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Three things stood out in Arsenal-Liverpool: the straying of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk

Three things stood out in Arsenal-Liverpool: the straying of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool missed the opportunity to turn the three-way battle for the English Premier League title into a duel.

Bukayo Saka (14th) gave the dominant home team an early lead, and Liverpool suddenly had a brilliant equalizer shortly before half-time after a bizarre own goal by Gabriel (45th + 3).

More clowning eventually led to Arsenal winning on the other side: Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk committed a dangerous misunderstanding that made the score 1-2 (67th place) from Liverpool's point of view. Gabriel Martinelli thanked him politely, and Leandro Trossard (90+2) made everything clear in stoppage time.

Three things stood out about Arsenal – Liverpool FC.

1.) Klopp's super duo has gone astray

Jurgen Klopp can usually rely on Alisson and Van Dijk. For many years, the goalkeeper and central defender have formed a duo that has terrorized every attacking line.

In the Emirates, of all things, professional construction workers had a wasted evening. In the lead-up to the 0-1 scoreline, Van Dijk completely miscalculated and exited the series too early, allowing Arsenal center Martin Odegaard to play a brilliant pass into the path of Kai Havertz.

Alisson blocked the former Leverkusen player, but his teammate Saka put the ball into the empty goal. But that was just the beginning of a game that they both must forget as soon as possible.

Arsenal – Liverpool

Image credit: Getty Images

The cherry on top of the bitter cream cake was Trossard's goal that sealed the final score. The Joker ran into the penalty area from the left side and shot from a tight angle. Interestingly, Van Dijk cleared the ball from between Alisson's open legs.

“Goals scored are always not great. But when they look like this, it becomes really difficult,” coach Klopp explained, referring to the match score 1: 2. But he did not blame his children. “There was a misunderstanding among our defensive rifles. They are human beings. This makes what they do for us even more extraordinary.”

2.) Rice could have been one for Bayern

It is no secret that Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel would like to lure Declan Rice to Munich in the summer. The midfielder was considered the 50-year-old's dream player.

However, club officials saw more urgency in signing a top-class nine. Harry Kane isn't doing a bad job either.

So Rice did not move to Izar, and the England international remained at Thames. Arsenal released Rice from city rivals West Ham United for €117 million. As with Bayern in Kane's case, the north Londoners are unlikely to regret their record spending. Against Liverpool, Rice once again provided plenty of evidence as to why he is important.


Declan Rice from Arsenal

Image credit: Getty Images

“He has a profile that I don’t think we have in the team,” Tuchel said after Rice joined Arsenal. “We need a certain quality and character to make our team stronger, there is not much. Rice has now moved to Arsenal, and that's okay too. Good player, good club – that's how it is.”

Tuchel is still waiting for a 'Hold Six' of Rice's calibre – but Aleksandar Pavlovic, a Munich native, is currently poised to play a key role for the future defending champions.

3.) Arsenal's impressive response

With this victory, Arsenal returns to the championship race. In an amazing way.

The home team controlled the match from the first minute, and did not give Liverpool any breathing room thanks to its wonderful pressure. The fact that the score was 1-1 at the break probably surprised even those who supported the visitors. The Gunners had too much weight and there was little rallying in the Liverpool team.

Liverpool coach Klopp said: “It was not great at all. He added: “We didn't play well and we lost. You have to accept that sometimes. We have to deal with it. After the 2-1 score, everything was ready for Arsenal's party – and we were just extras.”

In fact – as already shown – everything was in Arsenal's favor even before they took the lead again. Liverpool only shot one ball on the opponent's goal throughout the match, while Arsenal shot seven times.

“It was an amazing performance, perhaps the best of the season,” Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said in the press conference afterward. “We are back in the title race,” he said aptly.


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