After the dust of the Anfield defeat settles, Arsenal can at least comfort themselves that some progress has been made. If not by the result, by the spirit and determination they displayed against a better, well oiled and more clinical side.
Jurgen Klopp has had the money and time to fashion and drill his side and it was evident on the day that his was the better game plan. Liverpool pressed high and pegged Arsenal back and they gave them little time and space on the ball.
Perhaps Emery should have started with Lacazette and gone for experience instead of youth, as well as casting aside the desire to play out from the back which Liverpool managed to negate with ease.
However, Arsenal persevered and showed spirit against a side with a hundred percent record in the Premiership and there were times when they were fully in this contest.
Klopp has the personnel on the pitch and on the bench to follow his plan to the letter, whereas Emery is still problem solving and trying to find ways of using what he has to deliver his expectations.
This wasn’t the humiliating thumping that Arsenal have had in the past, but it wasn’t close enough to suggest that Arsenal are an immediate threat to either of the top two. In fact, although it’s early days, Arsenal have conceded in two out of three matches, which might be good news if you follow btts and win tips from betandskill.com, but it’s something Emery and the defensive coaches will be looking to work on, especially as they seek to improve the Gunners away form.
Arsenal supporters reacted in two different ways to this result. Some were objective and realistic, searching for crumbs of comfort, whilst others went into an early, predictable and unnecessary meltdown, even dismissing a top four finish. Get a grip people!!!
Did anyone really expect that Arsenal would rip Liverpool apart? If they did, they probably are on some form of medication. Liverpool had looked rusty in their opening outings but they found their groove here and apart from the odd occasion, they won with the minimum of effort.
They found themselves incredibly comfortable and completely in charge in the second half. How Arsenal will rue their untaken chances and at the level Liverpool and City operate at, a half chance needs to be converted if results are going to improve in this type of company.
Pepe and Aubameyang had good cause for an inquest after the game because of the two non-goals would have made all the difference. In the battle of fire power, Liverpool triumphed but they also squeezed Arsenal in midfield and held firm at the back. Fabinho and Henderson, who on paper don’t appear particularly impressive in the middle, simply were.
Going toe to toe with Liverpool at Anfield isn't practical Contain and hit them on the break the best option. Our defense is missing 3 key players who are injured. The diamond contained Liverpool's attack for the most part. Sad we concede from a corner and then the penalty.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) August 24, 2019
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that although Salah caught the eye, it was the duo pulling the strings that allowed him to shine so brightly.
Emery needs to look at this selection and ponder where he could have made the changes he needed to at least get a draw for Arsenal. That’s the progress marker at present and if that sounds negative, it’s not meant to be but until Arsenal can establish a level playing field, the desired outcome for their fans will be less likely.
Salah was in unrelenting form, oozing class with his usual brand of clinical finishing and he will pose a threat for any side that Liverpool come up against. However, its the work that goes on around him that provides him with opportunities and the Merseysiders have an abundance of options all over over the pitch.
It’s frightening to think they are not even at full capacity and there are a few teams that they will dominate and thrash this campaign. As for Arsenal, they need to find a way of stifling and frustrating theses types of teams, hoping they can wear them down and grab an advantage which they can hold on to.
The defence is perhaps not as wobbly but it is still prone to error and even the highly experienced David Luiz came up short when asked questions.
The Brazilian had a rush of blood to the head and can fully justify why Frank Lampard cut him loose, but everyone is entitled to a bad day, so let’s not accuse him of becoming Mustafi Mark 2.
"It’s the manner of the performance sometimes with Arsenal in the past we’ve been critical of. I have not seen that today, they are still going, they’ve not left anything in the changing room, it’s all out there on the pitch."
– Gary Neville on Arsenal's performance pic.twitter.com/iBBb5IRRrp
— DailyAFC™ (@DailyAFC) August 25, 2019
Once Liverpool got the second goal, the result was never in doubt. The simple fact is that the Arsenal rebuild is not complete and they will need at least three or four quality additions in the next few transfer windows to bring about a meaningful change, but at least they don’t have to play Liverpool every week.