LIVERPOOL 2-2 ARSENAL: BY THE VISUALS
LIVERPOOL 2-2 ARSENAL: BY THE NUMBERS
This match was expected to be one of the toughest challenges of the season. It was also a crucial test of Arsenal’s Championship aspirations. The Gunners have not won two consecutive league games against Liverpool since 2012, which also happens to be the last time they secured a league victory at Anfield.
Despite trailing the league leaders by 29 points, Liverpool have maintained an impressive record at home this season, having suffered only one defeat and boasting the second-best defensive record on their own turf.
13 – In the past 14 league games, Mikel Arteta has made only 13 changes to his starting XI, while Jurgen Klopp has made 13 changes in his previous three games.
Arsenal started the game strongly, and their early pressure paid off just eight minutes in when Bukayo Saka charged towards Liverpool’s goal and helped set up Gabriel Martinelli (0.15 xG, 0.97 xGOT), giving the away side a deserved lead.
Although Liverpool still posed a threat, as evidenced by Andy Robertson dispossessing Saka and initiating a move that resulted in a decent opportunity missed (0.12 xG), Arsenal quickly regained control of the game. Martinelli delivered a perfectly executed cross over a slow-to-react Virgil van Dijk, which led to Gabriel Jesus scoring Arsenal’s second goal (0.34 xG, 0.77 xGOT) and firmly established The Gunners dominance up to that point.
Despite being behind, Liverpool continued to push forward and found a breakthrough when Mohamed Salah scored from close range (0.3 xG). The goal woke up the home crowd and halved the deficit going into the break.
At halftime, the statistics showed a fairly even game. The home team had 52% possession and recorded eight shots, compared to Arsenal’s five. Both sides registered three big chances. Defensively, the numbers were also close, with not much separating tackles (12 vs 11), interceptions (3 vs 4), and clearances (10 vs 8).
Liverpool were awarded a penalty early in the second half, but Salah missed his second consecutive effort from 12 yards. However, the home side continued to attack, and Darwin Nunez got a chance to score, only to be denied by Ramsdale (0.41 xG). Eventually, Roberto Firmino managed to find the equalising goal (0.21 xG) with a header from Alexander-Arnold’s cross with just three minutes of normal time remaining. Both teams had further opportunities to win, but the match ended in a draw.
1.41 – Arsenal’s expected goals of 1.41 was the fourth highest that Liverpool have conceded at Anfield this season.
9 – Arsenal took nine shots, which is the fourth-highest number of shots that Liverpool has conceded at home this season.
2 – Arsenal scored two goals, making them the first team to score at Anfield in the Premier League in 2023.
7 – Gabriel Martinelli has seven goals in his last eight Premier League games.
10 – Mohamed Salah had 10 shots, the most he’s ever had in a Premier League match.
3.07 – Based on the shots on target faced (xGOT), the average goalkeeper would have been expected to concede three goals against Liverpool. Aaron Ramsdale made two fantastic last-minute saves to keep it down to two.
21 – Shots Arsenal faced at Anfield. The most league leaders have faced in a game this season.
3.96 – Liverpool’s highest xG of the season in a single game (which includes Salah’s missed penalty (0.7 xG)), and is the third highest xG in any game this season.
19 – Since the data has been available (since 2003-04), Liverpool’s 19 shots inside the box against Arsenal is the most The Gunners have faced in a Premier League match.
20 – Salah made 20 touches in the opposition box, the highest by any player in a single Premier League game this season.
5.37 – Expected goals. The third-most in a Premier League game this season – with Liverpool accounting for 3.96 of that, almost twice as much as Arsenal have faced in any other league game all season.
55 – Oleksandr Zinchenko had the highest number of passes among Arsenal players, attempting 55 and completing 52. He also played the highest number of progressive passes among his teammates (8), ranking third overall in the match.
69 – Rob Holding had the highest number of touches among Arsenal players with 69 (the joint third-highest overall). He attempted 17 long passes, completing 59%, the most by any Arsenal player (ranking third in the match). He also covered over 360 meters in progressive distance, which was the most by any outfield player.
GABRIEL MARTINELLI’S GAME BY NUMBERS
78% pass accuracy, 100% cross accuracy , 100% shot accuracy, 44 touches , 30 final third touches, 7 touches in the opposition box, 4 shot creating actions, 3 defensive actions , 3 successful dribbles , 1 goal and 1 assist.
Manchester City lost at Anfield, while Manchester United conceded seven goals there. Playing Liverpool away is undoubtedly one of the toughest fixtures in the calendar. A draw does not end our title hopes; in retrospect, it’s a decent point. However, it is hard to accept the point after giving up a two-goal lead. On the other hand, I’m relieved we didn’t lose.
7 – Arsenal’s first Anfield point in seven seasons.
6 – Arsenal are six points ahead of Manchester City, and have navigated Anfield without defeat. The same is required at the Etihad – which was always going to be the case.
The run-in will still have many twists and turns, and City are unlikely to avoid dropping points. However, if they do manage to win every game until the end of the season, they’ll obviously become champions. But assuming we beat West Ham and Southampton while they turn over Leicester, we will have a nine-point lead when we visit the Etihad. Avoiding a loss there would put us in an excellent position, particularly if Pep’s team progress in the Champions League.
Their congested fixture list comprises matches against Chelsea, Brighton (away), and Brentford (away), leaving Guardiola with the decision of whether to utilise his best players or rotate.
Follow me on Twitter @jonollington
Sources: Opta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed
All in all the numbers confirm this was a (very) good point!
Trent Alexander has stated how the altercation with Xhaka lifted the energy of the fans and the players. Absolute stupidity. Until then we were controlling the tempo of game. Winning two nil and 5 minutes from half time. After that we completely lost tempo and they took over. Such a shame. We beat West Ham and Southampton and we will be 9 points ahead going to city. Yes they will have two games in hand but a win and I think we win the league. And believe me we can beat em.
I’ve been super critical of xhaka in the past. But this comes with the premise that Liverpool would not have responded if that action didn’t happen. Their first goal was weak, we should stopped that action. 2-0 at half time is a bigger story. I reckon their first goal changed things more and we had chances after the incident and before their goal. That’s tabloid journo stuff and you’re clicking the bait!
And he also got fouled. Tierney only reffed one team. Konate should have had a red for that tackle on xhaka, yet it was not even a foul. Fucking disgraceful. #AnotherTurningPoint
How is that not a red. Wait…not even a foul? Oh sure, these guys aren’t at all corrupt.
It’s the same conversation over and over and over again. Had Xhaka not fouled him there would not have been the confrontation. Had Xhaka not reacted to Trent Alexander’s obvious provocation then the game might have turned out differently. I feel the decision making of Xhaka led to our collapse and not the referee’s decision to send off Konate or not. But to be honest with the progress Arsenal have made this season compared to last season it is very difficult to be critical of them and a point earned at a place like Anfield is not to be sniffed… Read more »
Yeah, that was yellow/orange at least, as he went in hard.
But what’s most annoying is the inconsistency. White had just received a yellow for a tackle where he got the ball first. And his was not nearly so rough. Either both of those deserve cards, or neither.
100%. That’s exactly what happened with the “Xhaka incident” too. No foul on him and he gets kicked 3 times, and then immediate foul the other way. TBH, the Konate one is probably a yellow(/orange), but nothing…not even a foul and as you say right after the soft yellow on White. It’s pathetic – actually not pathetic, pre-mediated. And don’t start me on their penalty. Disgraceful decision – the Liverpool player jumps into Holding – neither player is in possession or near the ball – it’s play on or a foul to the defender. Karma at least righted that one.… Read more »
There you go Daveo, you are reacting less on emotion and being more rational. It was a yellow not a red.
I agree. Lack of consistency is an issue. I have no issues with the konate challenge personally, but White’s was also fine.
I too have slaughtered him in the past and he has done great this season. I still believe it’s the one position in our team we can do better in with a better player but look he’s been great this season. There’s no tabloid journo bait clicking I assure you. I was fecking fuming immediately with him. We were controlling the tempo. We lost it straight away and two minutes later they scored. They suddenly got even more fired up and we suddenly got rattled. We never recovered and took hold of the game again. It’s a massive opportunity lost… Read more »
You’re just doubling down on the same shallow analysis we’ve heard from so many pundits and commentators. The crowd was *already* getting riled up by Gabriel Jesus getting fouled and staying down, and Saka not giving Liverpool the ball after a foul had been blown. They were gonna get loud because they always do. A factor bigger than Xhaka is that once again, a Premier League game was marked by bad refereeing – notably Paul Tierney allowing Konate’s fouls to go unpunished. Why don’t pundits ask why Liverpool didn’t handle the atmosphere better? Andy Robertson got into an altercation with… Read more »
No sir. It’s way to easy to do what you’re doing. It’s what a lot of the pundits you are critical of do. Try to open your mind and take off the blinkers. I’m Arsenal through and through. Cut me and I bleed red and white 🤓. Xhaka was stupid and cost us. Holding is reckless at times and almost cost us giving away a penalty. We start to embarrass ourselves with the constant victim mentality. First thing my United friend said to me was Jesus is the new ronaldo making up injuries. As football friends most of us suffer… Read more »
Xhaka probably shouldn’t have gone for the bait. TAA was the aggressor, and Xhaka already a bit wound up after the foul that wasn’t given a moment earlier. Probably TAA knew what he was doing, winding up the crowd. But we should have defended the first goal better. 2-0 at half time would have been so different
It was stupid from Granit, I thought he had outgrown that nonsense. But on the other hand, that pass to Martinelli en route to our second goal was sublime.
West Ham a tricky place to go but by the luck of the fixture calendar it’s sandwiched in-between their European games, and they’re playing away in Belgium on Thursday this week.
Do West Ham and Southampton and we go into city game a minimum 9 points ahead. They have two games in hand but a loss and I believe we can beat them and that could well be one hand holding (hopefully Saliba) the trophy. Come on you gunners
Hope we can leave the Xhaka question behind soon. Victoria Concordia Crescit, and all that.
Don’t buy it. Result was a yellow for Xhaka but also a yellow for trent who had to deal with Martinelli for 45 min on a yellow.
It’s such a stupid narrative that everyone is saying Xhaka cost us. You would think he got a red or scored an own goal. The crowd got lifted after they scored and if the player involved was anyone but Xhaka there would be no mention of it whatsoever. As for the run in as good as City are, I feel like they will drop points somewhere. If it’s against us even better cos a result there would leave us as favourites in my opinion depending on our results versus West Ham and Southampton before then.
It confirms Arsenal lost their way after playing Liverpool off the park in the first half.
After 40 minutes I was thinking how many goals could Arsenal score against this Liverpool team?
Thanks to Xhaka none.
just drop it !
It’s unbelievable that even with no direct impact, Xhaka is pointed out for dropping the points. It’s a collective game, guys, no reason to blame on one player.
A point away to Liverpool is not a bad result in any season but when we are fighting for the title with a 2-0 lead and having Liverpool score in the 87th minute definitely feels like a disappointment. I think Arteta got the tactics wrong for the 2nd half. Liverpool had Trent Alexander, Robertson, and Van Dijk on a yellow card at halftime. This was our opportunity to go for the kill and attack them on the wings with Martinelli and Saka and force Liverpool into another yellow card and finish them off. Instead we started the 2nd half sitting… Read more »
I’m with you, Kiwior was an odd one. Felt like Artetas plan was to cling on for dear life. Like we used to do a couple years ago, knowing we’d have to park the bus to get anything from the top teams. But the opening 40 min, while not as dominant as other games, should’ve been the blueprint to wrest back some control. We were always going to be under huge pressure towards the end, but I think even mustering 10-15% more control than we had could’ve got us 3 points. Would’ve been scary as hell to bring on Fabio… Read more »
Is the Konate attempt at the end being counted in the shots and xG? It looked to me like he was well offside, so had that gone in, it would have been ruled out by VAR, as would anything given for Salah falling backwards immediately after.
I didn’t notice that at the time but having just watched the highlights it’s pretty clear Konate is a few inches offside ahead of Tierney.
But are you sure about VAR?
Lol, no, unfortunately. I’d like to think that one was obvious enough that it would have been caught. But as we’ve seen this season(with Brighton just this weekend) it doesn’t always work that way.
Unless you’re correcting for it, there’s a weakness in using xG for matches like this. Normally xG only looks at shots…not good chances that don’t result in a shot, correct? So the two very good chances in the second half for Saka wouldn’t have counted? The first because of a good last ditch interception by Robertson/Allison, and the second on the break where Martinelli gets the pass wrong(and Trossard was also in). If either of those actually to Saka, you have a situation where he has a high likelihood of scoring, but since they don’t under standard xG, they count… Read more »
Liverpool had their chances too. The xG stats look like a fair reflection of what I saw. If not for Ramsdale…
They certainly did, but I’m not sure it was as lopsided as 3.96-1.41
Expected goals only measure the quality of a shot. It’s just a single metric that is part of a much wider puzzle. It’s not perfect and should be used in combination with other metrics.
Well, in theory, it’s just a matter of time and tech. If we can assign a value to a particular shot based on prior data about similar attempts, we could likewise assign a value to something like that failed counterattack at the end. It would take A LOT of data and work, so I certainly wouldn’t expect you to have that at your fingertips. But it is technically possible to quantify something like that.
xG is a qualitative statistic that is used to help judge the balance of a game. It has limitations, like any and every data point. But looking at the big picture it does a really good job of predicting the results and best teams: https://understat.com/league/EPL Arsenal and $ity stand out. They also blow teams out more (they are super efficient and they should be because they have cheated the league) hence why their xG and xGpoints are higher than Arsenal’s. Overall, xG has the league basically nailed on, and the small variance is the beauty of football – snatching points… Read more »
xT is meant to kind of show the value added of each pass i believe, which might be the type of stat that would help show what you want @slcgooner
Some interesting and surprising stats – thanks.
A positive that shows where we are is that the game means that with 8 games left to play, Liverpool can no longer mathematically catch us.
Interesting that most of the media are now saying the league is now in City’s control. Whilst this is true, it is also true to say it is in Arsenal’s control. If both teams win all their other games, City need to beat Arsenal, whilst Arsenal only need a draw. Even if City win the game against us, we can still win the league on goal difference.
We’d need to score a lot more goals for that scenario. They have a five goal advantage now, more by at least two if they beat us.
Finishing ahead of Liverpool this season is a massive achievement in itself.
It will hurt Liverpool and Sp*rs the most to not qualify for the Champions League next season. Those two seemingly need the Champions League cash to be run sustainably, as opposed to Newcastle, Man United, and Chelsea who won’t really feel the financial effects of finishing outside top 4.
Thanks. Rob did well, didn’t he? It was an off game for Odegaard; maybe he received special attention from Liverpool.
Clumsy tangle of legs to give away the penalty, and he was attempting too many long balls.
Two weeks to get Saliba fit for the Etihad game.
Holding did NOTHING wrong on the penalty. Their guy jumped into his path and their player didn’t even have control of the ball and he’s not close to the ball. That is not a penalty. If it was at the other end, it would have been a free-kick to Liverpool.
Yeah, this one falls into the “you’ve seen them given” category for me. I wasn’t surprised, but really it was more a tangle of legs as both were going for an uncontrolled free ball. Shouldn’t have been a penalty, and justice was done with Salah missing (I was watching with a Liverpool supporting friend who was much displeased by that).
It was a penalty. Take the blinkers off. He ran into him and the player went down. There’s no debate.
No fecking way. He purposely runs across holding’s line and flails to the ground at the contact – Holding can do literally nothing. It’s premeditated and cheating. If he is in possession shepparding the ball it’s a different story, but he’s not, it’s a lose ball and neither player is even that close to it. But when it happens with a referee desperate to give away a pen then naturally he buys it hook line and sinker.
It was a penalty. Watch it again. If it happened to Jesus and the penalty wasn’t given we would be in uproar and rightly so. Holding needs to be more aware. Can’t run into back of a player in your own area. End of.
Mate, and therein is the exact point. It doesn’t matter what we think if it happened to Jesus because it would not be given. Never. We’ve had 1000x these all season. Liverpool get one by jumping into a defender. Mings throwing Saka to the ground. Reece James clattering Saka from behind when he’s about to shoot. And guess who was the referee on that last one? Surprise surprise, your mate Paul Tierney…
Based on evidence this season there is no way in the world Holding should have been called for that penalty.
As Jon points out, no opponent had scored at Anfield since Christmas, City had lost there, Man United were humiliated. Much harder to win there than beating Spurs at White Hart Lane, and probably harder than beating City at the Etihad. It was, in the context of the way we ought to judge football, a very good result. The real problem for us, as Liverpool themselves have shown over the past few years, is that a superb season, with a point total that would have almost always won the league, is not enough in the age of financial doping. If… Read more »
This is why I cannot understand the punditry. How are they all licking their lips at Arsenal stumbling and $ity winning? They cheat. I know you will hate this, but IMO it shows that the $ity money trail goes a long, long way and reaches will into the TV contracts, which feeds right back into the FA. It’s a corrupt sport from the highest reaches down – just look at FIFA and Europa; ridiculous to think the English FA with how much they keep behind closed doors, the size of revenues, and the characters of the Billionaires that finances the… Read more »
Did you see Rashford goal given against city that was offside all day long.
And there are the two most favoured teams across the league.
Yeah, I hate adding silly conspiracy theories to an explanation that is sufficient in itself. City are owned by a regime that (a) have what is effectively unlimited funds; (b) have aims that are unrelated to financial success. So, they can hire a brilliant manager and have a squad that can lose Sterling, Gabrel Jesus, Zinchenko, and Consuelo (the best left back in England last year) and still leave Kyle Walker (probably the best right back), Bernardo Silva, Alvarez, Laporte, and Phillips on the bench. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some. As for the punditry supporting City (which also is supposed… Read more »
we’ve spent more than city in the last few seasons, without even qualifying for champions league. i get where you’re coming from, but we’re not the humble spenders we used to be. that narrative is old, and both their owners and ours have invested heavily in their teams. we’ve nothing to complain about on the “financial doping” front anymore
I agree we’re also run by an immoral billionaire. the game is broken that’s the bloody issue. Fucking billionaires are the fucks that broke it. Just because it’s footy doesn’t mean they all of a sudden start playing fair with each other. Billionaires do what billionaires do. Bend/break rules and exploit anyone they can to share things in their favor.
I don’t want to defend the Kronkes or Glaziers, or John Henry and the hedge funds, but their actions are limited by the desire to make money in football, at least in the long run. Paradoxically, this is one of those rare cases where that tends to create greater equality (among billionaires, of course) not less. But Chelsea under Abramovich (probably wealthier than the others, but that’s not the key), and the nation states at City, PSG, now Newcastle, have other goals. Football is not just a way of “cleaning” their image, though it is certainly that. It’s also a… Read more »
I fail to understand why Xhaka cannot perfectly time his fiery leadership qualities like all the other fiery leaders in the history of sports…
To win the epl,Arsenal have to fight the
Fa ,match officials,var etc
Arsenal shd have had one point at Ot and 2 against Btentfofd.
To win the epl the gunners have to beat moneybags MC.Its not mission
Haaland unplayable,?Get 2/3/4 gunners to surround him.Chelsea got a few guys to stifle Messi and won the cl
Agree with Daveo .Konate shd have been off .Thats ehy these refs are getting away wigh murder.
Webb shd look at this ref and sack him
Agree 200 repeat 200,% with everything Daveo has said regarding the penalty.Theres no consistency and accountability.
Webb shd toughen up om the refs
If Mc win the epl England eill be like Europe where the richest clubs perpetually dominate.
Xhaka reacting yesterday is why Arsenal are looking so intently at Declan Rice. Xhaka has improved considerably but you know he is capable of doing something stupid like that and Liverpool knew this which is why Trent Alexander provoked him then immediately edged the crowd on. A point away to a team that recently hammered Man Utd and beat Man City at home is not a bad result and not the end of the world but if you have players allowing their emotions to get in the way of the team’s goals then maybe they are not right for Arsenal.… Read more »
The lazy media say Arsenal may “ bottle” the Premiership
The much lauded invinciblea team in 2003/14 gained 90 points
The current Arsenal team have 73 points with 8 games remaining ( potential of 24 points taking them to 97 points).
It’s quite incredible the lazy journalism. Maybe they should investigate “ financial fair play” and the ownerships especially at Man City, Newcastle and Chelsea
If Arsenal gain 90 points or more and finish second is that failure?