Centre Back Errors for League’s best defences
In a game full of attacking talent for both sides, it was a series of defensive mistakes that will dominate the post-match headlines. With Arsenal seemingly heading for half-time with a fully deserved 1-0 lead, the normally unflappable William Saliba failed to clear his lines, allowing Luis Diaz’s hooked cut-back to deflect into the net via Gabriel.
It was a sucker punch for the Gunners, and yet it was the away side who re-gifted Arteta’s men the lead upon 67 minutes. A rare mix-up from Virgil Van Dijk and Alison gave Gabriel Martinelli the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty net, sending the Emirates into raptures before Van Dijk allowed Leandro Trossard enough space to seal a crucial victory in added time.
On a day where many were expecting a piece of individual brilliance to be the difference, it was uncharacteristic errors from the League’s best defences that blew the title race wide open.
Experienced Jorginho shows his class
With Gabriel Jesus ruled out through injury, a tactical switch from Arteta meant that Kai Havertz started up front with veteran Jorginho coming into midfield.
There is no doubting the Italian’s undeniable quality, but with his lack of regular game time, many would have been concerned to see his name in the starting eleven. However, any of these concerns were quickly brushed aside as the former Champions League winner dominated the midfield battle alongside the imperious Declan Rice.
Jorginho dictated the pace of the game, offering a calming presence when the Gunners needed it most. It was his cleverly disguised pass that slipped through Martinelli in a half hour that the home side dominated, and it was no surprise to see him pick up the man of the match award come the full-time whistle.
The 32-year-old has won the biggest trophies the game has to offer, and his wealth of experience could be an invaluable asset to a young side that are still chasing their first major title.
Klopp’s Gakpo gamble fails to pay off
Jurgen Klopp made the bold decision to select Cody Gakpo as the spearhead of the Liverpool attack after Darwin Nunez endured a difficult evening in the 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea in mid-week.
The mercurial talent is a real handful for defenders but lacks the ruthlessness possessed by many to have worn the number nine jersey before him. Gakpo is seen as an intelligent player who can link the attack, but the Dutchman struggled to have any sort of impact on the game.
He managed just one shot in his 58 minutes on the pitch, firing well wide from a promising position. Nunez may not be the finished article, but his work rate and ability to bring chaos is something the reds were lacking from the start.
Magic Martinelli back to his best
Brazilian youngster Martinelli played a huge part in Arsenal’s title challenge last campaign netting 15 Premier League goals, but for the most part this season he has struggled to replicate this scintillating form.
However, after netting a late double in the 5-0 demolition of Crystal Palace two weeks ago, the electric winger seems to have rediscovered his quality in front of goal.
Admittedly, he was gifted a simple finish, but his desire to hassle the Liverpool defence set the tone for a dominant Arsenal display. At his best, Martinelli is a box of tricks with the pace to give any defender sleepless nights. With 3 goals in his last 2 games, Gunners fans will be hoping that their number 11 is hitting form at just the right time.