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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s Ugly Loss To Arsenal

With a poor display at the Emirates in the books, we take a closer look at what it all means for the Reds.

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Well that was pretty terrible from start to finish. Liverpool came out flat against a fired up Arsenal side and failed to really generate much of a threat going forward. A series of defensive blunders killed off any chance Liverpool had of getting anything out of the match.

Below, we take a look at some winners and losers on the night, and attempt to disentangle narrative from fact.


Winners

Curtis Jones
While many of the Liverpool players really struggled with Arsenal’s pressing, Curtis Jones showed off his knack for breaking the press. Time after time it was Jones who dropped deep to receive the ball before riding a challenge to carry the ball or play the right pass to relieve the pressure and progress the ball. Jones also had one of the best shots of the match for Liverpool, hitting a curling effort that went just wide of the far post.

Alexis Mac Allister
Mac Allister got caught on the ball a couple times early in the match, but to his credit he adjusted his speed of play and was quite good as an outlet and ball progresser the rest of the match. The Argentinian set up a couple of shooting opportunities, and came quite close to scoring from a couple of long range efforts.

Manchester City
We all know Arsenal aren’t going to win the title, but Liverpool’s loss here puts the momentum back with Manchester City ahead of their match with Brentford tomorrow. A win closes the gap to two points with a game still in hand for the petrostate all star club.

Losers

Defensive Blunders
It’s not often when Liverpool’s central defenders or goalkeeper make an error. It’s extremely rare when they all have blunders in the same match. Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, and Ibrahima Konaté all made mistakes that changed the face of the match. Arsenal’s second goal was a comedy of errors when van Dijk allowed a ball to bounce while attempting to shield Gabriel Martinelli rather than heading it or clearing it, and then Alisson hit van Dijk when he raced out to clear the ball, causing him to miss completely and leave an open goal for the Arsenal striker. Konaté was sent off for a second yellow card, albeit from two pretty soft cards.


Dissecting the Narrative

While Liverpool were ultimately pretty not good on the day, this was just their second loss on the season and they are still first in the table. Plenty of pundits, and the broader Premier League audience, will likely write off the Reds, but there is still plenty of cause for hope. Liverpool have been shorthanded due to injuries and international absences over the past couple of months, but the squad seems to be rounding into health. Thiago made his first appearance of the season, and Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo are likely to be back into the fold before long. There is still plenty to play for, including a massive match up with Manchester City at Anfield in just over a month.


What Happens Next

That sucked, but Liverpool are still top of the table despite the loss. The Reds will return home to regroup and prepare to take on relegation-threatened Burnley next weekend.

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