Arsenal player ratings vs Liverpool as Arteta ends Klopp's points record bid
The Gunners held on to beat the champions and maintain their hopes of securing European qualification while ending Liverpools bid for 100 points.
It all seemed to be going to plan for Liverpool when they took the lead in the opening stages, a barnstorming run from Andy Robertson putting the ball on a plate for Sadio Mané for his 17th league goal of the season. But Liverpool’s usually resolute defence was their downfall as the game turned on its head before half-time.
The imperious Virgil van Dijk was caught dallying on the ball by Reiss Nelson and the Dutchman could only roll the ball to Alexandre Lacazette who slotted home. Arsenal took the lead shortly before the break when Alisson Becker’s short pass was intercepted by Lacazette who returned the favour to Nelson. The Englishman calmly placed his shot past a helpless Alisson.
The visitors poured forward in the second-half but Arsenal stayed strong and saw out the game for a win over Liverpool for the first time since April 2015. Liverpool can no longer reach the 100-point Premier League record and Arsenal move to within a point of 8th-placed Sheffield United.
Arsenal player ratings
Emiliano Martinez – Had little chance with Mane’s opener and was a calming presence in the Arsenal defence, claiming the ball well from Liverpool crosses. 7/10
Rob Holding – Made his Arsenal debut in this fixture in 2016 and dealt with Mane a lot more confidently than he did four years ago. Could well be a viable option for the Gunners going forward. 7/10
David Luiz – Positioned between two slightly pacier centre backs Luz looked much more comfortable, making his trademark long passes with fewer worries about the threat from the opposition. Won some important headers with his team hanging on and showed his experience. 7/10
Kieran Tierney – Has played in a central position for the national team before and looks an upgrade on Kolasinac on today’s performance. His pace helped limit the threat of Salah and he was tenacious in the tackle. 7/10
Cedric Soares – Favoured to Bellerin with Arteta looking for a more defensive option at the back and he did well for the most part, although failed to track the runner for Liverpool’s goal. 6/10
Lucas Torreira – A typically confrontational performance from the diminutive Uruguayan, putting himself about and making an important block with Salah bearing down. Replaced by Arteta to prevent a second yellow midway through the second-half. 6/10
Granit Xhaka – An unflashy performance from Xhaka but he marshalled the midfield well, standing up to Liverpool’s extra man in the middle. Seems Arsenal’s first-choice midfielder on current form and proved that he still has a lot to give in a young team. 7/10
Bukayo Saka – The youngster’s versatility was again on show as he put in an assured performance at left wing-back. Was not as ambitious going forward as he would like but he kept it tight in defence with Alexander-Arnold looking to overlap at any opportunity. 6/10
Reiss Nelson – Was a surprise selection ahead of top scorer Aubameyang but justified his selection with a first Premier League goal in an action-packed performance. His pressing seemed to stifle Liverpool’s play before being subbed on the hour mark. 7/10
Alexandre Lacazette – Had precious few opportunities in front of goal but was instrumental in Arsenal’s first-half resurgence. He pounced on a loose ball and rounded Alisson for the first, before sliding the ball to Nelson to nudge his side ahead. Unlucky to only get an hour. 7/10
Nicolas Pepe – A strange night for Arsenal’s record signing, did very little wrong and looked dangerous on the ball but those occasions were few and far between. Showed another side to his game against the champions with a measured performance. 6/10
Dani Ceballos – The Spaniard has looked much improved in recent weeks but did little in his hour on the pitch this evening, his only real involvement being to get booked for a clumsy challenge on the halfway line. 5/10
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Brought on for the final 30 minutes on the left wing to offer a threat on the break, nearly set up Willock at the death to secure the three points. 6/10
Joe Willock – Deployed as an auxiliary false nine but saw little of the ball, except to squander a late chance. 5/10
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Slotted in at right-back to replace the tiring Soares towards the end. N/A
Sead Kolasinac – A late substitute to see out the game. N/A
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