Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool: Highlights (Video): Reds held at the Emirates

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool: Highlights (Video): Reds held at the Emirates

A whipping boy when Arsenal fell short against Premier League heavyweights last season, Switzerland worldwide Xhaka displayed all of his enviable array of qualities, often leaving Liverpool disorganised in central areas as a result.

When Sadio Mane crossed after 62 minutes, Bernd Leno was under no immediate pressure, but he seemed to be caught a little flat-footed and ended up stretching, flapping the ball into Rob Holding, from where it rebounded to James Milner. Although Emery's side embarked on a run of 12 wins in 13 games thereafter, they continued to begin hesitantly, with 26 of their 34 goals in that spell arriving after the interval.

"We were not as compact defensively as I wanted in the first half and that gave Arsenal a chance to boss the game in the first half and we put too much onto our midfield to hold it together". And with Emery owning the technical area and patrolling the touchline like an over-competitive parent, the sight of Arsene Wenger looking on with his hands in his pockets and out of ideas has also been consigned to history.

The French striker spun away to the left side of goal to keep the ball out of goalkeeper Alisson's reach before cutting back and firing a shot past the Brazilian's reach and into the far corner. On the stroke of halftime, he had come for Milner's free-kick and got nowhere near it. And that, really, was the story of Arsenal's day.

I wrote this tactical preview of the game for you to enjoy. He came out to try and clear a cross, but instead of catching or punching the ball, he played it into the path of the Englishman, who was never going to miss.

But Milner's goal stemmed from one of only a handful of chances Liverpool mustered in the second half.

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Emery's decision to sacrifice Aubameyang rather than Lacazette with his substitutions was vindicated when the French global kept his composure to brilliantly curl into the far corner after being forced wide by Alisson.

"On another day we could have been a bit more comfortable, but two good teams went at it and a draw is probably a fair result". When Arsenal's first half excellence put Liverpool to the test, he demonstrated strength in the air, a capacity to make key interceptions and operate in both boxes to get the best of Liverpool's chances.

"I believe we were the better side today and that's how we must continue".

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp surely rued the two dropped points, and he should.

"Hopefully at the end of the season it will be a point gained-but just now it doesn't feel like that".

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