Life, death, taxes and Arsenal losing at Anfield. All of these things feel inevitable at the moment. If I said I was confident or even optimistic about our trip to Anfield I’d be lying. Our record there is shocking in recent years and despite it providing some truly special memories for some older fans, they are a distant memory. Of course this Liverpool team are a cut above us, they’re further into their process and their squad is on paper one of the best in the league. Our inexperience was glaring yesterday and the hosts taught our young squad a harsh lesson.
I actually thought for 30 minutes we played quite well, Ramsdale made some brilliant saves but as time wore on the writing was on the wall well before Arteta and Klopp squared up on the touchline. Much was made of that but I’m not buying it being the catalyst for Liverpool’s improvement. We were starting to get opened up more regularly than at the start of the match. Then a brilliant delivery was headed in by Mane, who was lucky to still be on the pitch. He got between Gabriel and Tomiyasu and it was a good finish. Talking of Tomi, although he was no worse than anyone else on the pitch, watching him and Tavares swap sides was genuinely terrifying.
Despite all that at 1-0 we were still alive. But after a clanger of pass from Tavares (who had a tough day) Jota slotted it in and it was game over. You can argue that we chased the game and gave Liverpool more space but when Liverpool have a lead and they have a team chasing the game they’re deadly (just asked Man United fans). It was a lesson for our young team and, looking at it positively, it’s a lesson they will learn a lot from. It’s important to remember that before this we’d gone 10 unbeaten and this Liverpool team (along with Chelsea and City) are at a different level to everyone else this season. We won’t be the last team to get thumped at Anfield.
The Bottom Line
Anyone expecting us to take something from Liverpool needs a reality check and that’s exactly what we got yesterday. However the most important thing now is to make sure we react in the right way next weekend. We have a whole week to get things moving again on the training ground before we entertain Newcastle in the early kick off on Saturday. A match that looking forward we really must win.
Until then, take it easy.