Arsenal came into the game with high hopes with Mikel Arteta having revamped the side and making them close to the Arsene Wenger “Invisibles”, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having agreed to a new deal with the club to further keep him at the club to 2023.
Liverpool is premier league champions and is off to a flying start with two wins out of two. Jurgen Klopp spoke of improving his team at the beginning of the 2020/2021 season and so far they have not done badly in the transfer market, they have brought in Thiago Alcantara from Bayer Munich, Diogo Jota from Wolves to mention but a few.
“It is very hard to improve this squad, but we will definitely add fresh players to the squad”, these were the words of Jurgen Klopp and since then they have not failed as they have added good players to their squad.
The game was dominated by Liverpool in the first 20′ as they pressed Arsenal high up the pitch with Arsenal finding it difficult to take the game to Liverpool. They lost the ball once they got it thus making it hard for them to retain possession as they would have wanted to.
The lock was broken when Tierney was able to play the ball to Xhaka, he played it to the flank where Maitland-Niles was able to play it to Lacazette who in turn played it back to the flank for a counter-attack, and for the first time of the night, Liverpool was caught napping, a square ball from Maitland-Niles was cleared by Andy Robertson but it was a clumsy clearance. The ball returned in the path of Lacazette who was already in an offside position originally but was played on by the miskick by Andy Robertson. The ball fell for Lacazette who wasted no time with it as he slammed the ball to the ground to completely beat Alisson Becker who anticipated he would play it on the ground instead of slamming to the ground, the ball beat Alisson completely to give Arsenal the lead at 25′.
Arsenal could not hold on to the lead as the champions came back on the equalizer in the 28′ from a Sadio Mane tap in. Mohamed Salah was brilliant from the flank as he cut inside the box 18 leaving Tierney behind who raised his hands to avoid any form of penalty, Salah fired the ball at goal, Leno parried the ball into touch that met a Sadio Mane’s tap in to make it one all.
Liverpool dominated the first half of the encounter with Arsenal doing the chasing of the ball not having much ball possession as the champions pressed them. Liverpool appeared more superior in the half with the ball possession in the 46′ 70% to Liverpool and 30% to Arsenal.
Liverpool’s pressure game paid off as Andy Robertson go to the other end of a Trent Arnold pull out, the left full-back calmly controlled the ball in what appeared to have touched his hand but did not as he neatly placed the ball past Leno to make it 2 goals to 1 in the 34′.
Andy Robertson and Liverpool continued to press and praises are out to the left full-back as he did not let his initial blunder to hamper his game, what a professional he is. He got the lead for Liverpool despite causing the first goal against them.
Arsenal came into the second half with a little bit of confidence like they could upturn the scoreline, coach Mikel Arteta introduced Daniel Ceballos for Xhaka in the 60′ and that changed their game, Ceballos is a creative midfielder while Xhaka is an enforcer. Ceballos was able to move the ball when received from the back to the front line in a more creative manner than Xhaka.
The real Madrid loanee dissected the defence line of Liverpool with through passes, and a bunch of creative play that set up Lacazette in a one on one position and the attacker could not convert the chance as he blasted the ball against Liverpool’s goalkeeper, no wonder Klopp rushed back the goalkeeper back from injury for the clash, Alisson stood his ground and covered his post very well that made Lacazette confused about where to place the ball. The missed chance would have changed everything for the Gunners but unfortunately, it did not go in.
Liverpool dominated in the second half as well as they had most of the possession and posed more threat than the Gunners.
Diogo Jota was brought in the 80′ to replace Sadio Mane, Mane was magnificent all day on the pitch, the Senegalese have evolved a lot after joining from Southhampton, he has developed his game to the point that is very hard to play against him, his vision and strength on the ball are second to none.
Diogo Jota found the back of the net in the 88′ to put the game to sleep from a David Luiz header clearance, unfortunately, the ball then landed in front of Jota in what first appeared as if he controlled the ball with his hand, but the new boy was able to finish off the ball with a half volley that completely beat Leno to further pile misery on the Gunners.
Diogo Jota’s purchase from Wolves was because of the way he plays, though we are yet to witness him full time. Klopp in an interview said, ‘we are happy to see him grab his first goal, definitely, the quality is there and that was why we brought him in. we need to give him time to fully adapt.’
Klopp further said, ‘We knew it would be a very difficult match from the beginning, we respect them for their good run of form, we are happy we were able to get the result we got and the boys did it.’
Mikel Arteta in the post-match interview said, ‘We suffered in this match and could not play the way we wanted as they pressed high making it very difficult for us. we knew it was not going to be easy, but we came here believing, despite the loss, there are lots to take home from this match and we believe we are going to come out a better team.’
The Gunners are in talks with Lyon midfielder marshall Houssem Aouar if the deal pulls through will be a major boost for the Gunners in the midfield as they try to strengthen their squad before the transfer window closes.