REFLECTIONS (LIVERPOOL 4-0 ARSENAL)
Mikel Arteta’s side saw their 10 game unbeaten run end in a 4-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield. In simple words, Liverpool are a better team than Arsenal and it was more than evident. It was a matchup between one of the best teams in the league and the youngest team in the league.
Arteta’s starting 11 had no surprises, with the team starting in a familiar 4-4-1-1 shape, with both Aubameyang and Partey starting, despite fitness concerns. Possibly the biggest call was starting Nuno Tavares over Kieran Tierney, despite the Scottish fullback returning from injury over the course of the international break (glad we’re done with those for a while).
Contrary to what the scoreline suggests, Arsenal were not so poor. The team completed a solid performance in the first half.
Although they didn’t muster much going forward, they defended well. And on the handful of occasions they did get forward, the team was let down by Bukayo Saka’s indecisiveness. It was not his best game today.
Going into the tunnel at halftime being a goal down, both Arteta and the players must’ve been of the belief that a positive result in the 2nd half was achievable.
But, what followed was a disappointing collapse, which was mostly down to a flurry of individual mistakes by the young players, namely Nuno Tavares and Sambi Lokonga, both of whom made shocking giveaways.
Credit where it’s due, Liverpool were quite magnificent. Arteta’s decision to constantly play short against Liverpool’s high press caused Arsenal problems, with the home team winning 2nd balls throughout the game, and eventually scored their 3rd and 4th goals in the game.
Arteta perhaps could have instructed the team to feed the ball wide on more occasions, or play the ball directly to the front 2 to evade congestion in the middle as a result of incessant pressing by Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and the Liverpool front line, but he had no control over the unfortunate individual mistakes.
Getting to the positives (Yes, there were indeed some positives for our side in a 4-0 loss), Benjamin White and Gabriel both had decent games, and Aaron Ramsdale was sensational once again.
To conclude, I’d suggest our fanbase to not read into this loss too much.
This result is not going to define our season by any means, and our young players will definitely learn from their mistakes.
This loss will be an easy one to forget if we can get the job done against Newcastle next week with the same hunger and desire we have seen from the squad in recent weeks.