Late Liverpool goals gave the press further ammunition for the running Arsenal-in-crisis story, but to an extent the visitor’s performance that has been overlooked following the 2-0 reversal at the Emirates.
The numbers suggest Liverpool had more of the game, winning a number of key battles across the park:
For the first time in 18 months – incidentally also against Liverpool – Arsenal enjoyed less than 50% of the ball at home. Missing personnel undoubtedly played a part, but it wasn’t so much a case of the Gunners misplacing the ball; the two sides were virtually matched on accurate passes and pass completion.
This was, to a degree, Liverpool attempting to play Arsenal at their own game, controlling the midfield as both Lucas and Charlie Adam put in more than competent displays.
But whilst many teams have come to the Emirates and defended well, as Liverpool did yesterday, Kenny Dalglish’s side also had the better of the game in an attacking sense, creating far more chances in open play and also proving more probing with the ball in the final third.
Admittedly, some of these numbers may have been biased by the impact of Frimpong’s departure, but nevertheless a gelling Liverpool team matched, if not bettered Arsene Wenger’s side across the pitch.