MATCH REPORT: Arsenal 3 – 2 Liverpool

Arsenal (1) 3 Liverpool (1) 2

Premier League

Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU

Sunday, 9th October 2023. Kick-off time: 4.30pm

(4-3-3) Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhães, Takehiro Tomiyasu; Martin Ødegaard (c), Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli.

Substitutes: Kieran Tierney, Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding, Cédric Soares, Fabio Vieira, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Reiss Nelson, (Marcus Vinicius Oliveira Alencar) Marquinhos, Matt Turner.

Scorers: Gabriel Martinelli (1 min), Bukayo Saka (45 +2 min, 76 mins)

Yellow Cards: Martin Ødegaard

Arsenal Possession Percentage: 44%

Referee: Michael Oliver

Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett

Fourth Official: Andy Madley

VAR Team at Stockley Park: VAR Darren England; AVAR Eddie Smart

Attendance: 60,260

Make no mistake about it, when Liverpool come to town, it is always a massive event; the build-up in the press, the chatter on social media, talk and opinions in pubs, factories, offices and schools all of which make the match an event not to be missed. At the time of writing, we are now in second position in the Premiership table, two points behind Manchester City, so as always, the need to win today and overtake our rivals from the Etihad remains our one true priorty. 

Within a minute of the kick-off Liverpool were on the attack as Diogo Jota’s ball into Darwin Nunez was cut out, so Bukayo Saka carried the ball from the halfway line and picked out Martin Ødegaard, who played a perfect through ball into the path of Gabriel Martinelli, who merely stroked it home from twelve yards. Such an incredible start to this game, the stadium is absolutely rocking, so early in the match, too. The game was moving from end to end now, and it’s impossible to take your eyes away from the match. Aaron Ramsdale took a goal kick and he looked as if he was in pain and discomfort; fortunately he was patched up and was fit enough to continue the game, which is good news. Granit Xhaka was desperately unlucky not to score after twelve minutes, but not only did Alisson get a hand to it, the linesman’s flag was raised for offside too. Liverpool had a penalty call cancelled out by the VAR team at Stockley Park, and then, at the other end, Bukayo Saka got struck in the face from Konstantinos Tsimikas but there was no booking taken, and while the visitors are struggling to find their men, we look more confident than ever now. Takehiro Tomiyasu is containing Mo Salah so far, but the game was halted temporarily when Gabriel Martinelli accidentally stood on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ankle after crossing the ball, and after treatment from the Liverpool medical team, the match continued. Shortly afterwards, Mo Salah ran down the right wing and found Darwin Nunez, who blasted in a shot from an angle which Aaron Ramsdale parried and Diogo Jota was unble to reach the rebound, fortunately. Gabriel Jesus simply muscled his way past several players in the box, either side of a one-two with Takehiro Tomiyasu, but didn’t have a proper contact with the resulting shot and it was easily saved by Alisson. Nine minutes before the break, Liverpool equalised through a simple finish by Darwin Núñez, and the goal certainly fired the visitors up as it looks like they are starting to wake up now. In the five minutes injury time, literally right on the cusp of the half-time whistle, we took the lead again, when Gabriel Jesus beats Thiago to carry the ball forward. Gabriel Martinelli ran down the left wing and played an excellent ball to Bukayo Saka, who merely slid the ball into an empty net at the back post, which meant that we went into the break a goal ahead.

With so much anticipation, we kicked off the second half in earnest, being a goal ahead. We certainly started the second period of the game with a good attitude, passing well and fighting for every ball. Martin Ødegaard was unlucky not to score from an accurate Gabriel Martinelli pass along the top of the Liverpool penalty area, and seven minutes after the break, the visitors scored the equalising goal after a clever move, courtesy of Roberto Firmino. Alisson punched away Bukayo Saka’s corner but he was fouled by Diogo Jota so we had a free-kick awarded to us on the right wing. Just before the hour, Martin Ødegaard went down injured and although we played on, Gabriel Jesus then tripped over his team-mate and landed very awkwardly indeed after contact with Konstantinos Tsimikas; fortunately, he was able to get up and carry on, which is a relief to everyone; what also looked serious (but thankfully was not) was when Joe Gomez barged Gabriel Martinelli off the pitch a couple of minutes later. Then Bukayo Saka hooked a ball across goal from a tight angle, but Konstantinos Tsimikas acrobatically cleared it off the line before Martin Ødegaard had a free header into an empty net; it would not have counted anyway, as the referee blew his whistle for a previous infringement. After seventy-three minutes, Thiago caught Gabriel Jesus and a penalty was subsequently given, just moments after Alisson made a double save. After a few minutes of huffing and puffing, Bukayo Saka coolly placed the ball on the penalty spot and scored with some aplomb. With eight minutes of the match remaining, Kieran Tierney replaced Martin Ødegaard, and game management is the order of the day now, of course. On the ninetieth minute, there was a huge mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson from a long bouncing ball and the Liverpool defender headed the ball just wide before a collision with Gabriel Jesus, who somehow got up and carried on for the five minute injury time period. In the stressful injury time period, Fabio Vieira replaced Bukayo Saka, our two-goal hero today, and although the match was still competitive, the sands of time ran out and we returned to the top of the Premiership tonight!

Today’s win showed both our growing maturity and our tough mentality, which is growing in every game. Despite the match see-sawing between the two teams at times, this new version of the boys has a steel about the, one that we did not see last season. The team now combine youth and experience and there is a feeling amongst everyone that we are going places again; but of course, we don’t want to say too much too soon do we? By the way, Gabriel Martinelli’s goal after 58 seconds is the quickest that Arsenal have ever scored against Liverpool in the Premier League.

Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: FC Bodø/Glimt at Aspmyra on Thursday, 10th October at 7.45pm (Europa League). Be there, if you can. 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

2 thoughts on “MATCH REPORT: Arsenal 3 – 2 Liverpool

  1. George Ukaz

    Well done the players and their coaches for still being top of the league but onething they should know no team in the premiership want them to be there so they need to focus and keep doing what they are doing now on the coaches they sometimes rest some players to come back afresh we need to see Favio Viera in the premiership league so we can access him there too though he has played against Brentford we need him the second time but all the same i thank them for the defeat on Liverpool football club

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  2. Johnno

    Thought the second half was the best we`ve played all season. Apart from a split second lapse in concentration for their second goal we were fucking magnificent. Liverpool were well up for that game (as they always are against us) and played well. I still think they`re one of the top 2 or 3 sides in Europe and I expect them to eventually come good this season and finish top 4.
    For us to pretty much dominate a side like that fills me with confidence because I think this young team can still improve.
    We played some good football yesterday but I was more impressed with the way we battled. The Scousers are a physical old team and they`re niggly cunts as well, they try and bully you into submission but we weren`t having any of it. We stood up to them and I actually think we ended up bullying them second half. Won every 2nd ball and didn`t give them a minutes peace. Martinelli summed us up but there were outstanding performances all over the park.
    Fucking well pleased, really like watching this team Arteta is putting together. Reminds me of the early George Graham teams, similar kind of spirit and everyone standing up for each other.
    Up The Arse.

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