Liverpool dropped points in the Premier League for the first time in weeks as they were humbled by title rivals Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium with a very poor defensive display from the league leaders that was punished by Mikel Arteta’s team.
Jurgen Klopp’s reds had a slow start again in the Premier League as fellow title contenders Arsenal started off the better of the two teams with the home side putting on the pressure in the opening 10 minutes and more than 50% of the play was inside Liverpool’s final third of the pitch.
With 14 minutes on the clock, Bakayo Saka made it 1-0 after Kai Havertz was sent through on goal and had his shot saved by Alisson but the young English winger was on hand to turn home the rebound into an empty net despite the best efforts of Konate and Gomez trying to get back on the line.
As the game went on Arsenal continued to cause Liverpool problems but Klopp’s side did begin to grow into the game but could only create half chances and never really caused David Raya any problems in the Arsenal goal.
Virgil Van Dijk had a rare off day in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal!
Against the run of play the travelling team from Merseyside had an equaliser when Luis Diaz managed to sneak in behind William Saliba to poke it across the goal only for the ball to unfortunately ricochet into the back of the net off of Gabriel Magalhaes’ hand for 1-1. The half ended with both sides level at one goal apiece.
Liverpool emerged for the second half with their own spell of pressure for the opening 15 minutes, but nothing really came of any of their chances. Alexis Mac Allister had an effort from distance sail just wide of Raya’s goal within 5 minutes of the restart. Ibrahima Konate picked up a yellow for pulling down Havertz on the halfway line as the German attempted to start a counterattack in the 55th minute.
With just under an hour gone, Klopp made three changes with the introduction of Harvey Elliott, Darwin Nunez and Andrew Robertson at the expense of Trent Alexander Arnold, Ryan Gravenberch and Cody Gakpo.
Alisson Becker had a moment to forget as he got into a mix-up on the edge of the box when Gabriel played a long ball over the top and he and Virgil Van Dijk got in each other’s way for Gabriel Martinelli to pounce on the loose ball and calmly pass the ball into an empty net for 2-1 in the 67th minute.
What went wrong for Liverpool in their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal?
After the goal, Liverpool and their counterparts in blue decided to switch things up. Chelsea brought on Carney Chukwuemeka for Moises Caicedo in an attempt to bring themselves back into the game. Klopp himself made four changes of his own as he brought off Jota, Bradley, Szoboszlai and Joe Gomez. Chukwuemeka took six minutes to make an impact on the game as he set up fellow substitute Nkunku to make it 3-1.
The belief did not last long as Nunez showed great strength to see off Disasi after being played through by Curtis Jones for the former Benfica man to put the ball across the box for Diaz to poke home at the far post for 4-1 with just 10 minutes of the 90 to play.
Bradley now has a goal and four assists in his last five games and after, yet another outstanding performance picked up the Man of the Match award for his contributions against the London Blues. Klopp’s Reds now look to the weekend when they travel south to face Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Jürgen Klopp on the Premier League title race | Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool | LFC Press Conference
Having scored Arsenal’s go-ahead goal, Martinelli was substituted for Belgian winger Leandro Trossard in the 74th minute as the Gunners looked to put the game to bed.
It only got worse for Liverpool as Konate picked up his second yellow card and saw red in the 88th minute as Havertz got past him and the Frenchman was adjudged to have obstructed the Arsenal forward leaving Liverpool now a goal and a man down.
After 7 minutes being added to the end of the 90, Trossard beat Elliott on the left wing with a nice piece of skill, made it into the penalty area and subsequently his shot took a deflection off of Van Dijk and went through Alisson’s legs to seal the win for the Gunners in the 93rd minute.
Now Liverpool will be looking to Brentford for help when they play Manchester City on Monday and will also look ahead to their next match against Burnley at Anfield next Saturday in hopes of making amends for a poor away performance in the English capital.
Player Ratings – Alisson 5, Trent Alexander-Arnold 5, Konate 5, Van Dijk 4, Gomez 5; Mac Allister 7, Gravenberch 4, Jones 5; Jota 5, Gakpo 5, Diaz 6.
Very much a day to forget for Klopp’s side in the capital and ultimately one that cannot be allowed to define the remainder of the season. Error-laden and passive for the most part, Liverpool need to bounce back rapidly.
Welcoming back Wataru Endo, Mohamed Salah and possibly Dominik Szoboszlai over the coming days and weeks will be a huge boost to the first-team squad.