Match Review: Questions have been answered
Liverpool came to the Emirates on Saturday looking to capitalize on Arsenal’s midweek slip up against Chelsea. Arsenal would have to respond to that midweek loss well because the winner of this game would go top of the league.
Wenger played a strong lineup, but had to field a relatively weak bench due to injuries to Jack and Serge, among others out for the longer term.
Arsenal started the game strong and looked in the mood to really make this a horrible day for Liverpool. The ref was pretty fair from the beginning and did not fall for the SAS diving, so credit to him.
Every week Liverpool’s formation makes less sense and weakens them down the flanks even further. This week Liverpool played a very central heavy formation perhaps hoping to break up our midfield passing, but all they succeeded in doing was giving us too much space on the wings.
This would first become evident in the 19th minute. Arteta played Sagna through down the right hand side. He outran the out of position Cissokho and swung a cross into the middle. It was behind Giroud, but Santi had made a run behind him and headed the ball after a bounce. The ball hit the post, but Santi followed up and sliced it calmly into the net. Our little number 19 scored his first goal of the season against Liverpool just as he did last season.
Arsenal remained dominant for the rest of the first half. Arteta was fantastic at breaking up play in the absence of Flamini. Giroud got a few chances throughout the game, but he just could not put the game to bed.
After half time Liverpool were forced to change formation to have any hope of winning.
Their chance to do so would just about die in the 60th minute. Ozil gave Ramsey a nice little chip to the top of the box. Aaron calmly trapped the ball and let it bounce a few times. And as any player full of confidence would do, just let rip on the half volley. The ball dipped and swerved and made its way in just under the crossbar. The goal itself was incredible, but sadly will probably be overshadowed by Begovic’s goal.
The confidence this team has, is embodied in Ramsey. We are prepared to take chances offensively now because we now have no fear of our defense not being good enough when we lose possession. This has led to some incredible passing and play this season and it’ll only get better as the season goes on.
After this goal no one really looked like scoring. We put on Monreal to shore up our defense on the left, but soon after Gibbs went off with a slight knock and Vermaelen came on at left back. Jenkinson came on at the end to maintain our clean sheet and it worked. Liverpool came close a few times at the end, but we were ready and organized at the back and kept our 2-0 lead.
At the final whistle Arsenal went five points clear at the top of the league and showed the rest of the league that we mean business. Many had questioned if we could play our game and win against big teams and questioned if we can do it every week, and this win showed that we can. This month will be big and if we get wins against Liverpool, Dortmund, United, etc, we will really show everyone that we are starting a new era where Arsenal will return to dominance. I maintain that City is our biggest competition in the league, after seeing them run rampant in a 7-0 win against Norwich earlier in the day. Our games against them will probably be the biggest of the season.
Overall, the team was fantastic today with standout performances from Szczesny, Arteta, Cazorla, and Koscielny. Giroud probably could’ve had a few goals, but overall the score line is a pretty good representation of the game.
For now I’ll leave you with some questions:
- What did you think of the game?
- What kind of message did this game send to the rest of the league?
- Who do you think our toughest competition is for the league title?
- Who was your man of the match?
Thanks for reading! 😀
Written by: Dylan.