Report: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool (inc. goals)

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Result: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
Competition: Premier League
Date: 15 July 2020
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Starting lineup: Martinez, Holding, Luiz, Cedric, Torreira, Xhaka, Tierney, Pepe, Lacazette, Saka, Nelson

Subs: Macey, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Willock, Aubameyang


Alex Lacazette and Reiss Nelson took advantage of lax Liverpool defending as Arsenal came from behind to secure a very unlikely 2-1 win against champions Liverpool. 

Having dominated possession from the off, the visitors deservedly went ahead when Sadio Mane slotted home a Robertson cross. Gunners fans might have feared the worst at that point only for Jurgen Klopp’s men to self-destruct. High pressing from Lacazette and Nelson earned each other chances to find the net, which they did with our only two efforts on target all night. 

It was backs against the wall for the second half as the visitors probed repeatedly but some organised defending saw us home. The win means Arsenal retain 9th place heading into the final week of the season and means we retain two potential routes into the Europa League for a little longer.

Pre-game

Mikel Arteta, possibly with one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Manchester City, made five changes from the side that started against Sp*rs on Sunday. Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Lucas Torreira, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka all came in. Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolasinac, Dani Ceballos and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all dropped to the bench. We set up with a three-man defence with Tierney on the left of it and Saka outside him as a wing-back.

First half

From the off Liverpool stifled us with their pressing. Even playing in second gear, the immediate gulf in quality on and off the ball was apparent. While the champions pinged the ball from flank to flank and played intricate football on the edge of our box, we seemed startled when we completed a pass and really struggled to get out of our half. 

Our doziness was epitomised on 11 minutes when Martinez dawdled on a pass and was closed down by Firmino who blocked his clearance against the post. The reprieve didn’t last long. On 20 minutes, Robertson, fed the ball by Firmino after winning a header, played a pinpoint low cross to Mane who tapped home from close range. If you were pointing the finger of blame you could probably ask questions of Cedric who went racing forward to challenge for a ball high up the pitch only to pick up a knock and leave his side of the pitch utterly exposed. (1-0)

The Reds, playing in black, continued to strut around confidently. When we did push forward, invariably the offside flag went up. It was difficult to see where an Arsenal goal would come from. At the half-hour mark, we’d still not mustered a shot on target. 

Thankfully, our dopiness was contagious. Under a teeny bit of pressure from Nelson, Van Dijk scuffed a pass to Gomez that Lacazette cut out and the Frenchman rounded Alisson to tuck home. (1-1)

A minute before the break, Liverpool gifted us another. Receiving the ball from a Robertson throw in, Alisson attempted a first time pass back towards the Scot only for Lacazette to read the situation. Our striker stole the ball, picked out Nelson with a diagonal pull-back and the winger calmly tucked home his first Premier League goal. (2-1) 

On the bench, Klopp did not look amused. 

Second half

Torreira and Alexander-Arnold traded bookings inside three minutes of the restart before things settled down into a familiar pattern. Liverpool had the ball. We didn’t.

The chances followed soon after. Alexander-Arnold, Robertson and Salah all attempted shots in the same passage of play. Luiz then blocked a Mane effort and Martinez made a decent save to deny Salah who tried to lift the ball into the top corner.

By the hour mark, we’d been outshot 14 attempts to two. At least we’d been efficient. Arteta responded by making a triple substitution. Aubameyang, Willock and Ceballos replaced Lacazette, Nelson and Torreira. Willock assumed a central role but you’d be hard pushed to say he was playing as a striker.

Nothing changed. Liverpool continued to dominate possession as we sat deep and tried to soak up the pressure. Sometimes the defending was diligent but mostly it was desperate; legs stuck out to deflect the ball anywhere but goalwards.

Substitute Minamino went down under pressure from Tierney but had his calls for a penalty dismissed and Salah couldn’t get any real purchase on a header from close range.

The longer things went on, the more it looked like we might actually hold on. Liverpool did go close through Mane, but they grew increasingly frustrated and ragged as we dragged them down to our level.

A minute before the end, we even had a chance to extend our lead. Willock met an Aubameyang cross but sliced his shot wide with the goal gaping. Had that gone in we might have been able to relax. As it was, five minutes of stoppage time meant hearts in mouths for Gooners, especially when a deflected Alexander-Arnold shot forced Martinez to tip around the post.

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Fuzz

yay!

Adrian

Yay good win but Arsenal defending slender lead is more harmful for your heart than cholesterol. Anyways good win. I think this is first win against Liverpool since 2015.

HARRY

Let’s be clear Arsenal played like sht. From start to finish. We didn’t do all the things we’ve been doing with game play. We have a terrible lack of ideas in midfield and our defense is just not good enough. it’s a big worry. But I trust Arteta to figure it out. It’s very fixable but it’ll take time.

Nobody important

I had no such problems, I was laughing every time the cameras showed klopp?

Runcorn Gooner

Still can’t believe it but well done. Now very annoyed about Sp*rs game again.

h2k

Liverpool were not at their best, but I’m confused, and I am not sure what was the biggest shock…

Did I just see Arsenal defend well?
Did I just see Arsenal put away all their chances?
Did I just see Arsenal come from behind to win?
Did I just see Arsenal beat one of the “top 6” teams?
Did I just see Arsenal beat a full strength Liverpool despite starting a rotated team?

h2k

Based on Klopp’s face after our goals, I think he is as shocked as me.

gooner

And it still felt like a clean sheet too ?

goonero

What you saw was 2 players who statistically average out an error leading to goal every 30 something games both making their virtually seasonal errors and both falling at our desperate feet in the same game.

The rest was white knuckling it through virtually unrelenting pressure with sweat and grit and I’m almost certain browned underwear in many a gooners homes.

Great result, but let’s not be disingenuous about just how flukey this was.

Tek9

There’s nothing flukey about the win, we pressed them and they made mistakes, that’s the whole point of a press, to force them into errors. We scored 2 goals and defended well.

goonero

Oh no suppose your right, no luck involved whatsoever, clearly the better team won.

Liverpool had no answer to our watertight defense and were caught off guard by our relentless press ?

Futsboller

Even when you win, you lose. Fun.

goonero

What? We won, 3 points is 3 points, but why should I lie to myself and say we weren’t lucky under the circumstances?

DaDude

It was a lucky win, but that happened against us countless times. Why not have such a win ourselves for once? I am delighted. Next time we play like that again vs Pool, we concede the usual 5 goals from their thirtysomething shots, so yeah, something has to change to avoid that. But for now I am extremely happy about the win.
Nothing I could do anyway as a fan here from my chair, either Mikel and the higher ups change the something about the quality gap or not. I can just sit here and watch.

Tek9

You said fluke not luck, we created our own luck and won, end of.

goonero

Potayto Potahto

Richard

Don’t kid yourself, it was a fluke. We got lucky in a game we should’ve lost several goals to nil. To be fair, we had our fair share of bad luck this season so it’s nice to have one back, especially against Liverpool.
When there’s nothing on the table, I’d prefer a game in which we play well and get beaten by a superior opponent. This one was painful to watch.

DaDude

What I prefer from the “nothing on the table” rest of the season would be 2 very dirty and undeserved 1-0 wins and to somehow get into Europe via other results going our way.
I certainly don’t need two 5-6 losses with 5 goal of the year candidates by Arsenal in the remaining games.

A Different George

“We pressed them and they made mistakes.” I guess that is literally true. Sometimes, though, I really wonder about our supporters.

The Arsenal

Fucking Football.

Jack

We were a very late equaliser away from beating 3 top 6 teams in the last month. You shouldn’t be shocked at this point!

Henkamp

OMG! We just shithoused a win over Liverpool. The entire second half was hilarious to me — especially
seeing Klopp’s facial expression.

But my word, what a goalie we have in Martinez!

Richard

Leno must be even angrier at that guy (Maupay?) now.

C.B.

Great result. 24 shots to 3! Wonderful defending.

DaDude

Be very sure, teams won against us with such numbers and I guarantee you, not a single one of these teams was ashamed about it. Nor should we be.

Sank

A very lucky win. Kolasinac = Van Dijk

Nketibag

Holding > van dijk
He has gone from motm against Soton to benched behind no-future Kolasinac. I still see him as captain material. Big up Rob

myrtle

Loved his epic flattening of mane
Its about time we stood up for ourselves

Kostas

May I repeat that?
LOVED HIS EPIC FLATTENING OF MANE

crapaud

Yeeeessss & Emi is brilliant

Ya gunners ya

Anyone else get the feeling we’re gonna sell Leno this window?

Ya gunners ya

Just to be clear, I don’t want us to do that – I just think the guys at the top might find him to be an easily monetizable option to fund renewals/arrivals

Bryan!

I also don’t like the idea of losing either one…but maybe somebody has a strong September and plays himself into a big money transfer right before the window closes. Or, more likely, a big sale in January.

goongot

excellent game management by arteta again. This was great practise for city game.

chuffy

Cue all the fans saying what a great rear-guard performance that was against the champions. Credit must go to Arteta for the shape and selection of the team to defend for 90 minutes and force Van Dijk and Allisson into those mistakes. Hopelessly kick the ball 100 yards up field to know one and play most of the starting 11 out of their natural positions. We had 3 shots, 2 came from their stupid mistakes and the 3rd in the 89th minute. We may as well be in another division to Liverpool. The gulf is so big it’s embarrassing. People… Read more »

Bobby

Yeah, but we won.

goongot

Are you blind or can’t you see for man to man we are so behind them so it was obvious we were going to be dominated. Spurs almost played against us the same way with us being less creative. This gives our defenders confidence to play against manc.U better dont moan the same way again because u are going to see the same.

chuffy

Are you blind? Did you watch Bournemouth against Man City today? At times they played them off the park. Bournemouth a team in 18th place, away from home and had the same amount of shots as them. Are you telling me the gulf between us and Liverpool is relative to Bournemouth and City. You’re dreaming. How does it give our defenders confidence? 2 of them weren’t even playing unless Mustafi and Kolasinac are dropped. I have no idea where you are getting your facts from.

BillyKrystal

How do you know this wasn’t Arteta’s plan for the game though? He might have told them to sit deep and defend as a team which they did very well. We were under relentless pressure 2nd half, but it was also the single best team defensive performance we’ve had in a long time. By the end Liverpool were frustrated and we held our shape very well. The team defending was so good not one player stood out, everyone was committed and a great thing to see. So what it wasn’t razzle dazzle, we’re still an average team.

fourstar

Of course there’s a gulf. This is Klopp’s 5th year of his project. It’s come to fruition. Now it’s our turn. Have a bit of faith and patience.

GraeB

Nice that it was us doing the mugging for a change. Not quite revenge for Final in Cardiff but it helps.

Ausdrexler

Geez holding onto a grudge for a very long time there! haha

Oscandwarf

I have had a mild dislike of Trevor Brooking since 1980. The pain of some things never fully goes away.

78/79/80

Mild??? Can’t stand the reasonable, affable and generally likeable Brooking simply because of that glorious diving header.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

It was like a big team (Liverpool) was playing at home to Burnley. We won, but how far we have fallen

The Arsenal

We dominated against spurs…We also use to dominate all the big teams in the Fabregas era where Fergie and Mourinho first came up with their counter attacking strategies against us because they couldn’t match us with the ball.. we would routinely lose 0-3 somehow when are defence would just fold or be folded by the likes of Drogba and Ronaldo.

Jack

“Cue all the fans saying what a great rear-guard performance that was against the champions.” How dare those fans notice the positive aspects of beating the best team in the world?! We are one of three teams to beat Liverpool this season, and we did it while resting key players. They hardly had a significant chance all game. We did a good job of absorbing pressure and defending stoutly against one of the best attacking sides of the 21st century. Our form has been excellent since the restart. How can you still be complaining? When you are indistinguishable from someone… Read more »

chuffy

We’re 9th, out of Europe, lost to Spurs, probably have no money to strengthen while our rivals do. I’m being realistic. You’re living in cloud cuckoo land.

Martin

We could still be in Europe. We have found money last 3 seasons so why not this summer too?

The Arsenal

We are all those things so dominating the game and beating Liverpool is more unrealistic. Snatch and grab was the only realistic way we could do it. We havent been the Arsenal of 2004 for a long time. We once had a top 5 player in the world in every position. Currently teams like Wolves and Sheffield utd have better players in certain areas than we do.

Bob Holdy

Cue Angriest man on twitter: EVERYTHING IS SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT

Dublin gunner

Well said. Are fans are shit, if we had of dominated and they got a goal on the break everyone wud be saying same old arsenal soft. We beat a great team by hard work and team work. Just enjoy it, this season is over but these results could boad well for next season.

Dublin gunner

What f#cking loser you are

HantAl

Nice result, but doing my best not to read anything into this game at all

A Different George

You can read into it that even a great man-manager like Klopp can’t motivate a team that have nothing to play for and that even a great team will lose when it is not motivated. Look at what Man City did to them once the title was certain.

Jack

Ha ha! Those commentators were absolutely gagging for Liverpool to win! Also Martin Tyler saying Rob Holding was in the wrong for getting angry at Mane for kicking out at him unnecessarily in the first half after a challenge. Jokers. Makes the win so much better

h2k

I am looking forward to hearing what blogs thought about that challenge by Holding on Mane. IMO it is something that we have been missing, and I hope we get to see more of Holding!

David C

That was my favourite moment of the entire game. I’ve been begging to see that from our back line for years. Mane looked like a fly bouncing off him.

Holding has to play the FA Cup semi now, right?

gooner

And Trent goes studs in high boot and contact on Saka. Had it been the other way round the ref would have been called to view it from the worst angle in super slow motion

BillyKrystal

Absolutely, very similar to Eddie’s challenge. If they’d looked at Trent’s leg stamp a million times in a row he would’ve been sent off also

David C

How come they didn’t review that? Looked as bad as Eddie’s….

Nketibag

Because he’s England’s right back and golden boy

Obama Young

Exactly what I thought! Of the two, there was more intent in Alexander-Arnold’s challenge than in Eddie’s.

If Eddie didn’t get red, we might well have won that game, giving us 2 more points and Leicester one less. Could be enough to keep us out of Europe and cost tens of millions.

nabster

It’s like the infamous RvP second yellow at the Nou Camp, for kicking the ball in a noisy stadium less than half a second after the ref blew his whistle. No one else will ever get a second yellow for that in the Champions League again.

And no one will ever get their yellow card overturned by VAR to red after a three minute review for a challenge Like Eddie’s where they were looking at the ball.

At least not for the rest of this season (and we’ve had at least 4 comparable challenges since the game against Leicester).

Sammy Nelsons Arse

You are so right Jack and they were desperate for Xhaka’s great challenge to be made a red card. Why does Alan Smith hate us so much.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

I hope Holding plays Saturday. I think he is our best bet at CB.

Anonymarse

And Tierney seemingly

Berlingoon

Always had and still have high hopes for him and Chambers. Those 2 together with Mari and Saliba should be the ones playing next season when fit. Luiz, Mustafi and Sokratis should be back up or been sold.

Obama Young

Going into this season, I think our best back line would have been Bellerin, Chambers, Holding and Tierney. But they never played even one second together as a group.

Berlingoon

Hasn’t that been the case with all best Arsenal back lines in the last decade or so?

Flash

Anyhow: He’s attitude is quite refreshing!
It was so nice to see Mane’s face after he floored him.

Evaristus

That’s nice. A top six scalp… Let’s get this!

Jack

Another one

atom

Based on a number of comments the past few weeks, if you still think that Arteta isn’t the right guy or that this team desperately needs Ozil, I would suggest you simply aren’t paying attention. Given how difficult our fixture list has been the past few weeks coupled with how poor parts of our squad are, it’s obvious Arteta is getting through to this squad.

StuArse

Did not see that coming, clung on but defended well, most Liverpool shots were from distance.

We aren’t going to get back into European places but at least we have a few hoodoos off our backs. We have won a few away, against a top 6 side, we have beaten one of the top sides and Lacs has scored away from home. Progress.

Duno

We are at home mate, still good win.

StuArse

I meant @ Wolves a couple of weeks ago.

Tommmy

So nice to see us beat a top side even if it was lucky!
The boys need to learn how to win these games. Well done Arsenal

Berlingoon

We’ve lost unlucky often enough. Only seems fair to me.

GraeB

The other way round this would not be seen as lucky but an efficient performance by a team having a poor night

Tommmy

I don’t care how the win came, just pleased for the boys they got it.
Laying the foundations for next season hopefully

BillyKrystal

I fucking loved Holding smashing the shit out of Mane. Then following it up with some shit talk. He’d been doing whatever he wanted up to that point and I think it shook him up a bit. He was still dangerous after that but not quite the same. If you can’t get near a player then why not bash him around a bit. Great stuff and love the fire in his belly

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Proper old school defending.

Duno

Football is such a strange sport. I love it! Hopefully this stands us in good stead against City. Come on you beautiful gunners!!!

PototaPanda

What in the fuck did we just witness. (•ิ_•ิ)?

loose_cannon

People will point to the shot totals and possession and say Liverpool had their flip flops on etc, I couldn’t really care less about that tbh. Didn’t expect much from this game so we should be happy for the win and the confidence it’ll hopefully give us.

Jack

Yeah the commentators kept saying things to that effect, but it was obviously not true. Klopp, TAA, Van Dijk, Fabinho were all pretty raging at various points. They obviously cared about the record and about being the best team ever.

Victory was all the sweeter because it weakened their case against the Invicibles.

Martin

They have a case?

oregoon

Yes. After all the times in years past where we dominated possession and shots, and lost the game, we should be happy to take this one and not look back. They giveth and we taketh away!

Flash

Great job!

From Laca to Pepe and Nelson, from Auba to Martinelli, Saka and Nketiah – I just hope we will leave our attackers alone in the transfer window.

Plus: I think it’s really hard to believe that (if all else the same) our defence is stronger just because it is Soares who partners with Bellerin and not AMN

Paul

The xhaka hate, lacazette hate…now bellerin hate…soares is good as back up for hector… bellerin has been improving in last few games

GoonerRick

I am fairly certain this was a Scooby Doo cross over where by the end they remove the mask and it is revealed that Van Dijk was good old Mustafi.

DaDude

Ohhhh, that’s why he didn’t feature yesterday.

Chris

Best comment I’ve read here today! I’ve got no hate for Mustafi but haha!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Football is a funny old game

Randy

Stick your new records up your Arsenal, Liverpool.

Yes Haaaaaawww!!!

BongoGooner

I wish to see Klopps face tomorrow morning, when he remembers that he lost this game

Ozillator

Martinez!!!!

Jack

Obviously kind of a weird one, but at this point our results in recent weeks aren’t lying. We’ve had some luck, but other teams had luck against Liverpool this season. Almost no-one else managed to beat them, let alone with a rotated side. Grinding out results like that is a skill, and we actually were fairly comfortable for most of the second half, despite not getting hold of the ball very much.

The progress is undeniable at this point and I can’t wait to see what happens when Arteta has a preseason and a summer of signings under his belt.

Fatgooner

I know what happened: the players swapped shirts before kickoff!

The way Liverpool threw away a lead after dominating, by defending like 10-year-olds, was pure Arsenal. They look like they’re already on the beach. I can’t blame them: they’ve had a great season.

Thoroughly enjoyable evening. Who knows: maybe EL qualification isn’t gone.

Swifty

Wow. What a result, and to see Liverpool do an Arsenal was mouthwatering.

Cowadunga

My thoughts:

  1. I can’t believe we won that game.
  2. I think Nelson is best centrally. He played some games as forward at Hoffenheim, when he scored all the goals.
  3. I think Arteta has some great man management skills.
  4. We need some serious reinforcements.
  5. Time to level the playing field KSE.
Richard

KSE’s never going to do that. I’d rather they sold us to Saudi Arabia or whichever oil-rich dictatorship.

Kolasinac

Fun game and positive evening, I wish we had played the same back three as today against Tottenham. It should definitely stay the same for the City game and further if we go with a back three. Xhaka with Torreira works and good goals for Nelson and Laca. We have stifled Liverpool tonight which is not easy and it was a good preparation for $ity even if that game could be even bigger test.

Qwaliteee

Without Mustafi, anything is possible…..

Nick

Relieved to get the three points. Downbeat about the performance though I understand it in the circumstances. Football is about culture, identity, pride. I got none of those things from watching the game but am optimistic that we can return relatively soon to being a force and am delighted we have Arteta.

SLC Gooner

Martinez was again great. And very refreshing to see Holding in there and giving as good as he got. He did the same thing to Diego Costa as I recall. Setting aside Mari and Saliba, who we haven’t really seen, seems like he is really the one CB we should make sure we keep.

Merlin's Panini

Well, if there was a good time to play Liverpool this was it. They have switched off (even though they utterly dominated us). Still, Laca and Nelson put away their chances brilliantly. Great to see that and the defensive resolve. Other than that one hairy moment Martinez was excellent again too. Didn’t think we would come away with anything from this one. To be one of only three teams to beat Liverpool this season is satisfying. In a way I wish they had still got their unbeaten record so we could have been the ones to end it. It’s a… Read more »

Jack

Aston Villa have been atrocious in every game I’ve seen them in after the restart, so anything other than a 3-0 win for that one and I’ll be fuming ?

Red Arrow

Liverpool did an Arsenal defensively. Didn’t expect this result – hope we can repeat the result on Saturday.

Granit(e) hard!

Now i believe there really is a God of football somewhere and tonight, he felt he needed to cut us some slack, given so many points we have lost all season from defensive howlers like that?…dont care whether pretty or not…just well done lads for taking your chances and digging deep…shout out to the whole team for a gritty performance, well done!

Kostas

A few observations:
Holding vs Mane was a joy to watch.
TAA did what Nketiah did last week.
Since MA came it is a looooong pre season for us. Hopefully he learned a lot during this period. Eg Kolasinac is not a CB

Paul Roberts

Let’s be honest if Liverpool needed to win this game they would have. Nice result though.

Nilaroulettes

I’ll happily take an ugly win, after the beautiful loss against Spuds.

Granit(e) hard!

Yeah, me too!…hear hear!

Teryima Adi

Shoddy perferomance from the boys, but a welcome three points.

Santori

Great win but in all honesty, we rode our luck and were beneficiary of their pre-holiday charity. Mustering only two shots on target but with ruthless efficiency, both were goals. OTOH we could have been so easily punished all second half had Liverpool bothered to go into second gear. We defended too deep as per usual and had not much outlet up top with Pepe in particular useless all game. In the end it merely amplified the “what ifs” as we still sit in 9th but had we banked against even just Spurs the 3 points, we could be on… Read more »

Santori

I thought the substitutions were bizarre. The only thing I could rationalise was clearly Arteta had priorities set on this weekend an FA cup. BUT with the lead and suddenly something to play for, felt it was dangerous to go defensive. AND would have liked to have seen the excellent Lacazette finish most of the second half. Again as mentioned many times, we should aim to keep him another season at least bc he holds the ball up for us better than Auba and can play others in well. The moment he went off, we were derelict of ANY outlet.… Read more »

Santori

Prospects for Europe are out of our hands. This win in many ways amplifies further frustrations over drop points to Leicester and Spurs. We are an outside chance still sitting in 9th but strangely still just within touching distance. BUT the teams ahead now have more difficult run ins albeit over final two matches not much give for us. Hopefully we can sneak into 7th with favourable results against Sheffield, Spurs and Wolves. If you think we have suddenly turned the corner with defense in this match win over Liverpool, you’re not watching. BUT what we do have control of… Read more »

Santori

Lacazette and Martinez particularly good today.

Teez

Was never in doubt. ?

Tony Hall

I like Klopp as a manager but his face after our second goal was a picture!

Brent

Mustafi couldn’t start today because he was too busy voodooing his curse onto van Dijk