4 Thoughts On Arsenal’s Shambolic Display Against Liverpool
League leaders Arsenal slumped to a disappointing 5-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Here, Gunner333 gives us his thoughts on the game.
Arsenal slumped to a disappointing 5-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Here, Gunner333 gives us his thoughts on the game.
Arsenal travelled to Anfield this weekend with the hope of gaining yet another three points to ensure they stayed top, at least until Tuesday. Liverpool’s danger men Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez both started, against the only side either of them have failed to score against in the Premier League this season.
It didn’t take long for Liverpool to get ahead with the home side taking an early lead. Suarez winning a free-kick, which Skrtel fired home via his knee from Gerrard’s sublime delivery. A disappointing start for the Gunners then got a whole lot worse, the Slovakian centre-back capitalising on yet another set piece to double his and Liverpool’s tally with only 10 minutes played.
Liverpool looked rampant from here-on-in and were taking advantage of an Arsenal defence that looked like it could be cut open with ever attack. Chance-after-chance arose but it was youngster Raheem Sterling who made it three, burying Suarez’s pull-back at the far post.
Proof it was not the Gunners’ day, as Mesut Özil was dispossessed and our woeful defence gifted Sturridge an easy chance, which was comfortably finished for 4-0. The game was gone with barely 20 minutes on the clock.
After a savage first-half mauling, Arsenal returned to the field for the second forty-five, desperate to salvage their dignity. Any nominal hopes of an away revival vanished when Sterling burst clear to finish past Szczesny at the second time of asking.
Wenger’s men were unsurprisingly desperate to hear the final whistle, but did muster up a chance of their own. Gerrard fouling the Ox in the box, and Arteta took his chance to grab a consolation.
Here I will now analyse four talking points from the game;
1) Defensive Dilemma
We cannot ‘sugar-coat’ it, our back-line was awful in this game, each error further ammunition for a prolific Liverpool side. Considering just months ago we were raving about improvements made at defending set-pieces, this performance is a real set-back.
From the off we stumbled and simply couldn’t cope with the home attack. Koscielny and Mertesacker were offered little in the form of protection from our midfield and we were cut open far too easily. Embarrassing at best and improvements must be made ahead of Tuesday’s clash with United.
2) Özil Flagging
Recent showings from our multi-million pound magician have been well below par with no goals and just two assists in his past eight performances. Yesterday especially his unusual lack of fluidity and stamina let us down. He failed to back of our full-backs and his stray pass led to Liverpool’s third.
A player of his ability though, should not be criticised for an odd mistake and we must recognise this lack-luster performance could be down to fatigue. He has performed at a high-intensity for much of the season and while we do need more from him in the big games, he hasn’t been afforded any rest so far this season which may explain his recent demise.
3) Ox On Wing
Many Gooners would be aware of Alex’s divine display in our previous match against Cardiff, where he lit up London with his quality brace. In that game he played in a central holding role, which seemed to benefit his physical attributes far greater than when he starts down the wing.
Of course many factors must be taken into consideration about his performance yesterday, for example the opposition, being away, faster paced game, and the fact we played awful, but overall he looked ineffective playing on the flank as appose to the holding position.
4) Title Credentials
Any whipping of this magnitude must call into question a side’s ability. Therefore, a side competing towards the top is completely under the spotlight when this occurs. As mentioned, our defence was ripped apart and our attack, ineffective. We failed to deal with Liverpool’s brutal attacks of pace and created nothing of our own.
By focusing our defensive energy on Suarez it simply gave other Liverpool attacking players like Sterling far too much space. Ahead of our home clash with Manchester United, we must sweep this under the rug, possibly give Ozil a rest and come back fighting.
Thanks for reading and let’s hope for a big improvement on Wednesday!
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