Arsenal missed the chance to climb up the Premier League table, as they lost 3-0 to Liverpool. The result meant that the Gunners remain ninth in the league table, nine points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
It was a very lacklustre performance from Mikel Arteta’s side, managing only three shots compared to Liverpool’s 15. Gunners also had only 36% possession as they were outplayed by the current Premier League champions. This was also Liverpool’s biggest ever margin in an away league game at Arsenal.
Arsenal made some costly mistakes at the back. Substitute Diogo Jota capitalised on Rob Holding’s poor positioning to head the first goal. Four minutes later, Mo Salah bullied Gabriel and slipped the ball under Bernd Leno to double the visitor’s lead.
From then on, it looked increasingly unlikely that Arsenal would get back in the game. In fact, Jota grabbed his second goal of the night after another Gabriel mistake, as Liverpool ran riot at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s awful display against Liverpool was mainly down to lack of chance creation and build-up play from their midfield. And Dani Ceballos had a miserable game in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield.
The Spanish international failed to have any right impact on the game. He failed with all of his three attempted tackles. Liverpool’s started to put on the pressure and Ceballos was guilty of misplacing several passes.
There was a moment in the game when Ceballos committed a needless foul as Arsenal looked to launch a rare counter-attack. And he received a steely glare from Alexandre Lacazette for the challenge. This perfectly summed up his sloppy performance. He was rightfully taken off in the 58th minute.
Ceballos’ future at the Emirates is still unclear. Arteta prefers Granit Xhaka, Mohammed Elneny and Thomas Partey over him. He got a rare start against Liverpool as Xhaka was ill. But with a performance like that, it is very easy to see why he is out of favour under Arteta.
Manager Mikel Arteta was not a happy man after Arsenal’s poor showing against Liverpool. Speaking after the game, the Spanish coach slammed his players. He said:
“It is a challenge and brings an opportunity. If you have courage and big balls and you represent a club like this, you have to stand up in the next game and take it. We completely deserved to lose the game. They were better in every department. I accept responsibility for the way we played today.”
Arsenal suffered another blow late in the first half as left-back Kieran Tierney went off injured. This is massive for Arsenal as Tierney has been their stand-out player this season. They have a crucial first leg tie against Slavia Prague in the Europa League in midweek. And they may be without the Scotsman for that game. Arteta said about Tierney’s injury:
“He felt something in his knee and he was in pain so it looks he will be out, but we don’t know for how long.”
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