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Arsenal 0, Liverpool 0: First Thoughts

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Liverpool fought to a fantastic point in North London.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

liverpool blog fc sbn

Arsenal 0
Liverpool 0

  • Pre-match thoughts: Brendan Rodgers drafted in Lucas Leiva, Emre Can, and Roberto Firmino for Jordon IbeJordan Henderson, and Adam Lallana. The away side would be playing in a 433 formation for the first time in this young season.

  • The game started with a positive approach in the first couple of minutes from Liverpool. The away side had a decent chance dragged wide by Christian Benteke before the magical Philippe Coutinho hit the crossbar to nearly open the scoring. That was some opening two minutes.

  • Arsenal responded by creating a couple of good chances by exposing Liverpool between the fullbacks and centre backs. The home side should have scored within the first ten minutes after Sanit Cazorla's delightful through ball was finished expertly by the onrushing Aaron Ramsey. The linesman wrongly judged it to be offside. By the 10 minute mark, Arsenal looked settled and in control of the game.

  • Liverpool could have taken the lead on 14 minutes but couldn't convert. The away side definitely had something about them.

  • At the half hour mark, it was clear that Liverpool were trying to play effectively on the counter as well as apply intelligent pressure in the opposition half whenever possible. Arsenal's unfamiliar centre back pairing spread nervousness that Liverpool should have profited from.

  • The game had an interesting flow to it as Liverpool grew in strength throughout the half. The organisation in defensive as well as attacking transitions was impressive that enabled Liverpool to wrestle control of the game. There was an intent from Liverpool that they hadn't shown for many months. Petr Čech made a few excellent saves but shouldn't have been able to get to stop Christian Benteke from giving Liverpool the lead.

  • Half-time thoughts: It's very difficult to argue with how Liverpool approached the first half. A quick direct start followed by ten to fifteen minutes of pressure gave way to Liverpool largely controlling the space as Brendan Rodgers spoke about before the game. Arsenal may feel aggrieved later to find out that a legitimate goal was incorrectly chalked off, but Liverpool were much better overall. If this is a sign of things of to come, Liverpool fans may feel more optimisitc about the future.

  • Arsenal needed to react but were part of a quiet opening five minutes of the second half with Liverpool enjoying a bit more possession.

  • The home side was growing in the first third of the second half, and perhaps Arsène Wenger's words or changes may have had an effect. Liverpool needed to be alive to any danger from a side desperate to impress after losing the previous home game to West Ham.

  • On 59 minutes, Alexis hit the post after good work from Olivier Giroud as Arsenal tried to take the lead. Jordon Ibe replaced the tiring Firmino on 63 minutes as the away side needed more energy on the break.

  • Arsenal were virtually camped in Liverpool's half, and any counter attacking opportunities were cut short from poor decision-making from attackers in space. On 70 minutes, a great run from the heroic Joe Gomez offered Milner a chance on the counter but the former Manchester City man shot straight at Čech. 

  • A first Premier League appearance for Jordon Rossiter was a highlight during a difficult last twenty minutes for Liverpool with some close calls. It must be noted that Brendan Rodgers' side offered a bit of danger on the counter but the use of the ball in space wasn't as effective as in the first half. The pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott was brought on to trouble Liverpool, but the defence remained stout.

  • Full-time thoughts: Liverpool may just be a different proposition this season. There's more fight and organisation within the side. A good point and Watford West Ham next. Onwards.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.