Arsenal beat Liverpool at the Emirates thanks to Cazorla and Ramsey strikes

Premier League
Saturday 02 November 2013 - 5:30 pm
Emirates Stadium
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' Cissokho
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Liverpool failed in their attempt to go top of the Premier League - losing out to League leaders Arsenal away at the Emirates.

The reds had mixed news prior to kick off.  Coutinho was welcomed back to the squad - named on the bench, but Glen Johnson was ruled out through illness.  Brendan Rodgers brought Jon Flanagan back in to the side, making his first Premier League appearance for 18 months, ahead of the likes of Daniel Agger and Martin Kelly.

Somewhat surprisingly it was the first time that Arsenal and Liverpool had played each other whilst occupying the top two positions for 20 years.

Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium

The reds started well - getting plenty of players forward - even if the football was over-intricate at times on the edge of the Arsenal penalty box.

Flanagan was determined to adapt to the reds 3-5-2 formation and provided plenty of attacking potential himself with some good runs and crosses from the right wing.  But Arsenal were doing all their wing on the opposite of the pitch, and Aly Cissokho was struggling with the overlapping Arsenal play.  It was from this side that Arsenal earned a clear crossing opportunity - Cazorla sending his header on to the post before reacting first to the rebound and giving Arsenal a surprise lead.

After this though, the game turned, and Arsenal put Liverpool under sustained pressure.

Suarez did help Liverpool make a break before he was pulled down by Sagna.  Liverpool took a quick free kick and put the ball in the back of the net but the referee called play back for the free-kick to be retaken - presumably so he could yellow card Sagna.

Arsenal finished the half stronger, and deserved their lead.

Rodgers made a change at half time - bringing on Coutinho for Cissokho.  Whilst the personnel was an improvement it didn't seem to help Liverpool's formation.

Lucas and Gerrard in particular were bystanders in the centre of the pitch and this change failed to improve matters as Arsenal controlled the central areas.

Aaron Ramsey put the Gunners two up with a stunning strike that Liverpool could do little about.

Rodgers sent on Moses for Flanagan in an attempt to go even more attacking but the second half petered out as Arsenal made relatively easy work of Liverpool's ineffective attacks.

The reds best chance came very late on when Suarez had a one on one with the keeper.  He shot - wide, when Sturridge was perfectly placed to apply the finish to set up an interesting final few moments.

In the end Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the league to 5 points and they deserved it.

Liverpool are still some way off the finished article - there is plenty of work still to be applied particularly in the centre of midfield.

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