Perhaps the most spectacular game of the opening weekend, Arsenal vs Liverpool was indeed a game that elevated the adrenaline levels of both sets of fans. A magnificent brace by Phillipe Coutinho pushed Liverpool to win 4-3 against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.
Back in 2011 was the last time Liverpool had won at the Emirates Stadium, and now Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have finally broken the jinx. It was intense game and the hosts did dominate initially and put up a good fight, but then Liverpool managed to outplay them and truly deserved to win. What seemed to throw Arsenal further off their game was when they lost Aaron Ramsey to a hamstring injury.
This will turn up the pressure on Arsene Wenger as the fans are tired of just being the team that can never do enough. Also, as mentioned before, he will really need to re-think his strategies and dynamics, as this will truly be the season of the Battle of the Bosses!
Both teams looked like it was do-or-die for them, but here’s three talking points out of the game:
Coutinho is an asset for the Reds
Based on his performances so far for Liverpool, this was already a proven fact. However, if anybody needed reassurance, this was it!
The first half was dominated by Arsenal and Liverpool looked like they were struggling to keep up. It’s almost as if that goal helped them out of their lethargic state of play. He equalised from a free-kick just before half-time and added a second in the second half.
Footballers who can make a difference and cause upsets for the opposition even when the situation looks dire, are a true asset. Coutinho has come through for Liverpool time and again, and this just goes to show how he is a key member of the squad. The fact that Liverpool have retained him in their team, give them all the more reason to pose a serious title challenge.
Klopp should be looking to pair Daniel Sturridge back alongside Coutinho, as that would lead to a deadly combination.
Wenger needs a miracle
The saga of Arsenal’s players suffering from injuries is never-ending, and in this game, Wenger’s decision to leave most of them out, did not exactly reap a positive result. Arsenal have been struggling for years now, and this year clearly seems no different. Their inability to sign quality players, and their predictable tactics are just pulling them further down the hole.
Wenger took a risk on some of his senior players as this was a crucial game, and also, he needed to instil some faith into the fans. Unfortunately for him, the jeering from the home fans at the final whistle was perhaps the biggest sign he needed – the Gunners fans are tired of being let down and one can’t really blame their frustration. It’s not easy to keep faith in a team that never fails to disappoint, no matter how much of a strong foothold they establish on the game initially.
Only Wenger can know and understand the internal dynamics of his team, but today’s team selection could’ve been a lot better. They just lacked that extra something, and Liverpool did not fail to capitalise on that.
A new left-back for the Reds would be nice
Although Liverpool put up an extremely impressive display at the Emirates Stadium, this is something that every Liverpool fan has recognised. Alberto Moreno continued from where he left off last season – by letting the Reds down, that is.
His foul on Theo Walcott conceded a penalty, but luckily for Moreno, Simon Mignolet saved the shot. A while later, however, Moreno was out of position and Walcott took full advantage of that, as he gave the Gunners their lead.
His careless mistakes are nothing new and the threshold of patience amongst the fans is decreasing. He is likely to stay on for this season, but if he continues being a liability like this, then his future at the club next season will definitely be uncertain. With the way they have played, it was only a sign of the great things about to materialise for the club, but Moreno needs to get his act straight. Klopp must either look out for other left-back options, or ensure that Moreno improves his play.