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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Arsenal v Liverpool: Five things we learned

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Liverpool’s Diogo Jota (centre) and Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes (second right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The Emirates Stadium, London. Issue date: Saturday April 3, 2021. – Credit: PA

Five things we learned during Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to reigning Premier League champions Liverpool.

1. A lack of defensive solidity has undermined Arsenal’s attacking spark in recent weeks.

Their apparent progress in the final third was nowhere to be seen as they were blown to pieces by far more clinical opponents.

Failing to keep Liverpool at bay in front of goal means the Gunners have now gone 13 games in all competitions without a clean sheet.

2. A wretched run of form at Anfield has detracted from Liverpool’s outstanding away form.

Victory at the Emirates means the Reds have now won six of their last seven away matches, but Klopp’s side must replicate such showings at Anfield if his side are to stay in the fight for a top four spot.

On the evidence of their accomplished showing in north London, all is not lost in this topsy-turvy season for the Merseysiders.

3. The absence of key youngsters Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe was sorely felt by Arsenal.

Without two key chance creators, the home side lacked energy in the final third as they were stifled by a stout Liverpool defence, mustering a paltry three shots as they were dominated in all departments.

4. Diogo Jota excelled at the Emirates on Saturday night. The Portuguese international’s brace either side of a Mohamed Salah finish eased Klopp’s men to victory, with Jota looking a reinvigorated figure for the Reds.

The normally potent duo of Salah and Sadio Mane looked subdued prior to Jota’s return. However, with the former Wolves man back besides them, Liverpool’s attackers were a fearsome threat once again.

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold during the Premier League match at The Emirates Stadium, London. Issue date: Saturday April 3, 2021. – Credit: PA

5. Trent Alexander-Arnold came into the game with a point to prove. After being controversially dropped from the England squad for the Three Lions’ recent internationals, he was a marauding presence for the Reds.

Causing Arsenal trouble time and time again, extra motivation was maybe all that was needed to push the 22-year-old into a return to form, with the youngster keen to reclaim his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad in time for Euro 2020.

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