Arsenal Beat Liverpool

Defensive Howlers Cost Liverpool Maximum Points At Arsenal

English giants Arsenal and Liverpool squared off at the Emirates Stadium in Gameweek 23 of the 2023-24 Premier League season on Sunday evening (February 4). Sitting at the top of the Premier League table, the Reds came into the game on the back of four consecutive victories, but a spirited Gunners stopped them in their tracks, inflicting a 3-1 defeat upon them.

A Commanding Yet Frustrating First Half From Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s side started brightly, stringing passes together and not allowing Jurgen Klopp’s side to settle. In the 11th minute, the hosts created a gem of a goalscoring opportunity, courtesy of a brilliant long ball from David Raya. Receiving the ball from the Arsenal goalkeeper, Gabriel Martinelli turned on the afterburners to get away from Ibrahima Konate. The Brazilian then found Bukayo Saka with an excellent cross. The Englishman, however, failed to keep his header on target, dragging it just wide of Alisson’s goal.

Fortunately for Saka, redemption came just three minutes later. Gunners skipper Martin Odegaard released Kai Havertz with a gem of a through-ball. One-on-one with Alisson, Havertz dispatched a low shot but hit it straight at the Brazilian shot-stopper. The ex-Roma man, however, failed to keep hold of the ball, with the rebound falling kindly to Saka, who did not miss the second time around.

In the 21st minute, Odegaard was on the receiving end of another loose ball, but the Norwegian took too long to fire, allowing Virgil van Dijk to make a swift block. In the 39th minute, Gabriel Magalhaes attempted a left-footed curler, but Alisson held it well. It was pretty much one-way traffic in the first half, but calamity struck the hosts just before the half-time whistle.

Liverpool winger Luis Diaz poked the ball toward Raya‘s goal, which took a fortunate deflection off Gabriel and went past the goal line. Arsenal ended the half with an xG of 1.98, while the Reds finished with 0.1. But in the end, nothing was separating the two.

A Bad Day At The Office For Liverpool Stalwarts Van Dijk & Alisson

After a lackluster first half, Liverpool markedly improved in the opening quarter of the second 45. Unfortunately, they were hard done by two defensive howlers, brought upon them by two of their best players, Van Dijk and Alisson.

In the 67th minute, Gabriel launched a speculative long ball for Martinelli to chase. Van Dijk looked well placed to cut in front of him and take the ball away, but the Dutchman left it for his goalkeeper instead. Alisson could not read his captain’s intentions at first, which delayed his attempted clearance. Under pressure from Martinelli, the keeper failed to make contact with his kick, allowing the Brazilian to poke the ball into the unguarded net.

Things went from bad to worse for Alisson in injury time, with him shockingly conceding at his near post. Leandro Trossard did superbly to get away from Harvey Elliot on the left flank and charge into the box. However, with no other Arsenal player rushing into the box, the substitute’s guile was seemingly destined to go to waste. Hoping for the best, he dispatched a left-footed shot at Alisson, which took a faint deflection off Van Dijk and went between the Brazil international’s legs and into the back of the net.

Courtesy of the solid 3-1 victory, second-placed Arsenal have now moved within a couple of points of Premier League leaders Liverpool (51-49). They will return to action with a trip to West Ham United on Sunday (February 11).

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