Match Report: Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal

Liverpool (4) 5 Arsenal (1) 1
Premier League
Anfield Stadium, Anfield Road, Liverpool L4 0TH
Sunday, 29th December 2018. Kick-off time:
 5.30pm
(4-2-3-1) Leno; Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles; Torreira, Xhaka; Kolašinac, Ramsey, Iwobi; Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Čech, Elneny, Koscielny, Lacazette, Guendouzi, Willock, Saka.
Scorers: Maitland-Niles
Yellow Cards: Xhaka, Sokratis
Referee: Michael Oliver
Attendance: 53,326
That time again, to stand up and be counted at one of the truly great football stadiums in the world. Of course, we don’t need to be reminded (but it is good to reminisce) about the events of Friday, 26th May 1989, when against the odds, Arsenal beat Liverpool by two goals to none, to chalk up our first championship win since 1971. Who can forget Michael Thomas running through and scoring the winning goal in the very last minute of the match? Let’s hope we can replicate that score here in Liverpool today.
Fat chance of that, I’m afraid. Although we started well, quite brightly it seemed, with a goal in the eleventh minute from Ainsley Maitland-Niles that silenced the Anfield crowd, albeit rather briefly, unfortunately. Alex Iwobi got the better of Andrew Robertson, and sent a low cross over into the Liverpool penalty area, where Ainsley Maitland-Niles run in behind the Reds’ defence to score a well-taken goal. After that it became a sad litany of collapse. Little more than three minutes later, Roberto Firmino equalised, then Sadio Mané got another to increase Liverpool’s lead. We simply turned into marshmallow footballers right throughout the team; by half-time, Liverpool were ascendant, dominant and in control – and they were 4-1 up as well.
Shkodran Mustafi was substituted for Laurent Koscielny after the break, but overall, it never made much difference. Agreed, we did have our chances, but they were very few and far between. After Roberto Firmino completed his hat-trick on 65 minutes, the game had already passed us by. Despite the substitutions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sead Kolašinac for Alexandre Lacazette along with Mattéo Guendouzi by Mr. Emery within a ten minute period, we couldn’t get any rhythm going throughout the team, and when Michael Oliver blew the final whistle it came as much as a relief as putting a dying animal out of its misery.
This match, more than any other that we have played in the Premiership this season, has truly showed the team up for what they are; good, but nowhere near the powerhouses of Manchester and Liverpool. All the matches of the season where we won (and won well too) such as West Ham United, Fulham, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur mean very little after today. There are some serious issues that Mr. Emery desperately needs to address, and the only way to do that is by signing new players in the January transfer window rapidly; not has-beens or nobodies, but proven, top international class footballers. If the intent is not shown over the next few weeks, then I fear that the rest of the season could be quite a difficult one, after the psychological damage that Liverpool inflicted on us over the course of ninety painful minutes. In the week that we heard about the passing of Peter Hill-Wood, our former chairman whose tenure presided over some of the most brave and progressive decisions in the history of Arsenal Football Club, it seems to be a tragedy worthy of a Shakespearean play that we fell apart so easily and so quickly at Anfield today. Mr. Emery certainly has a mountain to climb with this squad to pick them up, dust them down and start all over again for Tuesday’s home match against Fulham; but make no mistake about it, he has to do it, and quickly too, otherwise we could finish the second half of the season cursing our unfulfilled potential – again. This match could be a turning point for us, pray God let it lead to positive outcomes in the New Year. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.
Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

1 thought on “Match Report: Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal

  1. Charles Charlie Charles

    If we had beaten Southampton and Brighton and gone though in the energy drink cup against the yids, the board may have believed the hype about our new “miracle” manager and not allocated very much to the January transfer window.

    But seeing as how Emery is just like any other manager and can only work with the tools he has been given, maybe the board might consider giving him a few more quid to buy some better tools?

    I never expected anything more than a loss yesterday. As it happened, it was a pretty narrow loss (once you take out the dodgy decisions and jammy rebound).

    As it happens, I am enjoying this season more than any other season in the last five.

    My reason?

    This season, there are possibilities.

    Reply

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