Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1 Result 15/07/2020 – Liverpool self-destruct; will fall short of record 100-point mark
- 2019-20 English Premier League review
- Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1 – Emirates stadium – 15 July, 2020
Arsenal 2 Liverpool Review
Probably with an eye on the forthcoming FA Cup semi-final, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta chose not to start with regulars Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac and Dani Ceballos for their Wednesday night's Premier League clash against Liverpool.
They were rewarded for their efforts 20 minutes into playing time when Sadio Mane latched on to a cut-back Andrew Robertson cross and made no mistake in firing in his side's opener.
The reigning champions continued with their pressing game, relaying the ball from flank to flank and playing some intricate football on the edge of the rival box.
But the hosts were allowed to claw back into the game thanks to errors by two of Liverpool's most dependable performers this season.
Alexandre Lacazette capitalized on a dreadful back-pass by Virgil van Dijk, pouncing in to slot in the equalizer in the 32nd minute.
The Reds paid for one more sloppy error at the back. With a minute to go for the interval, Alisson received possession from a thrown-in and tried to return the ball to Robertson.
The pass was callous and it was Lacazette once again who was the quickest to react.
Liverpool dominated possession in the second half completely, staying camped in the Arsenal half and probing repeatedly at the rival goal.
The Gunners' defensive frailties that were so manifest in their defeat to Tottenham on Sunday,were not repeated on Wednesday as they dug deep this time to survive the second-half Liverpool siege.
Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez, stepping in for the injured Bernd Leno, was at the forefront of the Arsenal resistance like on a few on few occasions in the recent past.
A Mane shot was blocked and a Mo Salah chipped shot was tipped over the bar. Liverpool continued to pile forward relentlessly.
Takumi Minamino, in for Firmino, fired a shot just wide. Salah had another splendid chance with a free header at the back post but the striker did not make proper contact.
Arsenal were finding it increasingly difficult to relieve the visitors' pressure with every clearance coming back into the danger area.
But as the minutes ticked by and the opportunities were wasted, it seemed like it was not Liverpool’s day.
Late in the game, Van Dijk was unable to steer Robertson’s cross in the right direction and Mane,charging down on goal, shot into the side-netting.
Martinez then made a fingertip save from a deflected Alexander-Arnold strike in the closing seconds as the hosts hung on. That final act epitomized a disappointing night for the champions in North London.
The win didn't seem to have done much good for Arsenal points-wise as they still remain stranded at the 9th place and don't look breaking into the Top 8 even with fixtures against the likes of Watford and Aston Villa coming up.
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