It’s match day 3, and the biggest game on the cards was the Monday night fixture at Emirates – Arsenal vs Liverpool. The game ended in a 0-0 draw, but the result is deceiving when compared to the thrill that ensued during the match.
Liverpool were on course for a third straight win but their record at Emirates is horrible, winning only one of the last 18 fixtures. Wenger has never lost his first two home games with Arsenal ever. Firmino and Can made their first start of the season for Liverpool. Both Walcott And Oxlade came from the bench in the second half. Gabriel Paulista started for the first time since Koscielny had a back injury and with Per Mertasacker ill, Calum Chamber had to replace him.
The match ended in a goal less draw as it turned out. However, it was a keeper’s dream night. Here are the five key talking points from the match.
A very tight game throughout the ninety minutes, both teams had great counter attempts. The stand-out player for Arsenal was definitely Coquelin, who was later substituted in the 82nd minute to make way for Oxlade. Ramsey, Ozil and Cazorla synced in the game really well in midfield. On the other hand, Coutinho was once again sharp & sublime with his shooting & dribbling, hitting the woodwork twice and was also denied once by Cech’s finger-tip save. Both keepers had their moments of glory – Cech & Mignolet were outstanding throughout.
Lucas made way to fill for the injured Henderson but he was clearly beaten by pace and couldn’t make the desired impact. Young midfielder Jordan Rossiter replaced Lucas after half-time and looked sharp. While in Arsenal’s back-line, Calum Chambers was sloppy at the back & played two wrong passes which could have been easily converted into goals but somehow to his luck, didn’t.
Liverpool had early chances in the game but as the match progressed, Arsenal gained shape. The first half was a roller-coaster ride for Arsenal, who had a goal denied by a wrong offside call. It was followed by two great saves by Petr Cech, one of which was Coutinho’s cross strike and the other Benteke’s tap-in which was denied by the experienced goalkeeper. Arsenal’s best chance was in the second half & was denied by the post which Sanchez should have tapped in but slipped & failed as he lost his balance right at the end.
It was Oliver Giroud’s 100th game and the Frenchman came close to scoring but Mignolet came to the rescue for Liverpool in the second-half. Liverpool played with a 4-3-3 formation, had less possession but turned out to be dangerous on the counter. Arsenal played a 4-2-3-1 formation & kept more possession with Coquelin and Cazorla also tracking back well.
Liverpool now have three clean sheets out of three games & no other club has managed this so far. This comes out in stark contrast to last season, when Liverpool leaked goals easily. As a whole, it has been a good start for Rodger’s side. With Henderson likely to be back in next game, Liverpool look like a strong outfit. Arsenal were brilliant during attack but they need to sort defensive problems for the next game. Per and Koscielny are simply irreplaceable, and this was further showcased in today’s game. Wenger needs to get these two back in defence, given the tough fixtures coming Arsenal’s way.