For fifty minutes on Friday night, Liverpool had fooled their fans into thinking it would be a walk in the park at the Emirates. Two-nil up after goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mo Salah, the Reds looked dominate against an Arsenal side lacking in ideas but after a spell of just five minutes, Klopp’s side had lost their lead.
|Image via The Guardian|
A headed goal from Alexis Sanchez opened up the period of utter madness, this was followed by a shot from Xhaka and two minutes later Ozil put the Gunners ahead. Thankfully for Liverpool, Firmino found an equaliser just after 70 minutes but the Reds should never have put themselves in that situation and they have no real excuse.
An early forced substitution saw James Milner replace Jordan Henderson, in reality, that should have affected the balance of the Liverpool side but Milner performed well and was involved in some of the chances.
Coutinho’s goal was a rare effort using his head but it was Mo Salah’s goal that really lit up the night. A timely pass from Roberto Firmino saw Salah set out towards Cech, with three Arsenal defenders encroaching, the Egyptian never lost his cool and slotted home with a minor deflection.
The elation on the faces of the travelling Kop was soon replaced with confusion. From absolutely nowhere (and I mean nowhere, Arsenal had barely threatened the whole game) at the other end of the pitch, the Gunners capitalised on a lapse in concentration and netted their first of three.
Three minutes later, Xhaka took a chance with a strike from 25 yards, Mignolet looked as though he had it covered but the Belgian flapped just one hand at the effort and watched it trickle in.
Two minutes after that Arsenal scored their third, Ozil found the net and put Wenger’s side into the lead. It was just phenomenal, the Gunners had found something extra and Liverpool were left shellshocked.
Firmino’s goal secured a point for the Reds but the game once again highlighted Liverpool’s incapability of holding on to a lead.
Post-match James Milner said in an interview that he believed Liverpool should play more boring football. Hilarious as it is, fitting perfectly with his parody Twitter account, the fact is that he’s spot on. Sides who securely hold on to a lead do it by playing more intelligently, slowing the pace and passing the ball more. You won’t hold on to a win against a side like Arsenal continuing to play with all guns blazing.
It’s a weird one because prior to kick off, once again you would probably take a draw but as with the Chelsea game, Liverpool deserved to win, they just couldn’t see it out.
It’s a problem that’s difficult to solve but I think we now need to seriously look at some key positions in the team including the goalkeeper. Without improving the reliability at the back, the Reds are never going to be serious contenders, even with a stunning strike force.
Read More: Reds Throw Away 2-0 Lead At The Emirates
Source: The Liver Bird