Champions Liverpool maintains their perfect start to the campaign but it was a more encouraging performance from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. Reds came out 3-1 victors at Anfield with goals from Sadio Mane, Andrew Robertson, and debutant Diego Jota. Alexander Lacazette scored the only goal for the Gunners.
Arteta knowingly used his rigid defensive tactics to clog out Liverpool’s free-flowing attack. It did work on earlier despite Sadio Mane testing Bernd Leno and Alexander-Arnold hitting the cross piece taking off a wild deflection of Hector Bellerin. Alexander Lacazette then put Arsenal ahead completely against the run of play. Xhaka played a good ball from defense to the Frenchman on the counter who subsequently found Maitland-Niles on the left. His cross was awkwardly handled by Robertson and Lacazette capitalized to make it 1-0. Liverpool came straight back through Sadio Mane after Salah toyed with Tierney on the right side. The Egyptian initial shot came off Leno and fell to the feet of Senegalese who completed the easiest task of his career.
Robertson then got on the score sheet to give the Reds the lead of the game. Trent Alexander Arnold’s cross from the right with Mane anticipating it caused a great deal of miscommunication between Holding and Bellerin. Both went to head it clear, leaving the Scott in acres of space to tug behind Leno. In the second half, Arsenal could have got back the leveller but their scorer of the day, Lacazette missed a glorious opportunity in having Alisson in a 1v1 situation. Liverpool’s continued attack ultimately took a big toll as new signing Jota seal the victory for the home side.
We look at five of some important talking points of the game
Robertson the villain and hero in the same half for Liverpool
The left-back had a mixed game to be fair. He was clearly at fault in the Lacazette’s opener. Robertson was under pressure to clear Maitland Niles cross for sure but it should have been easily dealt with. He tried a casual clearance but it bounced off him and fell kindly to Lacazette. The former Lyon man put that awkward bounce beyond floored Alisson. But Robertson quickly revived himself. He was now in the thick of the action at the other end of the pitch. Trent’s cross found him and he neatly put up a striker finish for 2-1.
Lacazette spun golden chance
It was not a late match-winner or anything but had the Frenchman put away that glorious chance in the second half we could have experienced a different ball game. Ceballos, whom we will touch on soon, played a defence-splitting pass beyond Liverpool’s Highline to put Lacazette clean through. Having Alisson only to beat he just hit straight at him. The Brazilian keeper did shield well but Laca could have gone lower or taken his shot early. Anyways, he down his head in disappointment and it was difficult for Arsenal to get something out of the game since then.
Is Ceballos worth a start?
It was quite obvious that Mikel Arteta prevented from attacking Liverpool in their own backyard. He also didn’t want to make a change to the fundamental partnership of Xhaka and Mohammed Elneny in the opening games. But the Swiss International had an unconvincing off-day leading the Spaniard to throw in Dani Ceballos. The game then almost turned for the Gunners. The Real Madrid loanee brings out an extra bit of pace and energy and covered a vast distance on the pitch. He just put up a great workload. Ceballos also created the pass of Lacazette’s chance. Arteta is looking for midfield options in the summer with Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar in his wishlist. But it feels like Ceballos’s impact and the loan extension news is overlooked. It is hopeful Arteta won’t be allowing him to do the bench-warming job for the majority of this season.
Diego Jota had an impressive debut
The Portuguese playmaker played his first Premier League game for Liverpool in a definitive way. Bought from Wolves, Jota scored the third and the settler of the match for the Reds. His game was tidy as he took on defenders with his sprints after coming on as a late substitute. Few chances fell to him with the 23-year-old hitting the side netting from a good pass by Salah before the Egyptian master stroker came on his way to fluff another chance. Eventually, Jota got his goal by converting a well-taken volley which rested in the net finally. The Portuguese give Jurgen Klopp a fascinating option in the forward line.
Arsenal dangerous while looking towards the right while Liverpool bask in champions mentality
Arsenal main thing was to defend and work the ball on counter-attacking opportunities. They didn’t find the right side too much in the first half. When they did Maitland Niles and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang caused trouble or so. These are all encouraging signs. For Liverpool, they showed why they are champions time and time again. They always find a way to get back into the game and plug off opposition’s challenge on them. Jurgen Klopp men are once again favourites to lift the title. This fixture came too early to say anything but it did tell some stories of the two club involved about their intention in the 2020/21 Premier League campaign