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Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1 - Match Recap: Record Hopes Gunned Down

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A frustrating evening ends in defeat for the Reds.

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal 2 - 1 Liverpool

Gunners: Lacazette 32’, Nelson 45’
Reds: Mané 20’

Pre-Match

So. If anything noteworthy happened in the first 7 or so minutes of the match, I couldn’t tell you. I got a call from Icelandic police 15 minutes before kickoff because someone had sideswiped my parked car. Everyone involved was very nice, including the understandably apologetic driver. Anyway. Umm...Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in for the injured Jordan Henderson.

First Half

Firmino nearly opened the scoring with some smart pressing of the keeper! Arsenal’s backup goalkeeper’s attempted clearance ricocheted off Bobby, and hit the outside of the post. Unlucky!

GOAL! Sadio Mané slots after some fantastic build-up play. Fabinho won the header after an Arsenal goalkick, and Andy Robertson picked up the second ball with a decisive header. The Scottish captain drove toward the box and played a 1-2 with Firmino, and then picked out a criminally-unmarked Sadio in the middle of the box the first time finish.

Goal. A rare, and really bad mistake from Virgil Van Dijk leads to Arsenal equalizer. Virg claimed to be fouled while making a back pass, but there’s not much in it to be honest. Lacazette pounced on the opportunity and dribbles around Alisson.

Goal. Wow. It was Alisson’s turn to make a massive mistake. Another bad give away at the back, and Arsenal have taken the lead.

I guess the good thing about mistakes from literally two of the best players in their respective positions is that you just have to shrug it off as “football things that happen.” It wasn’t a great half from Liverpool, but they definitely don’t deserve to be behind. Hopefully they can right the ship in the second half.

Second Half

Liverpool start the half positively, with approximately 58 chances to equalize in short order. Somehow no one can get a decent shot off. Trent, Mo, Sadio, and Robbo all take turns missing good to great chances. Cool, cool.

With an hour gone, Klopp makes his first substitutions, bringing on Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino on for Bobby and Ox.

Liverpool are playing some lovely stuff after the subs, dominating possession and looking really dangerous. They’re just missing that final ball, though it feels like it’s coming.

Klopp makes two more subs, with Gini and Mo making way for Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi. It seems more like a final roll of the dice than anything tactical. While it seemed like an equalizer was coming for the Reds, that no longer seems to be the case. The longer the match goes on, the sloppier the attacking play becomes.

Liverpool finally put the ball in the back of the net...after a foul was blown against us during a scrap in the box. Disappointing ending to a disappointing night.

Final Thoughts

It was one of those “it’s football” nights. We’ve not had too many of them this year, and they’ve mostly come after the restart, when the results haven’t really mattered. Liverpool looked good in patches, but two defensive errors by two of the world’s best defenders cost us.