Liverpool (1) Arsenal (4): Gunners Firing On All Cylinders as Reds Get Run Over

The lowlights.

Three goals in eight first half minutes and one in injury time for Arsenal saw Liverpool not only throw away their impressive run of seven straight clean-sheets away from home, but their chances of qualifying for next seasons Champions League along with it.

The two sides traded jabs during the opening exchanges, but when the Reds gave Hector Bellerin all the time he’d like as the Spaniard skipped into the box, his curling effort opened the scoring with an unsettling amount of ease. An inch perfect free-kick from Mesut Ozil doubled up before Alexis Sanchez sent them into the half with a three goal lead. Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson pulled one back from the spot after Bellerin tripped up Raheem Sterling, but when Emre Can was dismissed following his second yellow card, it was all too easy for Olivier Giroud to finish a flowing move to cap this one off in injury time.

A poor first half against Swansea City, another one against Manchester United and we completed the hat-trick against Arsenal; we can’t keep starting like this. It’s a bit too simple to say that quality, experience and belief were the difference today but in a lot of ways that’s really what it boils down to. The Gunners were the better side without question throughout the 90-minutes and besides an agonizingly close opportunity in the first half where Lazar Markovic and Sterling almost combined to take the lead, they reminded us of it time and again.

The fallout from the loss to Manchester United was apparent from the get go — Daniel Sturridge on the bench, Adam Lallana missing and Steven Gerrard looking down on proceedings, our squad once again looked a bit too light. That, of course, was evidenced by what was always going to be our most important loss in Martin Skrtel. Serving the first game of his three match ban, we missed the Slovakian organizing things at the back, and without him the Reds looked calamitous with both Kolo Toure and Alberto Moreno doing what looked to be their absolute best to make sure that the hosts kept up what’s now becoming mounting pressure on the teams at the top of the table.

Certainly the three points today all but ensured that the Gunners will be playing in Europe’s most important club competition next season while Liverpool, on the other hand, remain five points out off of fourth place with the Reds Devils — at the time of writing anyway — still to play.

We talked about Liverpool needing a response after losing to United, but what they do in the wake of what happened at the Emirates today is now far more important. In our seven matches left to play, only Chelsea at Stamford Bridge should pose us a significant problem if we can get our heads screwed back on right and mount a charge back up the table. Unfortunately, we’ll now have to rely on others slipping up along the way if we’re going to sneak into the top four, but with our poor start to the season now looking even more damaging, that was almost always going to be the case anyway.

Thankfully, we get to switch gears quickly with a midweek trip to Ewood Park for a our FA Cup quarter final replay with Blackburn Rovers midweek. Hopefully that’s a nice distraction from our Premier League woes rather than a depressing reminder of just how bad our last two matches have hurt us. We need a pick me up and we need it now.


Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

One thought on “Liverpool (1) Arsenal (4): Gunners Firing On All Cylinders as Reds Get Run Over

  • April 6, 2015 at 1:15 am

    I’ve always supported Rodgers and give him the benefit of doubt, but he has to take responsibility for this poor run. Personally, I’m not surprise how the team played based on what I saw two weeks ago. That game showed clearly how Rodgers ignores the blindly obvious problems we had in the first meeting and he did not address it leading up to that game. Clearly, Gunners saw and exploit it in this game. That is also one of the main reasons Rodgers struggles in Euro fixtures. He takes far too long to make the necessary adjustments/changes – sticking with Balotelli and Lovren when they struggle, and now Allen and Moreno. It’s been quite obvious that Moreno is struggling for the last six weeks, yet he kept playing him with options on the bench. Allen does not provide any defensive cover and lacks nous or skill to change the game whenever necessary. So, if Rodgers plan doesn’t work he goes unstuck. Every team we play, in win or loss, claim they had their best game of the season – LFC is an easy team to play against right now.

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