Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool: Rare double defensive error as LFC enter holiday mode

Premier League
Wednesday 15 July 2020 - 8:00 pm
Emirates Stadium
Arsenal2
1Liverpool
Show Match Events
20'Mane ⚽️
⚽️ Lacazette32'
⚽️ Nelson44'
48' Alexander-Arnold
Torreira off, Ceballos on ↔️57'
Nelson off, Aubameyang on ↔️57'
Lacazette off, Willock on ↔️57'
61'↔️ Firmino off, Minamino on
61'↔️ Oxlade-Chamberlain off, Keïta on
Soares off, Maitland-Niles on ↔️76'
Xhaka81'
83'↔️ Wijnaldum off, Shaqiri on
83'↔️ Salah off, Origi on
Saka off, Kolašinac on ↔️85'
Ceballos91'
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Two defensive errors from Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker allowed Arsenal to get the first victory over Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp's arrival. 

It was all the more unexpected after the reds had taken the lead through Sadio Mane's well executed goal on the 20 minute mark.

Liverpool have somehow managed to make it 8 points dropped in the five games since winning the title.  The club had dropped just 7 points in the 31 game title winning campaign.  A title hangover reminiscent (but not as bad) as 1982/83.

Although it would be easy to point to the title being wrapped up early there was still plenty of application from a reds side that dominated large swathes of the game.

At full time LFC ended with 23 shots to 3 from Arsenal but those two errors in the first half were clinically taken - allowing Arsenal to mount a successful second half defending job.

Virgil van Dijk held up his hands afterwards to try to take the blame for the Arsenal equaliser - but if there is a time for a defender to make mistakes then maybe it is five games after storming the rest of the division.

Klopp had brought Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold back into the starting line up - but it was the familiar faces of Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane down the left that provided much of Liverpool's threat.

The reds scored the opener in the 20th minute.  Roberto Firmino was weaving at the corner of the box when Robbo sailed past him, received the ball, then spun instantly to drill it to Mane who put it past Martinez in the Gunners goal.

As it happened: Arsenal 2-1 LFC

The drinks break duly arrived and not for the first time this restart it provided greater sustenence for the opposition.

Virgil van Dijk was caught between a pass to an uninterested Fabinho and the keeper.  He took a second too long and under pressure from Saka he kicked the ball with his heel to the keeper.

It wasn't a full pass. Lacazette pounced to round the keeper caught in no mans land and fire past Alisson.

Just before the half time a poor clearance from the Liverpool goalkeeper gave the home team the ball and it was sent over for Nelson to score. Seconds from Alisson's poorly judged kick he was picking the ball out of his net.

Second half was one way traffic - Liverpool might have had a couple of penalty shouts but Mane and later substitute Minamino elected to stay on their feet when maybe others in the division would not have done.

On the hour, the arrival of the aforementioned Minamino and Keita (on for Firmino and Ox) pushed Liverpool on further - a greater intensity - but Arsenal had every man behind the ball and the reds struggled to fashion an opening.  There were too many bodies, too many legs and too many overhit passes.

Van Dijk headed wide, Mane drilled wide, Minamino's first time spinning shot skimmed wide and Salah was presented with a cross deep towards the back post - his header failed to connect enough power.

Towards the end, with the reds focussed on an equaliser, Arsenal almost got a sucker punch third but Willock was distracted enough by Robertson to hit his attempt wide.

The reds return to Anfield next week when finally, after almost a month, they will finally get their hands on the Premier League title.  They can then start thinking of their targets for next season when the return of competitive football will surely relight their fires.

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