Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool began their title defence with wins over Leeds United and Chelsea. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal also boasted a similar record with wins over Fulham and West Ham United. This game, therefore, promised to be a good one as both sides were aiming for their third consecutive Premier League win.
It was Arsenal who broke the deadlock with a lucky goal 25 minutes into the game. Ainsley Maitland-Niles' cross was horribly misjudged by Andrew Roberston inside the Liverpool box. The ball kindly fell for Alexandre Lacazette who got lucky with his finish. However, the joy was short-lived as Liverpool scored three minutes later through Sadio Mane.
Andrew Robertson redeemed himself when he got the second goal for the hosts, putting them in the lead. Arsenal did get a golden opportunity to get back in the game but Alisson came out quickly and stood tall to Lacazette's shot, which he should have buried. New signing Diego Jota then came on as a sub late in the game and scored the third goal, which ended the contest for good.
It was a comprehensive win for the Reds from Merseyside after a commanding performance on the field.
Keeping all that in mind, here are 5 hits and flops from the Liverpool-Arsenal game:
#5 HIT: Trent Alexander-Arnold
There were many amazing performances in the Liverpool side but Trent Alexander-Arnold gets the nod ahead of the others. The full-back was amazing throughout the 90 minutes and played a major role in his team's victory. He was relentless in his pressing and tracked back to handle Aubameyang whenever he had to.
Alexander-Arnold's strength is his attacking threat, and he lived up to his reputation against the Gunners by creating 2 big chances and also providing an assist. The 21-year-old also hit the woodwork after he struck the ball from outside the box.
#4 FLOP: Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette did not have a good game, and there are no two ways about it. Yes, he scored a goal but it was a lucky one and it does not justify the rest of his performance.
The Frenchman wasn't involved in the game at all and also missed a golden opportunity to put his team level in the second half. He couldn't time his runs to perfection and was often caught offside. He was rightly subbed for Eddie Nketiah later in the second half.
While he did get a goal to his name, Mikel Arteta will likely be disappointed by the 29-year-old's overall performance in a game like this.
#3 HIT: Andrew Robertson
Andrew Robertson made a glaring error when he misjudged the ball and let Lacazette score 25 minutes into the game. After that incident, however, the Scotsman did everything he could to make amends and was rewarded for that soon. Alexander-Arnold's perfect cross in the 34th minute was chested, controlled and finished past Bernd Leno by Robertson.
The 26-year-old defender was a real threat down that left flank and took every opportunity he got to drive inside that Arsenal box. He linked up well with Sadio Mane to terrorise the Gunners defence. It was an overall a cracking performance with one mistake.
#2 FLOP: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
It was an unusual night for Arsenal's talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Someone who is always a threat and leads from the front was nowhere to be seen in this contest.
The Arsenal captain had no involvement whatsoever in this game and didn't even seem bothered to try. He didn't try to make anything happen when nothing was working for the team. Zero attempts on goal and 26 touches in the whole game sum up his performance.
Arsenal were crying out loud for their talisman to produce a moment of magic but it just wasn't there tonight.
#1 HIT: Sadio Mane
Regarded as the best player in the Premier League by Cesc Fabregas, Sadio Mane had another night to remember. After getting a brace against Chelsea, the winger continued his good form and scored the all-important equaliser against Arsenal. While it was probably one of the easiest goals he's ever scored, the 28-year-old was too hot to handle against the Gunners. Taking on the defenders whenever he had a chance, Mane was the most fouled player on the pitch in this game.
Mane has now scored against Arsenal in each of his five seasons as a Liverpool player. He did get a yellow card which could have been a red but the Senegalese put in a sensational performance overall.Published 29 Sep 2020, 08:24 IST