Uninspiring, Unsurprising: Liverpool 2 – 2 Arsenal – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Liverpool 2 – 2 Arsenal

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After smashing Newcastle, Arsenal travelled to Anfield. Both teams needed a win to turn their seasons around. Not an ideal situation for either side.

Liverpool started very well, and Arsenal didn’t.

Sterling and Markovic were running our defence ragged at times, with the latter getting a few chances. Thankfully though, The Gunners held. Well, they held on until very late in the first half, anyway.

It was then, than Coutinho shimmied in the box, and whacked in a shot off the post and into the net. It was poor defending from Arsenal.

Yet, the half wasn;t over. With seconds left, Sanchez whipped in a free kick. the ball bounced around a bit, allowing Debuchy to rise and head home an equalizer. Undeserved, but vital.

“[Giroud’s goal was] a very nice goal for a team that wasn’t really playing that well.”

The second half was a little more bearable from an Arsenal point of view. Cazorla and Giroud were growing into the game, and it was they who combined for Arsenal’s second goal.

Olivier played a one-two with Cazorla in the box, before slamming home the ball between Brad Jones’ legs. A very nice goal for a team not really playing that well.

Liverpool didn’t roll over, though.

“On a day when Arsenal weren’t very inspiring at all, a point away at Anfield isn’t the end of the world.”

They kept coming at Arsenal, and The Gunners didn’t look to have the energy to repel them at times. Chamberlain never settled into the game at all, and Alexis wasn’t exactly having a stormer.

In the final few minutes though, Arsenal seemed to have been handed a break Borini earned himself two yellow cards in quick succession, bringing The Kop down to ten men. Good news, or so we all thought.

Unfortunately, with one of the last kicks of the game, Liverpool pulled one back. Another corner, another zonal marking failure, and another header, this time from Skrtel. Typical, typical, typical.

The game ended uneasily. Neither side really wanted a draw, but on a day when Arsenal weren’t very inspiring at all, a point away at Anfield isn’t the end of the world.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Szczesney: [7/10]

Made some good saves in the second half. Came off his line too hastily at one stage, though.

Chambers: [6.5/10]

Got forward well all game, but didn’t defend particularly well.

Mertesacker: [6/10] 

Has yet to hit form this season. Mini-mistake after mini-mistake. Not the leading figure he once was.

Debuchy: [7.5/10] 

A classy defender, who can apparently play at centre-back quite easily. His header was brilliant, and it came at a vital time.

Gibbs: [6/10]

Wasn’t a fan of his defending today, and I’m rarely a fan of his “attacking”.

Cazorla: [8/10] – MOTM

Another positive performance from Santi. He wasn’t amazing, but he was definitely the best Arsenal player on the pitch. Did well to get the assist for Giroud’s goal.

Flamini: [6/10] 

Could have easily been sent off for two silly tackles. Not a great show from him defensively, although he did well to close down shots on goal a few times. Also got the assist for Debuchy.

The Ox: [4/10] 

His worst ever game for Arsenal I think. Looked tired, afraid to commit to tackles, and lost the ball at almost every turn.

Welbeck: [4.5/10] 

Now that giroud is back, I can’t see space for Welbeck in this team anymore. He has stopped working hard, and he brings very little to the team going forward. Walcott should easily displace him.

Sanchez: [6/10] 

Not his best game by any stretch of the imagination. Made a few sloppy passes, got tackled every now and again, and didn’t work quite as hard as usual. Still showed off glimmers of class here and there, though.

Giroud: [7.5/10] 

Worked hard, won headers and was brilliant in the build up for his goal, which he finished very well. Had a poor first half, though.

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Substitutes

Coqueling [7/10]
Came on and looked utterly composed. He sat and defended well, but also had the confidence to push forward. I’d drop Flamini for him.

Campbell, Monreal [N/A]

Uninspiring, Unsurprising

Arsenal’s performance was uninspiring, and the equalizing goal from Skrtel was unsurprising. We can’t keep doing this.

Our defending for set pieces is a serious issue, and our lack of a truly decent defensive midfielder is another. For me though, Coquelin should be given the nod ahead of a hap-hazard, reckless Flamini.

Cazorla played very well in spells, and I thought Giroud gave us an outlet in the second half. Welbeck should be replaced by Walcott — what a disappointment he’s turning out to be.

Overall, It was a poor show. But on a bad day, a point at Anfield isn’t that bad. So long as we get three points against QPR, anyway.

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