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