Liverpool faced Arsenal a month ago for the Community Shield. Despite Jurgen Klopp coaching his ass off, the Reds fell short of capturing another title. Last minute sub Rhian Brewster missed his pk, giving the Gunners another unexpected trophy.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal are undefeated after two matches. Liverpool face fitness issues heading into the match, with Thiago, Jordan Henderson, and Joel Matip, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all out.
Will it matter?
Despite another defensive error leading to an Arsenal goal, Liverpool take a 2-1 lead into the half. They continued to pour on the pressure (and pressing) in the second half. The better side by a mile, Liverpool wins 3-1.
And welcome to the squad Diogo Jota. He could’ve had a hat-trick in 10 minutes. Awesome debut.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (7) –
Still trotting out Naby Keita. Why not Taki? Otherwise, hard to argue with the XI.
Should’ve subbed Keita and maybe Firmino earlier, but otherwise not much to complain about here.
Alisson (8) –
As of yesterday he looked like an injury scratch, but thankfully he’s good to go.
Nothing he could do on the opener. Bails us out by coming off his line and saving a solid Lacazette effort. Bails us out again in the 76th AND springs a challenge. He’s so good.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (7) –
Still in hunt of his first “Trent” game of the season. Early on, not so much. Poor turnover early but Fabinho bails him out. Does send Mane a wonderful ball in that Leno denies in the 15th minute. Hits crossbar on a solid attempt. Feeds Robbo an assist to give Liverpool the lead.
Virgil van Dijk (7.5) –
VVD can’t be arrogant/casual against Arsenal and Aubs. Especially with Adrian between the sticks.
Defending is tightened up. Getting involved offensively too. Great laces strike in the 62nd. More in line with expectations.
Joe Gomez (8) –
Expect an inspired performance after Fabinho’s strong showing at CB last week. He’s solid, both in 1vs1 defending and holding the line. GREAT defending towards end of regulation to stifle an Arsenal threat. Nice work tonight.
Andy Robertson (6.5) –
Well, Robbo earns another assist, but unfortunately it was to Lacazette on the opener. Bad error. Atones for it though with a goal to put Liverpool up 2-1. Has a goal or assist in 7 of last 8 Liverpool matches.
The Looks Great in Training Naby Keita (3) –
FFS. Taki is in form about could do a reasonable job in the #10 Thiago spot, but Klopp keeps rolling with Keita.
He’s playing this match, right? No impact in the first half.
Tries exerting himself in the second half. Mindlessly attempts a strike straight into an Arsenal wall of defenders. Has his back turned like a doofus when Robbo tries to feed him in the box. FFS with him already.
Pulled off 45 minutes too late for Milner.
Gini Wijnaldum (6.5) –
Getting involved early. But misses a prime chance in the 25th minute with a strike right at Leno. The standard “workmanlike” performance tonight.
Fabinho (7) –
Bails out TAA with a strong challenge, thwarting a potential Arsenal opportunity. Shutting lots down defensively. Battles down Aubs in the 67th minute in what looks like a tactical foul though nothing is called. Vintage Fab.
Mo Salah (7) –
Wonderful touch in the box past Tierney to get a shot off that led to the Leno deflection and Mane equalizer. His fancy footwork keeps a Liverpool attack alive, leading to Robbo’s goal.
Crazy good feed to Jota on what could’ve been a 3rd goal. Gets in way of Jota for what should’ve been his first goal in red. A strong, lively showing from Mo.
Sadio Mane (9) –
Zipping around early–gives Héctor Bellerín a shove to the ground. Could argue Bellerin deserves it for the way he tucks his jersey in like its 1984. Mane then quickly earns a yellow with an arm to face of Tierney.
Solid strike in the 15th but right at Leno. Equalizes the match with a “right place, right time” goal in the 29th minute. Continues to press in the second half. Misses on a solid attempt in the 65th.
So sharp and with such speed today. Not sure why he’s pulled off for Jota instead of Bobby.
Roberto Firmino (6.5) –
Bobby has owned the Gunners in his past. Would be nice to see him log an Anfield goal today.
Really not impacting the game today. Should’ve been pulled for Minamino or Jota. However, does start coming on better with some dispossessions and through balls toward the end of regulation.
Diogo Jota (8) – Welcome to Anfield! Comes on in the 80th and almost makes an instant impact on a feed in to Salah. Almost finds net a few minutes later. Done more in 4 minutes than Keita did all match.
Salah gets in his way on an opportunity, but just a minute later has a proper striker goal to make it 3-1.
James Milner (NR) – On for Keita. No time to make impact.
Takumi Minamino (NR) – Comes on in stoppage for Firmino, though should’ve entered the match earlier.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Mane was everywhere tonight. A constant threat.