History Repeating Or a Gunners’ Breakthrough? Arsenal v Liverpool Preview

A major bump on the way (09/04/23) – Liverpool game preview 

I’ll do my best to talk as much as I can about Liverpool, but you will not get off without me venting my insecurities. Before that, let’s start with some maths. 

As you know, we have a 5 points lead 9 rounds to go. It looks a sizeable gap – and it is a lot better than any smaller leads – but it isn’t all that much. For the sake of harsh simplification I will assume that we will beat West Ham, Southampton, Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton, and lose against Manchester City. That leaves us with 3 major challenges: away games against Liverpool and Newcastle, plus our home game hosting Chelsea. With the conditions above, if we win all 3 of them we will snatch the title. If we lose one it’s no longer guaranteed, but there is still a decent chance as it is also highly unlikely that Manchester City will win all their remaining games. However, if we fail to win 2 of them, then we are in a really difficult situation. 

And the toughest of those will be our visit to Anfield later today. Historically we are not too efficient there – the last time we won at the cauldron Arteta was still playing (2012) – and despite their current struggles Liverpool has the third best home record (tied with Manchester United) in the Premier League. Every team has lost a home fixture already, but City drew one, we shared the spoils twice, while ‘Pool and United 3 time. Meaning that they are almost as good at home as we are. Hence my prediction: Liverpool 2:1 Arsenal. 

I’m not being fatalistic, at least I hope not. But I’m not paid for wishful thinking but to be realistic (well, I’m not paid at all, but that’s not the point. J). And the reality is that if they play average and we play average then we will lose – like we kind of did against Sporting. If we play below average and they play above their expected level, we can get massacred, like Man United was. So we have to bring our A-game, and still have to hope Liverpool won’t do the same. 

And that is the problem: regardless our unprecedented position and winning streak we are not playing consistently on an elite level. In my opinion, we played at the invincible level recently against Fulham (0:3) and Everton (4:0), when defense, midfield and attack all clicked, and even our weakest links – on the day – played slightly above average. Before that it was the 5:0 trashing of Nottingham in October. And neither of them was a Liverpool level opponent. Don’t take me wrong, playing world class footie in day out is probably not even possible, and in fact our major improvement this season is the ability to win ugly, and unleashing some individual brilliance when the majority of the team was struggling.

But we have to acknowledge that our current success – besides the obvious and huge improvement to our performances – should be partly attributed to struggles of our league rivals, form issues of the actual opponents, plus some luck, too. And we could use some of those today. I hope Arteta will prove me wrong, and demonstrate that he used the interlull, as well as resting Saka, Partey and Jesus to time our peak form; but despite my tremendous faith in this young team I’m not sure that after collecting 0 point from 2-2 games against Liverpool in the last couple of seasons, we are already in the position to claim 6.  

Sorry, I got carried away and went unnecessarily deep into a season analysis. Let’s focus on today’s game and opponent. Liverpool used to be known for their deadly attack, an almost RealMadrid-esque calm and technical – yet not particularly clinical – midfield trio and the best defenders money can buy. This year only the deadly attack is there, even though Diaz is injured, Nunez had a rough start, and Salah couldn’t maintain his form from past seasons; but in his defense that was a Lewandowski-Benzema type world class form, so a level below that could still be crazy high. He is Liverpool’s best (fit) player at the moment – with 10 goal contributions (G:8, A:2) in his last 10 games – and he was properly rested against Chelsea. He will be the main threat today, and his dual with Zinchenko could be a major factor deciding the outcome. Firmino started the season really well and made Nunez run after his money, but after his calf injury in December-January he couldn’t find his scoring shoes. I do not expect him to start or cause problems today. Unlike Nunez and Gakpo who aren’t particularly clinical this season either, but they are good enough to capitalize on the smallest defensive mistake if we give them the chance.  

The good news is that while they have an attacking trio of 200M according to TransferMarkt we can top them by 55M assuming MJS will start (although Trossard made quite a claim with his Anfield hattrick back in October in a Brighton jersey). The other match-deciding factor could be the availability of Thiago. He is not a fancy central midfielder, but even with his limited goal contributions, he has a calming effect on his teammates. The Spaniard’s flexor issue seems to be gone, he’s back in training, and although wasn’t involved in the Tuesday game against Chelsea, he is most likely available to start today. Which is bad news, because Fabinho, Milner and Henderson are well below the level of Odegaard, Partey and Xhaka, but Thiago isn’t. The last uncertainty is about Virgil van Dijk. If Klopp was honest – and you never know – he missed the Chelsea game through illness, but even so he might be fit to start today. Although he might no longer be the best central defender in the PL, he is still good enough to be concerned about him playing. My pessimistic prediction above assumed both Thiago and VvD starting; if at least either of them won’t play today I have to re-assess the odds. 

Injury-wise there are no news on our boys. Elneny and Tomiyasu are out till the end of the season, and Neither Nketiah nor Saliba are fit enough to play. The former might be the cheaper loss as we have Jesus back in top form, and Trossard is capable to play up front, too. On the other hand Saliba has only one natural substitute, and even though Holding has been playing well in the past 2 games we are a bit thin in central (and right) defense, so an injury in those departments could be catastrophic.  

Since Milner (37) is expected to start I think we will dominate midfield, even though Liverpool’s 4-3-3 usually provide stronger midfield focus than our 4-2-3-1. I foresee multiple goals to be scored from counterattacks, as both teams defend well and are fast on the breaks.  

While the majority of fans and pundits believe that Arteta is Guardiola Jr., I rather find Mikel a younger  and success-hungry version of Klopp. First of all I doubt that Pep was ever managed a team that wasn’t the best squad in its league at the time of his appointment, yet he was almost always supported by the biggest transfer budget of the league. It was Jürgen who was given the task to implement a vision and challenge the title overcoming a sizeable gap and corresponding disadvantage. He did it with flying colors, and his apparent – and seemingly inevitable – downfall is likely the result of losing the wage war, misunderstanding the value added by Mane vs. Salah, and the reluctance (or inability) to rejuvenate/reinvigorate the squad. This is also a common characteristic: Klopp is almost as bad as introducing academy players and/or purchased starlets to the first team as Mikel. (And the fun part is that even though I was a bit harsh old Jürgen, you – apart from Le Gall – will be furious for me being too harsh on Arteta.)  

However, that is beyond the point, at least for today. Mikel is far from the pressure to rejuvenate the squad, and we are not yet close to the salaries breaking loose, but to be frank not too far from that either. So we should look for the silver lining which is Liverpool’s midfield. Bajcetic and Elliot did not establish themselves as wonderkids (albeit the former is merely 18), Curtis Jones didn’t get enough minutes, Keita and Ox are more often injured than fit, and Arthur Melo is almost as bad of a (loan) signing as Kallstrom, Niguez, Renato Sanches, or Falcao. So even if Thiago plays, their midfield could be vulnerable. 

In the back Liverpool has 2 attacking-minded fullbacks, similar to Zinchenko, who add more to the flank attacks than the defense. Robertson is in quite a good form: with 6 assists he is the top provider in the PL among the defenders. And while Trent Alexander-Arnold is – similar to Salah and VvD – no longer the best player in his position, I don’t think he should be taken lightly. But we are in for an exciting and entertaining game of old school attacking football which may go either way. 

Hopefully the game will not be decided in the goalkeeping department, as Alisson might be the only Liverpool player clearly ahead of his Arsenal counterpart, but with Saliba missing van Dijk could be the other one. Both stoppers are capable of brilliant saves as well as howlers. And another deciding factor could be the referee Paul Tierney. We have lost our last 5 games when this wanker has officiated, featuring our first defeat this season at Old Trafford, when the ref disallowed Martinelli’s ‘opening’ goal after a lengthy VAR-check for a bullsh*t fault Odegaard was supposedly committed 20 seconds before.

Trends will discontinue today. It will be either our long winning streak plus Liverpool’s struggles from the last 3 games or our Anfield history since 2012 and Tierney’s bad influence luck since 2021. From the practical point of view the deciding factors could be the duels on the flanks (Salah vs. Zinchenko, Gakpo vs. White, Saka vs. Robertson and Martinelli vs. TAA), but the Nunez vs Holding and the Jesus vs. van Dijk could also play a major part of the outcome.  

We do have the firepower, but the high scoring wins came against poor or mediocre teams. Liverpool’s Champions League ambitions are probably over – they are 13 points behind Newcastle and Manchester United sharing the 3rd-4th places, with only a game in hand on them – they have a decent chance to challenge Brighton and Aston Villa for the EL and the Conference League qualification places. So there are some motivation at the Merseyside – no matter how humiliating this may be, compared to the previous decade, they will still be proud if they could salvage their season better than Chelsea despite the enormous difference in recent and past transfer spending. 

I’m sure the boys will give their best, although I’m not sure if that will be enough to take all 3 points. Even so we will have solid chances to finish ahead of Manchester City, but a win today would boost the odds and the morale, and could be the strongest message we send this season – at least before our visit to the Etihad. J 


By Peter Barany

73 thoughts on “History Repeating Or a Gunners’ Breakthrough? Arsenal v Liverpool Preview

  • The big, Big factor is our collective psychological prep and robustness during the game. Anfield is just tough and Pool rely on its impact on their opponents constantly. Will the boys overcome this?

    My worry is Rob in a game like this. I would play White next to Big Gab and have Saka or Tierney at Right FB.

  • One more reason for a tough game today, which I wasn’t aware of by the time of the preview.
    Tony Adams wrote in his Sun column that “[…] I am so confident that Arsenal will triumph on Sunday” and “The real tests for Arsenal are coming at Manchester City and Newcastle. Sunday, it should be a straightforward three points”.

    But if we take into consideration that he also said that “I love Holding to bits because he has a wonderful attitude but I watched his last two games against Crystal Palace and Leeds, and he hardly touched the ball”, and we check – unless we remember – that Holding made the second highest number of passes against Crystal Palace (right after Partey), and the third highest against Leeds (behind Zinchenko and Gabriel), then even those who haven’t been aware of must admit that Adams is a Kevin Campbell level of eejit when it come to talking intelligently about football. Despite being a good defender and a club legend I would be more placid and serene ahead of the game if he had predicted a draw or an Arsenal defeat.

  • Adams just gets paid for headlineable quotes, PB.

    But being as negative as you are about the outcome is perhaps also lacking a bit of balance. 😉

  • Fine preview, PB. And also to acknowledge your response to my post on Paul Tierney’ “stewardship” in games involving us. Nice spot. You will give the stats man at the club a run for his money.

  • Holding can indeed be a liability. He can pull a masterstroke like in the FA Cup final against Chelsea, but can draw blanks like he did against Tottenham last season. Playing White as RCB and having a makeshift RB is an interesting and crazy move, but sometimes crazy moves win tough games.

    The problem is that Reuell Walters hasn’t played a single competitive minute for the first team, and giving him a debut start against Liverpool at Anfield is the encyclopedia definition of the deep end of the pool. Unfortunately Tierney hasn’t played a single game at RB in his entire career, and the same applies to Zinchenko – at least he has played at right midfield a few times. Saka could be major surprise there, but in that case either Nelson should start at RW (who is our supersub this season, but still not familiar with the intensity of such games) or Trossard. Leandro has played at the right wing for Belgium, a handful of times for Brighton and even once for Arsenal (last round against Leeds!), and thus Arteta could field Martinelli, Jesus, Trossard and Saka in the same team.
    I really fancy the idea, but I expect Arteta to be more risk-averse, and won’t rely on Saka’s defensive skills, and will ultimately give Holding the nod.

  • As for me and this game, I am quietly confident we would get something out of Anfield today. I still believe we are the most exciting side in the league and are rightly, sitting atop the table. There is a reason for this and we need to show it today.

    I won’t worry about Rob Holding, since he’s had two games to get up to speed; he will, of course, feel some pressure with the scrutiny he would get compared to Saliba. Is it advisable to start Saliba after he’s missed games? Not sure.


  • Yes PB, my dream eleven include Saka and Trossy.

    Saka, White, Big Gab, Zinch
    Partey, Xhaka
    Tros, Jesus, Marti

  • I agree about Thiago, he’s an outstanding midfielder, he would give them much more control than they’ve had lately – provided he has fully recovered, since he’s been available for such a long time …
    As for the promotion of Academy players 😉, not only is Klopp’s record appalling, but he adds hypocrisy to it – Hampstead Heath (is that corretct, Kev?) Jürgen had promised a Kirkby-based follow-up to the Sané-Malah generation, something MA never did about Hale End.
    One year ago, they were regarded as an invincible bunch, but in sport the time always comes when a young, hungry, fearless challenger upsets the odds, when a Cassius Clay retires a Sonny Liston, or a Carlos Monzon knocks out a Nino Benvenuti .
    This is our boys’ day

  • Thank you for your game post PB, I really enjoy reading your posts – even if they are a tad negative.

    However I’m more than a tad negative myself. I believe this is the most important game Arsenal has had in many a long year. Losing this will be costly in both points lost and team confidence – whereas winning would be the reverse of that – 3 points in the bag and sky high confidence,

    I fully expect that we will lose to City on the 26th so a loss today would seem to make winning the title nothing more than a dream.

    In short I will be watching today full of nervous tension and even a few drams of single malt may not help.

    BUT – I hope at 1:30pm Canadian time I will be the happiest man in London, Ontario!!!!

  • Open Sidebar

    APRIL 9
    Liverpool v Arsenal team news: Salah and Saka return, Darwin benched
    7 Comments SHARE
    Arsenal face a real test of their title credentials on Sunday as they meet Liverpool at Anfield.

    Manchester City closed the gap to five points with a thumping 4-1 win at Southampton on Saturday evening, so Mikel Arteta’s troops will be looking to respond.

    Kick-off is at 16:30 BST.

    Jurgen Klopp makes five changes to the Liverpool side that drew 0-0 with Chelsea in midweek, as Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah return.

    Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Cody Gakpo also come in, with Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, Roberto Firmino and Darwin Nunez dropping out.

    As for Arsenal, there is just one change, which sees Bukayo Saka back in the starting XI, replacing Leandro Trossard.

    Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Jota, Gakpo

    Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Thiago, Milner, Firmino, Elliott, Tsimikas, Darwin, Matip

    Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

    Subs: Turner, Tierney, Smith Rowe, Kiwior, Trossard, Jorginho, Vieira, Nelson, Walters

    Thiago only starts from the bench today. In any case, he was there at the Emirates when we beat them earlier in the season.


  • Oh dear. Was only trying to paste the teams and subs, with my small comment.

    Sorry about all that. Game starts.

  • Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Jota, Gakpo

    Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Thiago, Milner, Firmino, Elliott, Tsimikas, Darwin, Matip

    Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

    Subs: Turner, Tierney, Smith Rowe, Kiwior, Trossard, Jorginho, Vieira, Nelson, Walters

  • Ontario’s rockin’
    South America street football goal that was
    What a start, we should be at least 2 goals up
    And, Rob’s a Rock, isn’t he?

  • Paul Tierney plays his first card in his usual bid to affect the future of the game. Now, Ben White has to be cautious not to pick another yellow card.

  • We. Will need to press any advantage we have at the moment. The second half will be intense. With Ben White walking on egg shells, and no senior RB sub available…

    It is 2-0, GJ9!

  • Gabriel Martinelli with a well floated cross for a beauty of a header by Jesus.
    This is scintillating stuff.

  • Jesus is on the phone for you, Anfield
    Carioca Arsenal 2 ‘Pool 0
    Take that too, Tierney, you thought you had done us in when you cut short that counterattack, didn’t you?

  • How is that not given as a free kick for us? That was a high foot by Konate. The home side are starting to maul our players with the officials uninterested.

    What is going on here?

  • The home side finishing stronger. We have to hope to go in at 1-2 and recalibrate for the second half.

  • Granit should not have heeded the Tierney and Arnold provocation, but the goal had nothing to do with it. Yet our commentators are not able to disconnect the two unrelated events. Tired, inspiration less commentary.

  • Great start but there are some defensive issues to be sorted gave up a few decent chances to Liverpool and a couple of yellows. Wish Granit would save those yellows for when its necessary will have to watch it with this referee who is known to give out red cards. Ben White is getting caught upfield, that is where their goal came from and that earlier chance which Robertson could have done better with. Other than that Rob has been great at the back and was not at fault for that goal. He has also been passing very well.

  • What a half, the lads have been painting a masterpiece, and GabMart has has the perfect half; so far he’s a 10
    Nostralegallus’s preview:
    off – AArnold/Jones/Gakpo/Jota
    on – Gomez/Thiago/Nunez/Firmino
    A different beast they’ll be, they’re going to to play ugly, and Paul Tiny is going to turn a blind eye to it; at the first opportunity he’ll send Ben and/or Granit off too
    But our boys ‘re gonna make it, they were so good at times they left me speechless

  • Granit just needs to get a grip at times. We are 2 up and in control;absolutely no reason to do anything silly to get a card for.
    The good thing is the home side also have a few cards now, more notably, both full backs will need to be careful against our wide boys. I hope Arteta makes a note of that so we can provoke the situations to tempt them.

    Only way to kill their spirit is get the next goal in the 2nd half and just pick them off.

  • The game also started with what I thought was a back three where Ben would stay back a bit more with Rob central and Gabriel a bit wider than usual I hope that is how we play Ben and let Zinchenko support the attack more. It seems harsh to drop Trossard but boy did Jesus and Marti justify their inclusion what a half and all of a sudden Marti is adding assist to his game.

  • My prediction is off so far – Gott sei dank – but my forecast on the entertaining open game, and the counterattacks have been accurate. TAA and Robertson are indeed better in the attacking sense then defensively, but Virgil van Dijk is a disappointment to me today.

    In our team Holding is surprisingly good both with his head and feet, and gave some balls away carelessly as half-expected. Gabriel is also very good, our lead is perfectly justified, but I miss Partey’s control in midfield, though. The Brazilian contingent is stronger than ever, hence I re-calibrate my Thiago-free prediction to 2:3 as we have 3 Brazilians in our squad, while Liverpool has only 2. 🙂

    I hope Tierney won’t send anybody off, but if he must, it should be a player in red.

  • we are very lucky indeed that had spoiled Rob’s superb performance hopefully a wake up call

  • Have not seen this team come out of half time looking like this before something has to change

  • Rob had been my man of the match but Aaron might have stolen it saved us a point

  • Extraordinary game of football
    Art in the first half, guts in the second – glorious performance from the boys
    Were mistakes made? of course there were … so what?
    We’re still at least 3 points up – might be a good idea to give a serious thought to goal-difference from now on – still smells like title spirit!!
    Guess Aaron’s statue in front of the “Emirates” will be ordered first thing in the morning …

  • The schedule is not kind I think we have to get a result at the Etihad there is just something about us at Anfield we were the better team for thirty minutes then in went downhill from there. I think Mikel will be forced to reevaluate the Zinch/Tierney situation in some of these games. It is not just a knee jerk reaction have said it before Zinch is very inconsistent. Still have to go to Newcastle who are starting to pick up form now.

  • 2-0 crusing along and then guess who appears on the scene to be the center of attraction. The pantomime villian with his shenanigans Xhaka. He is petulant, arrogant and not fit to be a professional player. He let his team down and he chooses this match to bring his antics. This guy is like my son who never learns from his mistakes. I have had enough I don’t want him to be in the team.next season. This is beyond redemption.
    Ramsdale what a GK. He gave us a point which we didnt deserve.

  • Madhu you are a bit emotional but I understand. Granit will be Granit lol love the guy but I do not think he will ever get it entirely out of his system. He has come on in leaps and bounds but there still remains a petulance that is just a part of his character. No one is perfect he has many other great qualities that on the whole are a plus for us. Today you can say he was our best midfielder. Thomas defended well but he just did not give us the control we are accustomed to. Ode huffed and puffed to no avail and this had an effect on Saka who could not get into the game much.

    Considering we are not playing twice a week I would have thought our energy levels would be a bit better but I guess that was a product of having to chase instead of dominating possession. We did not seem to be able to press much but sat back and let them come to us. There is a lot for Mikel to digest from this. He is also learning and but today his subs could have been better starting with Zinch coming off a lot earlier. Proud of the team for sure but disappointed because it was there for the taking against a very ordinary Liverpool after a start like that.

  • The good thing was the game being highly enjoyable (especially for an independent spectator), and to be fair the draw is not a bad result taking the ball possession, the shooting balance (L: 10 off + 5 on target, A: 2 + 5), the missed penalty and Ramsdale heroics all into consideration.

    The bad thing is that if we lose our game against Manchester City (for the third time this season), then despite our 6 points lead our title chances are no longer in our hands. Our goal difference is significantly inferior to the Citizens it is next to impossible to overcome a difference of 8+ goals, assuming winning and drawing the same number of games.

    Nevertheless City will face a brutal couple of weeks: meeting Bayern Münich twice, and playing against relegation-threatened Leicester and facing Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi final before hosting us on the 26th of April. While they have the squad depth and managerial ability to rotate the team completely if necessary – and still be the favorite in the next game, it is quite a heavy challenge for them. If they manage to win all 5 games, they might be even deserve the treble…

  • You are falling for the same mistake, Madhu. XhakA had, nothing to do with the goal we conceded. Nothing at all. A real, shame you had to come on here and say that.

  • Ta sorry mate don’t agree with you. Xhaka just handed the initiative away to pool. They were docile till then. Mate every time his shenanigans have hurt the team. They have never helped the team. If he doesn’t understand that then he is not professional. We were 2-0 up just tell TAA look at the score board mate and walk away. No need to show you have Cajones everyone and his dog knows that. His petulance has costed team everytime. Iam sorry iam not having it today. I am done with him. Yes I am emotional but I am not a professional footballer to keep it under control but Xhaka is and he is paid to kep it in his control. Knowing well that everytime it’s costed the team yet he continues what does it say.

  • TA while he might not have impacted the goal directly there is a thing to be said about why even rile up their crowd like that when you are the leader and the team is in a comfortable position. I do not just want to give him a pass for it. I would hope Mikel has a word but again I am sure they have spoken about it before. That action with the referees being the way they are can lead to other bad situations. For one he had to watch his tackling and be more cautious. Some are making a case that he did not protect Zinch adequately I might disagree but to be honest I would have to rewatch the game to make better assessments.

  • TA, I disagree with Madhu’s overall opinion of Granit who has been immense this season and I hope he stays with us beyond the summer. However, whilst you are technically correct in saying that the incident involving him did not directly lead to the goal, I would argue that it did indirectly contribute to it. We’ve seen it in big games many times before where something gets a team and their fans fired up and they suddenly get a rush of adrenaline that had not been there before. We had quietened the crowd and the team and were looking comfortable, then the Granit/TAA flashpoint roused the crowd (and TAA) and ‘Pool suddenly clicked out of their half-baked state and started playing with an intensity that they had not shown before. Suddenly, they found their mojo and got themselves back in the game.

  • Makayah that’s the point. We were 2-0 up and you don’t loose your shit at that time. Never had his petulance helped the team. If you look at the body language of the team they don’t like it and they just seem to get adversely affected every time he does that. The moment he did that both me and 15 yr old son said that we will loose out control. It’s that evident but still if we want to condone that behaviour time and again then I don’t know what to say.

  • A nonsensical link, Makayah. It was a lucky goal by Pool, nothing to do with Xhaka standing up for himself.

    Madhu, I like you and will leave it with that.

  • I also disagree TA riling the crowd up and reacting to Trent not over some ongoing battle or after being roughed up, nothing, nada Granit was just immature. You can say there is no link but my underlying point is give up yellows in service of stopping a counter not start things or overreact for no reason. The Anfield crowd was rather quiet at that point. Team was in a controlling position nothing is debatable about that so why do it.

  • I also never linked the goal to his action at all but I am done with the topic we will agree to disagree.

  • Look if it makes you feel better to blame Xhaka then who am I to deprive you from it.

    We got four points from Pool this season. Who would have dreamt it early this season?! The boys were under a lot of pressure and they held out. So no complaining from me. I am so proud of our team.

  • I don’t want to go through all the comments because I don’t need to re-live the game. I’d say we were a little late to bring on Trosaard because we needed an energy infusion earlier, as they had.
    We were also late in switching Tierney for Zinchenko, and unfortunately we paid for that with Oleks mistake. The sub was then like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    Kiwior for Ødegaard… I will never agree with that.
    Nonsensical to bring a novice into that atmosphere and pressure situation.. if we wanted to do it… that’s like a 90+ minute move…. never 80th minute. So we took off our best presser and attacking leader. and every break we had near the end was completely uncoordinated where Øde might’ve been pivotal.

    Blaming Xhaka is looking for a scapegoat. We had our whole team defending in the box for their first goal. A lucky touch fell just right for them. The crowd had nothing to do with things… UNTIL AFTER that goal. Then you could feel it. We move on. We should expect to beat city at the Emptihad if we want to win the league.

  • I agree with TA – maybe because we are not talking about Arteta. 🙂

    Liverpool’s first goal indeed happened after Xhaka shared a yellow with Trent, but the ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ is a weak argument and a known rhetorical fallacy. Liverpool managed to change the game dynamics, but there are hardly evident that it has anything to do with Xhaka – who had a decent game although nothing special. There is no need to look for a scapegoat, but if you must you can easily pick Holding, Zinchenko and whoever screwed up our last minute counterattack at 3 vs 1 just as easy.

    Martinelli played very mature, but a few times a bit too selfish / oversophisticated to my taste. But he is clicking with Jesus nicely which is a really good sign for the future.

  • After taking it all in and reviewing the events in my head, I’d say our boys have come to a place where they have been unsuccessful, in recent times, rattled the hosts and despite intense Anfield pressure, got away with a point. Most top teams don’t get a sniff at Anfield (United got stuffed 7-0; Anfield is a fiery furnace ground, only comparable to Newcastle’s ground/fans). It may look like 2 points dropped when we consider how the Haaland-powered City are playing, but you never know if it is a good point gained, instead. Who says City are going to win every fixture they have left to play; and why can’t we beat them at the Etihad?

    I also feel Zinchenko may have been taken off earlier for Kieran Tierney, or take off a winger for Tierney and throw Zinchenko into midfield to help stem the tide of attack. Arteta may have his reasons for being so late in bringing on his subs: showing trust in the 11; or teaching patience to some. Who knows?

    Whatever the case, lessons have been learnt today and if our boys are as intelligent as they appear to be, the result might just bode well for the rest of the season

  • Morning after a cuppa, I am still very clear that in a group of youngsters we have exp players for a reason. Iam sorry but that exp players makes mistakes when you are crusing 2-0 with full control over the match then you have to question the experience. This is not post truth in that moment many including the team felt the moment was cathartic. We can deny all we want but the evidences are clearly in front of us. In a team full of brilliant youngsters in a season which will define thier careers it’s often an experienced player makes non footballing mistake under the garb of standing up for yourself is just not understand what your team needs, game state and the condition of the opposition.
    Alternatively without that incident there was no evidence of Pool doing anything different and we might have dominated the whole game and come out with morale boosting victory which would have been pivotal in the title run and deflated city.
    Ramsdale was brilliant and shout out to him. This point is entirely on him.

  • We win, draw or lose as a team, so its unfair to scapegoat anyone. Could be Xhaka, Holding, Zinchenko or anyone else. Every player has his faults. Substitutions were made too late especially that Zinchenko was playing badly for the second half. Substituting Ode without reinforcing the midfield like bringing in Jorginho, further reduced any control there. Bringing in an inexperienced David Kiwior in such a cauldron does not help – he and a teammate almost collided. Not happiest that our team did not win but happy for a draw – mainly down to Rams but also the whole team. Hope Arteta and our team glean some lessons.

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