Liverpool and Arsenal have reigned as two of the strongest clubs in the Premier League for many years. The two teams have been contrasting favorably in recent years, with Liverpool repeatedly battling for the championship, while Arsenal losing their spot in European competitions. Here’s a look at what happened in this matchup, along with the turning points that separated the two teams.
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Pre-Match Analysis: Liverpool’s recent chemistry has been overwhelming
Liverpool has become one of the best clubs in the Premier League since Jurgen Klopp took over as manager. They have won the league and the Champions League in the last four years, and they are literally dominating the competition.
Arsenal, on the other hand, has been out of the Champions League since the 2016-2017 season, and this season, they are finally out of European competitions (Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League) for the first time in 25 years.
Despite the stark contrast between the two teams, Liverpool has a much better head-to-head record. In the last five years at Anfield, Liverpool has a 6-2 record. The last time Liverpool lost to Arsenal at home was back in September 2012.
This is a matchup of two teams with a huge difference in their recent track records and matchups, but what will happen this time? First, let’s take a look at the starting lineup.
For Liverpool, Diogo Jota replaces the injured Roberto Firmino at center forward, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes in for the injured Naby Keita in the center of midfield.
Arsenal’s squad hasn’t changed much recently, but Thomas Parti is back in the center of midfield. The return of the physical and technical midfielder will be encouraging.
A game with a big difference, 4-0.
Despite the huge deficit, the first half was very competitive. Liverpool pressed from the front to get the ball and kept it. The first half started with Liverpool holding the ball and Arsenal holding on.
Liverpool dominated the ball possession, but they could not pass the ball vertically in front of Arsenal’s tenacious defense in a 4-4-2 block. Arsenal, on the other hand, showed sharp counterattacks from time to time to counter Liverpool.
It was a set piece that broke the deadlock. In the 39th minute of the first half, Liverpool won a free kick after being fouled in Arsenal territory. Kicker Trent Alexander-Arnold’s kick landed right in the middle of an Arsenal defender, and Sadio Mane headed it home. As the first half was about to end, Liverpool finally got the lead.
The first half ended on a high note, but the score would change dramatically in the second half. In the 52nd minute, Liverpool forward Diogo Jota cut the ball off Arsenal left back Nuno Tavares and scored past Arsenal center back Ben White and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdell.
With a two-goal lead in their own territory, Arsenal had no choice but to push forward. Liverpool’s pattern of running fast attackers behind their defenders and playing long counters became their specialty. In the 73rd and 77th minutes of the second half, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino scored consecutive goals from the same pattern. They extended the lead to four goals.
Arsenal’s will to fight was gone. With no energy to fight back, the game ended 4-0. At first glance, it looked like Liverpool dominated Arsenal, but a detailed analysis of the match reveals the turning point that separated the two sides. From here on, we will check out the match in detail and explain why Liverpool won the game.
Turning Point 1: The decision that led to the first goal
The first turning point was the referee’s decision that led to the first goal. In the 38th minute of the first half, Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal charged furiously at Mane of Liverpool who had the ball in midfield.
The referee blows his whistle for the charge. The referee blows his whistle and awards a free kick to Liverpool for pushing, which is when a defender uses his hands to push the ball carrier.
It was a delicate decision when you look at it in slow motion. Some referees would call it a foul, and some would not call it a foul. As a result, this decision greatly affected the outcome of the game.
The referee called a foul, and the referee decided not to call a foul. The score had a huge impact on the game. In the first half, Liverpool kept the ball and pushed Arsenal, but they couldn’t pass the ball vertically and couldn’t create any chances. If the first half had ended like this, Liverpool would have been in a hurry to get three points.
As a result, the decision to give away the free kick became the turning point of the game.
The second turning point was the use of players who lacked experience.
The second turning point of the game was Arsenal’s use of players. Arsenal has been playing with the youngest starting eleven in the Premier League so far.
In the starting lineup against Liverpool, there were eight players under the age of 25: goalkeeper Ramsdell, right back Kenyasu Tomiyasu, left back Tavares, center backs White and Gabrieleu, volleyball player Alberto Sambi-Lokonga, and wingers Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe. Eight players. When you consider that Liverpool has only two players in their squad, left back Kostas Tsimikas and forward Jota, you can see that it is a very young squad.
Young players can sometimes bring freshness and energy to a team, but they can also be a double-edged sword, as they lack experience and can be dangerous. After suffering three consecutive defeats in the opening game of the season, Arsenal had been performing well with their young players playing dynamically, but the negative side of their performance came out in the match against Liverpool.
First of all, they conceded the first goal in the 39th minute of the first half. In the 39th minute of the first half, youngsters Ben White and Kenyou Tomiyasu missed the mark of Sadio Mane, who scored the goal in the free kick situation. They had been playing well up to that point, but they made a mistake at a crucial moment towards the end of the first half.
And then the second goal was scored. This time, the inexperience of the youngsters was more apparent. Tavares took the ball from Alexander-Arnold on the left side and started to dribble. But he was blocked and opted for a back pass. But there was a pitfall waiting for him. When you make a back pass, you should have a clear view of the center back and make sure that the enemy is not nearby before you kick the ball.
However, Tavares didn’t check the situation well before making the pass. The result was as I wrote before. One goal would have been enough for a tie or a comeback, but the second goal was enough to put Arsenal out of their misery. This goal was the deciding factor in the game.
It was a game that showed Liverpool’s mastery of the game, but it also exposed Arsenal’s inexperience.