Last week defeat against Liverpool was a reality check for Arsenal who until then had started the dead on with a 100% record.

Manager Unai Emery had spent well in the transfer window with the likes of Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, William Saliba, Ceballos and Nicolas Pepearriving the Emirates in the summer.

His starting 11 at Anfield was unique as the Spanish tactician freed Liverpool fullbacks while limiting the space for the deadly trio of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. There was also the use of the long ball over the top for Pepe to chase.

This formation surprised Liverpool an for the first 40 minutes it worked as Arsenal were content with Liverpool making crosses. Pepe was also the most dangerous player on the pitch with only lax finishing preventing him from opening the lead.

However just as many had predicted, Arsenal could not hold the fort for long as defender Joel Matip got on the end of a corner kick to head home the opener. From there on, Arsenal indiscipline at the back began to show.

David Luiz is an enigma capable of moving between sublime and ridiculous within the twinkle of an eye. He displayed this tendency by conceding a cheap penalty that was converted by Salah.

Salah finished the game with his second goal after ghosting behind Luiz before calmly slotting home. Emery was slow to react and should have changed the shape and personnel on the pitch earlier than he did.

It continues to baffle many why he keeps on benching Lacazette in big games where his hold up game and link up ability is required. It is still early days but the defeat to Liverpool shows why the Gunners are not title favorites.

The coming weeks will show whether the team is capable of reaching the top four places

Leave a Reply