process then I agree with you. By the way, we should also consider ourselves mid-table as well, that was a horrible performance. Our coach is responsible!!

Scwibble

Say what you like, I saw progress. And also, I can’t stress this enough… It’s Anfield.

Onto the cunts next week.

kaius

Yeah I sort of kind of enjoyed the game as a test? And geesus Liverpool are properly good, so hats off to them.

COYG1001

Cowardly setup. Brave performance!

Mayor McCheese

What was cowardly about it?

I love how people are all getting worked up about how we should have played more open and attack attack attack. Ummm…yeah, that’s asking to be humiliated at Anfield.

Besides, I thought it WAS brave to start Pepe and Auba at Liverpool! Along with Willock and Ceballos. Don’t start with the cowardly nonsense.

Dorothy

Mostly with you Monsieur McCheese, fans and pundits were complaining for years that Wenger needed to smarten up away from home to big sides. And holding that perfomance against City with the Coq-cazorla axis as the template. However, surely just hoofing the ball up to Auba or Pepe is not the answer right? A link was missing even with decent strategy.

Goonerink

no one is asking emery to set us up for all out attack, they were just disappointed to see he set us up for all out defence !

Mayor McCheese

If he was setting us up for all out defence, he certainly wouldn’t have started Pepe and Ceballos.

Mayor McCheese

Or, sorry, maybe I should have just asked: What makes you think Emery set us up for “all out defence” in this game, given that he started Pepe, Auba, and Ceballos, and without a recognizable defensive midfielder?

Raj Singh

If Pepe takes his chances it’s a different game. We gave them to much space all over the pitch. Changes were required at half time not after we’re three down. Could have been a lot worse. Overall Liverpool deserved to win.

Jean Ralphio

In these big games, the first goal is so important. If only. Had we scored it would have surely put a dent in their confidence bombing up the pitch.

GraeB

We scored first last season!

Slackinsydney

Really? Last year we scored first. Final score? 5-1

The Spoon

We scored first last year and that just pissed them off…

cygan’sbaldspot

No, not really — in this end can’t fixture last season we scored first, and most 5-1

cygan’sbaldspot

*exact for fuck sake

Mootilated

Wow, Guendouzi really showed how we can beat any team didn’t he?

Anyway. Difference in quality was obvious to see from the get go. Not surprised.

Scwibble

Do you expect our players to come out and say we can’t beat the best team in the league?

Mootilated

No, but I don’t expect them to come out and say we can, either

ricky rick

I thought he was really good especially in the first half.

Adams9802

He keeps us moving forward, plus he played better with a midfield partner who could move around and has actual energy.

Mesut O’Neill

They didn’t show a replay of the penalty, was Sala offside? Surprised it wasn’t looked at.

When will Arsenal learn about conceding pointless penalties.

Mentalist

Not shown on TV doesn’t mean the video refs didn’t look at it.

Caligunner

When we spend 60-80m on a top accomplished cb lol

zadok

To make long story short… they lived happily ever after!
Now, i can sleep… zzz

Anonymarse

At least our guys gave it 100% and didn’t just cave in. Can’t ask any more than that.

I’ve seen worse

ricky rick

Obviously I’m not saying it’s all his fault, but Xhaka is an absolute liability against teams like Liverpool. Leave alone his athleticism and inability to run with the ball, the man can’t receive the ball and turn quickly. Even the range of passing he’s famous for, put slight pressure on him and he will always pass to his right, too one-footed for deep laying ‘playmaker’ type.

I hope he gets the captainship, so he leaves.

Jijo

I just don’t understand this. Xhaka was one of the better performers today. I think he was one of the very few who could actually play a forward pass today in the first half. Try to be objective.

NairoGunner89

If I had a penny for everytime someone said xhaka was “one of our better players” everytime we lose a game, I would have very many pennies. He is rarely magnificent when we are having a good day, but he is always either slightly better or terrible when we are losing. He may nog be a bad player but it just hasn’t clicked for him at Arsenal. Either our system doesn’t suit him or we have not found the right pairing. I just do not see it working. And it has not been for a lack of trying. He has… Read more »

Tim

If you hope to get an objective take on Xhaka, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong forum. If it’s any consolation, I agree with you: the fact that some people can watch a game like today’s and single out Xhaka as the “liability” is baffling. What about AMN’s series of unforced errors? That Ceballos ball in our box in the first half?

ricky rick

Jijo and Tim – I don’t have a personal issue against Xhaka and his abilities – just not against a very good pressing team. Also I think you’re deflecting by insisting that we are not being objective, while YOU are. ‘The’ liability? No. ‘A’ liability? absolutely. Really?? You think “he was one of the very few who could actually play a forward pass today in the first half”? We watched different matches for sure, with the press ‘on’ every time he got the ball he passed back to the defenders or Leno. Guendouzi and Willock could at least turn with… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

Agreed, Tim. I can’t understand why Xhaka of all people would be singled out as a liability after today’s performance.

ricky rick

Because his position is critical in how we can play out from the back against Liverpool’s press? Because we’ve seen this movie quite a few times?

Mayor McCheese

And please point to all the occasions in which Xhaka displayed an inability to pass the ball in this game?

Please also explain how he was any less effective than Guendouzi, Willock, or Ceballos.

Cheers.

ricky rick

Mayor, do you watch Match of the Day? Watch the clip that Danny Murphy used to show that Liverpool stopped us playing and look at what Xhaka does.

Goonish

This is getting really annoying. I feel for Xhaka, now that mustafi is going us arsenal fans need a new target to destroy at every opportunity. I’m sure Xhaka will be out soon and it’ll be someone else next.

momozemio

Everybody makes mistake, and i would say this one is on the coach… not the best team selection, we were wide open & open wide… it was painful to watch at times. On to the derby, let’s go back to winning ways at home!

Caligunner

Emery makes too many mistakes with selections and formation/tactics

Mentalist

Action zones

GW1:
Arsenal’s third: 27%
Middle third: 47%
Newcastle third: 26%

GW2:
Arsenal’s third: 39%
Middle third: 32%
Burnley third: 28%

Figure out the math for today’s game… the trend is downhill.

The only reason we have any points at all is we have strikes who can score out of nothing.

Caligunner

And we played burnley and Newcastle. Teams that play to our strengths

Olivije Žirod

We were more adjusting to their game than just to play our own game whatever that is thesedays.

Heknockedoutjohnterry

If all the teams we played had exactly the same ability then this narrow focused analysis might have some more merit.

As it is it looks like you might have cherry picked a stat and then taken it out of context to back up a position you already hold.

There isnt much value to that.

Mentalist

Not cherry picked at all.

After the first two games I was just thinking, why the hell does it feel like we’ve been outplayed by relegation zone teams?

There it is. The majority of the game is being played closer to our goal than to theirs.

So much for Protagonists.

Moses Omeiza

This Emery’s ‘Ropa-dop’ style will not help us against high pressing teams like L’pool and Man City

NairoGunner89

I was not expecting a win. I think we all need to be very patient with this team. Still have no sense of what our 1st team is given our injured players and the team selection Emery will go with once everyone is fit. That being said, in the spirit of working with what you have..play your best team. The team selection was poor, the substitutions were a mess.
We rolled over.

Caligunner

For a manager who has made changes at halftime, what took soo long today to make subs? !?!

sami

This game came around too early for us. Lucky them. Take out Liverpools full backs, Fabinho and Firmino and thats how WE lined up today. Not sure why we shaped up tactically like we did today…I hope for a strong analysis on it from somewhere. The pen was a gift by Luiz…Tierney with his pace would have got back in against Salah….etc etc. Strong finish when we had what would have been my starting 11 on the pitch. Luckily everyone else has been dropping points this weekend.

Thierry Bergkamp

Except Chelsea

Caligunner

Strong finish? Wtf sorry this isn’t directed at you specifically but I hate it when someone says strong finish when we are down 3. I understand we could have given up and they could have scored more but don’t you think being up 3 they pulled back just little knowing game was pretty much over?

There usually is no rhyme or reasoning to the formation emery uses unless we win. Lol

sami

Yeah i get you Cali, i really wanted to get at them today.

Kostas

Unai ‘s plan was almost flawless but Auba’s and Pepe’s near misses were not left unpunished.
Good team effort and hard work especially from Willock and Guendouzi.
Hopefully we can see more once Pepe gets more with the others.

Caligunner

Flawless? Just like Pepe or auba, Liverpool has some early misses. It goes both ways

Sbdjubor1306

As usual, Arsenal fans continue to perpetuate mediocrity. Offering praises for poor performance game after game. Emery’s formation and team selection were disastrous. What system was that? Give them plenty of time on the ball and watch the over run us in the middle while relying on the brilliance of our strikers? Then we don’t need a coach, any Sunday morning coach can come up with that crap. Let’s call a spade a spade: we need a coach that can inspire our players mentally, not making reckless statements like “we don’t want to play against Liverpool”

Kostas

As usual some Arsenal fans feel that it’s our god given right to be Invincible in every season.
The fact is that we are way below Pool and counter attacks was the best approach.
The match was closer than you think.

We have players that do not fit Emerys plan and are fossils of the Wenger era (Ozil Xhaka).
We have a coach who is not crop of the cream but I really wonder who would have come in a shinking ship? Arteta and Viera?
If he manages top 4 maybe we can lure someone better.

David

I don’t care who we play, our best attack should start together.

Jean Ralphio

This game was all about gaining confidence and not losing in the manner that we have in the past. Ceballos looked off the pace. Torreira and Lacazette should have started. Would be interesting to see if Ozil sticks around, because while he does no defend as much, we look better in attack with him in the team. That said, Willock did well today. We had our chances.

Arunava

Exactly, it’s not like we are defending really well in Ozil’s presence anyway.

Arunava

absence*

Sir Obi

People saying we lost to a better team. I disagree!! We lost the match before it even started, how does a coach inspire his team to victory when he sets up his team not to lose instead of wining. Arsenal has probably one of the worst defenses in the league, but somehow the coach thinks we can sit deep, contain Liverpool and hit them on the counter? We have a fierce front three, but the manager thinks playing Ceballos out of position will do the trick. Emery is the problem, he was the reason we didn’t make it into the… Read more »

Dave

Last season 5-1, this one 3-1, two goals less conceded, I guess is improvement! Now seriously, this was a game we weren’t going to win, no matter all the excitement about our signings and our 2 games won, this wasn’t going to be easy, specially because new players still need time to adapt and all of that. I truly believe Emery got his tactics wrong for this game, this wasn’t a game for Xhaka, and we should’ve try to put some pressure on them instead of sit back. I think that’s one of the main issues I have with Emery,… Read more »

Sbdjubor1306

Why can’t we win a game against Liverpool? Are they superhumans? This is the level of mediocrity that has prevailed at this club for the last decade: secure 4th place trophy and call it a successful season. It has led to complacency at every level of the club: manager, board, players, and fans. Now it’s no longer possible. With this attitude we will fast become a mid-table club. Liverpool can be beaten. Arsenal go into away matches with caption “difficult, tricky” even against smaller sides. This mentality must change: you can’t win a fight when you have doubts about the… Read more »

Scwibble

Why can’t you just accept that they are miles better, they won the CL and got close to the league as well, just chill.

Olivije Žirod

No, this level of mediocrity has prevailed only since Wenger left because we are apparently still in some kind of “transition”. When Wenger was here we still went in every game to win. We went into every season to win. I bet no one belived we are able to win the league in the 2017/18 but the objectives still were. We didn’t even think of finishing outside the top 4. Change Emery for Wenger and the narrative is different. That is why we didn’t finish last year in the top 4. At the start of the season most of the… Read more »

Zuhair

Hopefully Pepe can sort out his nerves now that he’s got his debut.

Hoping to crush Sp*rs next week!

Ballz

You can never win by trying to not lose!!

War Chest

I think the idea was to not be overrun Again

Billy Bob

Yeah had we a full strength squad to pick from we’d have had a tighter game but not having three of your first choice defenders is going to hurt especially against a team like liverplop

Amusa

Xhaka is so bad under pressure that Guendozi had to take the ball of the CBs and distribute, something Xhaka is supposed to be in the team for and Ceballos had to play wide because of him.
We just cant afford to play him against teams that press high.

PepePeppa

This arsenal team needs to get more energy in midfield — I was hoping that when we got Emery this was the direction the team would evolve, but consistently choosing the ponderous Xhaka over Torreria suggests otherwise. Thought Willock played well though. Please can we have Holding back too?

shaka

yup he take ball from CB and give to LB … never able to bring ball out into opposition half

Dat guy

I’ll put this game on Emery. Got his tactics totally wrong and we paid the price. Never should’ve allowed Robertson and Arnold so much time to terrorize our CBs. On to the next one, hopefully we can gain back some momentum and push for top 4

Tony Hall

If Mustafi had conceded that penalty and been beaten for the third goal you would be all calling for his head. I guarantee David Luiz is just error prone ! …

The Spoon

He did make some errors but he had some decent moments too, not something you would say about Mustafi. He’s only a stop gap until next summer anyway.

lettra

David Luiz has mistakes in him (like most defenders really) but he is an elite defender and has been so for a decade the mistake today was dumb and costly but way too much is being made about his prowness for error he has been chased by the best teams in the world all his life and will serve as better in games to come .

Glasgow_Gooner

Willock pulled a lovely nutmeg on Arnold mid way through the 1st half. Lots of positives from this game.

Comedian