It was an interesting showdown at the Emirates Stadium between Arsenal and Liverpool which ended 1-1, as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in the League and Arsenal extended their unbeaten run of matches to 14.
With Arsenal proving they can compete with the teams believed to be the best in the Premier League this season, now might be the time to take the BoDog review and get some money on Arsenal finishing in the top four.
An entertaining match between two of the biggest teams in England had a few turning points that brought about the scoreline level at full-time. Here we will have a look at those defining moments that ensued to both teams sharing points.
Mane’s Goal Should’ve Counted
It was relieving seeing the assistant referee’s flag go up for offside when Mane tapped in Firmino’s effort from close range which struck the woodwork. The Senegal international was offside when the original ball was lobbed over the Arsenal defence, but Roberto Firmino got on the end of it ahead of his strike partner.
His effort hit the post and the rebound was put in by Mane, who was behind Firmino when the Brazilian took the shot, but the assistant referee had his flag up.
Mkhitaryan Should’ve Been Substituted Earlier
I wondered why Emery decided to start Mkhitaryan over Iwobi, but having thought back to the Palace game where Zaha’s strength was too much for the Nigerian International, I figured maybe it won’t be so bad.
In the 16th minute, Henrikh Mkhitaryan rose to meet a cross in the Liverpool box and Alisson came charging out, but he completely mistimed his challenge and was lucky to see the ball fall just wide off Mkhitaryan’s head. He also had another effort cleared away from him when he tried controlling a spilt ball from Allison but fell short with a heavy first touch that failed him.
He had the opportunity to square-pass the ball to Aubameyang early in the second half, with the score at nil-nil, as the Gunners broke loose from a counter but was sloppy with the chance and let the advancing Liverpool defence see off the possible threat of a goal for the Arsenal.
Emery’s Substitutions Proved Effective Again
Iwobi replaced Mkhitaryan and even though Emery waited till the 68th minute to make his first substitution, which could’ve come earlier in my opinion, nevertheless, it still proved to be effective as Alex Iwobi provided the assist to Lacazette’s equalizer, which was a true striker’s finish. He knew where the goal post was placed.
The Frenchman drew Alisson out after latching onto the end of Alex Iwobi‘s through ball and took his time before creating an opening and firing the ball into the bottom corner of the post, setting the whole of Emirates on a roar.
Xhaka at Left-Back
Towards the end of the match, Xhaka had to deputize as left-back to shield the team from the advances of Liverpool. Initially, it was Iwobi playing the left-back role but was often caught out towards the latter stages of the match, before Emery signalled Xhaka to stay put in the LB role and Iwobi was allowed to roam right in front of Xhaka.
Credit has to be given to Xhaka who has turned into the player he’s ought to be this season and playing the LB position in recent weeks, even when he’s not familiar with the position.
One thing for sure that made the match worth it was the resilience the Gunners showed, even after going a goal down, the team picked themselves up, got their head back into the game and got a deserving equalizer to share the spoils at the Emirates.