Arsène Wenger made some shocking decisions, which cost Arsenal at least a point as they were outplayed by Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool in Week 27 of 2016/2017 English Premier League at Anfield.
Jürgen Klopp, manager for Liverpool, decided to start with Belgium international Simon Mignolet in goal. Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho were in the starting eleven. Dejan Lovren was back from an injury but he was benched by Jürgen Klopp, sitting alongside Divock Origi.
Liverpool | S-XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner (C), Wijnaldum, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, Mane, Firmino. Substitutes: Karius (GK), Moreno, Alexander, Lovren, Lucas, Origi, Woodburn.
Arsène Wenger made the headlines with some shocking and stunning decisions. Laurent Koscielny was back in the starting eleven and was Arsenal’s captain. Chile international Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Perez were benched by Arsène Wenger. Mesut Özil was absent due to sickness and was replaced by Alex Iwobi as central attacking midfielder.
Arsenal | S-XI: Cech (GK), Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny (C), Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Chamberlain, Iwobi, Welbeck, Giroud. Substitutes: Ospina (GK), Gibbs, Gabriel, Ramsey, Walcott, Alexis, Lucas.
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool opened the first half much stronger than Arsenal. However, Arsenal tried to put pressure on the Liverpool goal and were quite successfull initially. Arsenal got dispossessed in Liverpool’s side of the pitch and started a counterattack towards the Arsenal goal. Sadio Mane’s brilliant assist gave Roberto Firmino a fantastic opportunity to score, which he did in the ninth minute. After that goal Arsenal looked completely lost and were all over the place. It eventually lead Liverpool to start another counterattack and this time Roberto Firmino’s pass brilliantly found Sadio Mane, who got a great opportunity to increase the hosts’ lead to two-nil in the 40th minute. The first half ended Liverpool 2, Arsenal 0
Arsène Wenger made the decision to make a substitution just before the start of the second half. He brought on Alexis Sanchez who replaced an awful Francis Coquelin. This made Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to move to a central defensive midfield position while Alexis Sanchez played on the left wing. After the substitution, Arsenal looked sharper and had a more fluency to their movement of the ball. Danny Welbeck got into a one-on-one situation with the Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and scored, after a brilliant assist by Alexis Sanchez in the 57th minute. Arsenal tried and tried to score the equaliser but it was Liverpool that were closer to get their third goal as Divock Origi’s header hit the Arsenal post in the 83rd minute. However, just two minutes before full-time Georginio Wijnaldum scored after a brilliant assist by Divock Origi making it three for Liverpool. The second half and the match ended Liverpool 3, Arsenal 1.
It was a highly entertaining match with loads of intensity as Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool defeated Arsenal with three-one at Anfield. Salamander News did in its match preview predict a Liverpool win.
Liverpool were very creative in their attacks and had players with individual, technical skills that handed them a convincing win. Nevertheless, they were quite solid in their defensive work. The partnership between Ragnar Klavan and James Milner worked very well.
Arsenal were shambolic throughout the entire match but worst in the first half. They played a bit better in second half but they lacked the will to fight and grab at least a point.
Liverpool leapfrog Arsenal and are now on a third place with 52 points in the league table, just a point behind Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal are now on a fifth place with 50 points in the league table but they still have a game in hand, being two points behind Liverpool and Manchester City but a point ahead of Manchester United.
Liverpool will face Burnley at home on March 12 and Arsenal will visit West Bromwich Albion on March 18 in their next English Premier League match. Arsenal’s match against Leicester City has been postponed as Arsenal will face Lincoln City in the FA Cup on March 11 at Ashburton Grove.
Liverpool: Mignolet – 4/5, Clyne – 3.5/5, Matip 3/5, Klavan 3.5/5, Milner – 4/5, Wijnaldum – 4/5, Can – 3/5, Lallana – 4/5, Coutinho – 3.5/5, Mane – 5/5, Firmino – 4.5/5. | Substitutes: Origi – 3.5/5, Lucas Leiva – 3/5, Alexander – 3/5.
Arsenal: Cech – 3/5, Bellerin – 3/5, Mustafi – 3/5, Koscielny – 3/5, Monreal – 2.5/5, Coquelin – 2/5, Xhaka – 2.5/5, Chamberlain – 2.5/5, Iwobi – 1/5, Welbeck – 3.5/5, Giroud – 2.5/5. | Substitutes: Alexis – 3.5/5, Lucas – 3/5, Walcott – 2.5/5.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)