Arsenal’s young guns put in an impressive first half performance against Liverpool despite losing 2-0 at home.
Liverpool took the lead through a Diogo Jota shot that passed Arsenal’s young English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the right near post, bringing the Portuguese’s tally for the season to 13 goals.
Arsenal’s six-game unbeaten run may have come to an end on Thursday morning (AEDT) but pundits and fans alike recognised and appreciated the team’s progress and are hopeful of the club’s direction, however Liverpool’s own impressive run extended to nine games without a loss in the league.
The win places the Merseysiders just one point behind league leaders Manchester City. The loss lights things up between the Champions League qualification hunting pack.
Liverpool players said their only focus at the moment was “treating every game like a final” but added they had hoped Manchester City would drop points, which they did on Monday night at Crystal Palace.
We are there again, and the gap now is one point and we [are] just looking forward to our next game, which will be like a final.
Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara said: “We were just counting certain points and we were wishing that they can drop points.
“We are there again, and the gap now is one point and we [are] just looking forward to our next game, which will be like a final.”
Liverpool’s Roberto Firimino sustained a muscle injury in a Champion’s League game against Inter Milan at the San Siro back on February 17, nevertheless he came on in the second half and scored moments later.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli troubled Liverpool’s resilient defence all night in London with the Gunners’ best chance falling first to their captain Alexandre Lacazette and another falling to Martin Odeegard after Alcantara misplaced a pass back to Alisson.
Martinelli had another shot skim past the far post after a good run of play and a fantastic passing combination from Arsenal.
Arsenal manager Mikael Arteta praised his team’s performance after the loss to one of the best sides in the world right now, stating that “this shows how far they have come” but iterated that more needs to be done to close the gap.
Arteta said: “I’m very pleased how the team has performed… and how far they have taken the game because I’ve been there [and I know] how difficult [it] is to play against this incredible team because they dominate every aspect of the game.”
It was another subpar first-half performance from this impressive Liverpool team who know how to grind out a win to keep piling pressure on the leaders.
Mohammed Salah also came on in the second half but had little effect on the game, possibly because he was still feeling the effects of an injury picked up against Brighton last week and limited training before the game.
Liverpool’s next game is in the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest, a side that knocked out Arsenal in the third round, so the Merseysiders will be vigilant and know there is a possibility to win a quadruple in the same season, a feat no other English team has managed.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said his team needs to focus on games in the fixture list and not look too forward in the future.
Klopp said: “The only thing I’m interested in [or] concerned about is how can we prepare for the next game.
“How can we get through this, how can we face the problems in the game and find solutions in the game and work and fight through it.”
Main screenshot: Arsenal v Liverpool at the Emirates, courtesy BT Sport.