Arsenal FC – Liverpool FC – 5 talking points

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The blockbuster match of the weekend sure matched the hype surrounding it, as Liverpool rocked the Emirates with a 4-3 victory. Before the game much had been made about Arsenal’s youthful defence and sure enough there are questions to be raised against Wenger. Apart from the goals, it was quite an enthralling game and involved a lot of end to end football. Ultimately, the goal scoring exploits of Coutinho, Mane and Lallana were enough to outgun the Gunners goal scoring trio of Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chambers. Here is a look at the five talking points:-

1. Quick off the Blocks, but same old problems haunt Arsenal

The way the match started it seemed Liverpool were there for the taking. After a pre-season in which Liverpool have earned rave reviews based on their performances, it seemed that the pressure of the season opener had weighed them down. Sensing an opportunity, Arsenal was quick to take on their opponents and for the entirety of the first half, there was a dominance which would have delighted the Arsenal fans.

With Walcott, atoning for the penalty miss within 69 seconds, it seemed that the Emirates was going to experience a season opening win and thus announce themselves as title contenders. In fact, Arsenal should have used their period of ascendancy to extend their lead. Even the youthful defence of Holding and Chambers seemed to be enjoying their partnership in the centre of the defence.

As usual though the same old problems of mental frailty popped up the moment when Liverpool scored the equalizer and from there on it was the floundering Arsenal of yesteryears that came to the fore. The score at the end seemed to give it a respectable look, but Arsene and Arsenal fans will be dreading the season ahead, if this display was a precursor to the season ahead.

2.  Philippe Coutinho – Wizard of Reds

Ever since his arrival from Inter Milan, the diminutive Brazilian has lit up the Premier League. From being a light weight, Coutinho has bulked up so as not to be shoved of the ball, while still ensuring this his box of tricks and dribbling wizardry doesn’t fade away. The intensity of the Arsenal players in the first half did seem to catch the Reds by surprise, but as the game gradually wore on, Liverpool did manage a foothold via a stunning free kick from Coutinho.

The free kick from Coutinho at the stroke of half time, did seem to stun the Reds into action and Coutinho was central to it. The pass to open up the Arsenal defence which led to the cross from Wignaldum , before Lallana applied a calm half-volleyed finish to take the lead.

Coutinho was in the mood and set up Mane for a shot in the 58th minute, before he himself took the onus to score the third goal and cap off a move, which involved a minimum of 20 passes at least before a fizzed in cross from Nathaniel Clyne helped him extend the lead to 3-1. Arsenal looked stunned and it was only cramps that led to Coutinho retiring for an early night but not before giving a glimpse of quality that is on offer.

3. The New boys for the Reds – Sadio Mane, Wjnaldum and Klavan

The three new signings made by Klopp over the summer went straight into the opening day of the Premier League and were handed their debuts. Impressive showings from all three on did reflect a stronger squad, especially Klavan who exuded a certain calmness in defence. Even after Arsenal had scored the third goal, there was absence of any jitteriness and no fraying of nerves. The Estonian’s calming presence seems to augur well and his calmness seemed to filter through to the other players as they calmly played out the final 15 minutes without any more hiccups.

Mane, on the other hand showed searing pace throughout the game. Last season, for Southampton Mane had shown flashes of his pace, here in a Liverpool shirt he decide to be “The Flash”. The speed with which he toyed around with the Arsenal defence just left one gasping for breath and to compliment that with an emphatic finish, rounded off an outstanding display.

Wijnaldum on the other hand was central to Liverpool’s equalizer and had a very decent game. His pairing with Henderson in the centre of the midfield allowed him to make runs from deep and with both of them trusting each other, it allowed the other players to excel in their attacking positions. All the signings on the evidence of this match seemed to have gelled and it will help Klopp vary his team as per the demands.

4. Juergen Klopp’s philosophy of outscoring the other team should not always be the template.

“Entertaining” is an underrated word for Klopp, for he is the whole package of entertainment. Just watching him on the sidelines fills the viewer with joy and the passion he exudes bowls the fans over. While his celebrations give vent to his emotions, it was the collective that helped him end up on the winning side at the Emirates.

As for his philosophy of outscoring the opposition, it is not always the best available option. Liverpool showed they can defend without panicking and the usual jitteriness was absent once Arsenal seemed to mount a comeback. That said, a stronger showing from the defence will be required, especially from his left back Moreno, who was caught out time and again.

Over the course of the season, if Liverpool is to be title contenders, there will be a need to tighten up the defence. Klopp knows his squad possesses the firepower to outscore but a more tactful defensive display will only strengthen the credentials of the current Liverpool squad.

5. Wenger out not the way out

The moment Sadio Mane scored, the Emirates rang out with a chorus of boos, with a host of the paying public rushing to the exits only to be stopped in their tracks by Oxerlade-Chamberlain. With Callum Chambers getting another goal, the last 15 minutes seemed to be tailor made for another comeback. But that was not to be.

As Arsene Wenger takes another season in charge, one feels that this might be the last season. Being associated with Arsenal for a long time, he knows the need for which parts of the team need looking into but time and again it seems there is a cog that is always missing. The injuries to Ramsey and Iwobi won’t have helped his cause further and Arsene would surely need to make at least one defensive signing given the absence of his first choice defenders.

There is a feeling among the Arsenal fans that the team has stagnated and Arsene faces that ire day in day out, but Arsenal fans would do well to understand that transition comes at a cost and whether Arsene leaving the club at this point of time will ensure long term stability.

18d03d8c557c13924b0a2d44d9e15d28?s=117&d=mm&r=g
Sourav Saha
A lawyer who follows and writes about football
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sports as We Know It May Never Look the Same Again

This lockdown has given us so many of the bad things we never really thought we'd see: widespread job loss, rampant hospitalization and deaths, and the major, sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb kind of problems in society. But, if there's something that everyone felt, it's the loss of sports. Many people said that sports is only important to sports fans, but it's becoming more evident that the purpose of sports isn't just exclusively athletic. Now, it seems like...

MLB: End Of Season Award Show 2 Cy Youngs, 2 Rookie of the Years and More!

The 2020 MLB regular season has come to an end, and with it comes playoff brackets, predictions, debates and discussions. However, we are going to save playoff predictions for another article. In this article we are going to talk about End of Season awards. Wo deserves the Cy Young awards?, Rookie of the Year? Most Valuable Player??? All of these questions and more will be answered. These are my opinions after watching the games,...

When It Comes To Israel Adesanya – Believe The Hype

If you've ever had the privilege of watching Israel Adesanya fight, you know that he is the perfect example of handcrafted precision. In his most recent fight, so many people felt this would be the fight that would finally DE-thrown the champ.  They felt Paulo Costa had the advantage because of his size, his strength and his overall power. If you've seen Costa, you know he's like a modern day Hercules. Costa's punches are explosive and...

2020 NBA Finals: A Champion Will Be Crowned

The stage is set. After a few short months that involved an eight game restart season and a very unique postseason,  the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat will face each other for the first time in the NBA Finals. There are a lot of storylines that will unfold during the duration of the Finals, but the main storyline will have to be LeBron James facing the team that helped him win two championships....

Memorable Test Match Innings: Kevin Pietersen at the Oval 15 years on

“I saw this innings via a social distancing gap between myself and the television. To truly have the visceral thrill of Pietersen’s 158, you needed to be at The Oval on 12 September 2005.” “Just because I've got a stupid haircut or diamond earrings, it's not going to make me cover drive a ball any differently.” Kevin Pietersen arrived on the international scene in full technicolour. In early 2005, KP entered the lion’s den of his...

Tewatia plays blinder as Rajasthan chase historic total to beat KXIP

Rahul Tewatia hit 5 sixes in an over as Rajasthan Royals chased down the highest score in Indian Premier League history to beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets on Sunday. Tewatia hit Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in the 18th over and added another six of the next ball he faced as Rajasthan chased down 224. Jofra Archer hit 13 from 3 balls to see the side home. Rajasthan beat their own record – they...

NRL Finals Loom as Regular Season Concludes

The first fixtures of the National Rugby League's finals series are locked in after the final round of the regular season came to an end today. The Competitors While Penrith Panthers had already secured the minor premiership and the top eight were determined two rounds ago, some key positions were still open and the race for those positions made for some entertaining footy. The Newcastle Knights failed to hold sixth place, going down on Friday to a...

Russian GP – Race Preview

Russian Grand Prix can be a boring race so let's hope this race gets off to a great start. The only memory I have of the Russian GP is Valtteri Bottas letting Lewis Hamilton win. Last race at Mugello was an exciting race. With two red flags and one horrible crash. And Ferrari 1000 celebration wasn't the best either, but that might be because of the strict rules now during COVID 19. So I am happy...

Benny Leonard: Always A Champion

If you sat down with a group of boxing fans under the age of say, 50, and began to talk about whether Benny Leonard really is a Top-10 all-time fighter, you'd probably have a cacophony of voices barking at you about how great "Sugar" Ray really was. Tell them you were talking about Benny Leonard though, and you might hear a lot of "Who's that?" from the same group. But Benny Leonard most definitely belongs...

The Green Light: The Rugby Championship 2020

In what has been a challenging year for many rugby fans and mainly the players, the Southern Hemisphere's Rugby Championship 2020 tournament has just been confirmed for the back end of the season. The Rugby Championship tournament - previously known as the Tri-Nations - was inaugurated in 1996 with the three rugby-rich countries; Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, all contesting for the converted trophy. In 2012, the tournament expanded to add the South...

Social Connect

1,185FansLike
3,755FollowersFollow

Trending Now

AFL Finals Locked In

This weekend's results conclude the heavily disrupted Australian Football League regular season, turning attention towards the Finals series in October. Across 18 rounds spanning six...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x