Despite winning both of their opening fixtures so far, Arsenal were the underdogs this evening at Anfield having been humiliated by Liverpool time and again in the recent years. The outcome was not much different on this occasion too, but the Gunners had a better display compared to their previous meetings. They lost the tie 3-1 but showed signs of improvement in terms of strategy and gameplan.
Below are the Arsenal players rated in their defeat against Liverpool.
Bernd Leno: 6
The custodian was understandably busy against the lethal front trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. He made a few decent saves but could have done little to deny either of the three goals scored by the Reds. Was comfortable in playing it out from the back even though the defenders looked vulnerable at times against Liverpool’s high pressing game.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 5.5
Was mostly busy in defending deep to contain Sadio Mane down the wide, and therefore, offered little in the attacking third to link-up with Nicolas Pepe. Got dispossessed a few times and his passing could have been better too under certain circumstances.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 5.5
Was having a decent game until the hosts broke the deadlock late in the first half. He was having a duel with Virgil van Dijk when Joel Matip jumped in to head it home from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner.
David Luiz: 4.5
An evening to forget for the Brazilian as he ruined all the good work by conceding a silly penalty. He pulled back on Salah’s shirt inside the box, and the Egyptian made no mistake in doubling the lead from the spot moments into the second half. Luiz was again outdone by Salah almost down the halfway line, and the Reds’ hotshot made it 3-0 exhibiting sheer composure.
Nacho Monreal: 5
Had a tough outing on the left as he was kept on his toes by Salah and often struggled to make up the ground when the hosts were striding forward on the counter.
Granit Xhaka: 6
Was doing the job right initially to convert defence into attacking threats swiftly from the centre of the pitch. But the pressing of Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum made it tougher for him with time, and the Arsenal skipper was forced to engage himself in screening the backline.
Matteo Guendouzi: 7
The youngster was pretty impressive with his liveliness, movements and calmness over the ball. He was not only slotting in between Sokratis and Luiz at times but also kept on carrying the ball forward to instigate attacking moves in the final quarter. Was taken off to be replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the closing minutes of the outing.
Joe Willock: 5.5
The youngster played his part in a couple of build-ups. But he had a difficult time other than that and failed to produce anything spectacular before making way for Alexandre Lacazette late in the game.
Dani Ceballos: 5.5
Failed to replicate his attributes of the Burnley fixture as he remained mostly isolated and was not allowed enough space or time to showcase his skills and tricks. Lost possession repeatedly and was eventually replaced by Lucas Torreira in the middle of the park.
Nicolas Pepe: 6.5
Was handed his maiden start and looked sharp with his pace and dribbling efforts from the right-hand flank. Missed a couple of opportunities to find the net, but his display must have boosted the Arsenal faithful for the remainder of the season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 6
The Gabonese hitman had a glorious opportunity to grab an early lead. He, however, failed to capitalise on Adrian’s error as his effort from outside the box dropped inches wide of the post.
Lucas Torreira: 7
Made a positive impact from the bench with quick movements and down the middle runs. Pulled one back in the closing minutes to reduce the deficit.
Alexandre Lacazette: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
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