Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Arsenal were no match for Premier League champions Liverpool on Monday night as Mikel Arteta's charges came up short at Anfield in a 3-1 defeat.

The former Manchester City assistant manager has turned around Arsenal's fortunes in under 12 months since he replaced Unai Emery in December 2019 at the London side, having already guided the Gunners to FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs.

However, Monday's defeat against the Reds signalled that Arsenal are still searching for the perfect formula to remain consistent.

Here Sport24 reviews THREE points to ponder from the Premier League fixture:

Arsenal's game plan did not work

Arteta set up the Gunners with a 3-4-3 formation which turned into a back five for most of the match. Liverpool's hunger to control possession troubled Arsenal and enforced the London side to defend deep in their own half.

What was concerning is that Arsenal did not match the pressure of Liverpool when they did not have the ball.

Arsenal also opted to play the ball from the back and frequently found themselves losing the possession before entering Liverpool's half of the field.

The Gunners' attempts at knocking the ball into space - to allow the pace of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian to latch onto - failed to materialise.

The importance of Ceballos and why he should start

It was only in the second half when Arteta introduced Dani Ceballos off the bench which allowed Arsenal to have more possession and showed that they are a much better side when they are on the ball.

The Spaniard dictated in midfield for a short period and created a few goal opportunities to which Alexandre Lacazette might still be ruing on Tuesday morning. Ceballos should be starting every match even though he is on loan from Real Madrid.

Despite the early success Arteta has generated at the club, Arsenal are nowhere near vying for Premier League credentials. Expectations are high at the club but, in all honesty, Arsenal still need to recruit players and with the transfer window still open that could still happen.

Liverpool rampant under genius Klopp

Who will stop Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp? That is a question that needs an answer.

The German has only signed three players so far - Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota - and with the transfer window set to close next week, do they need more?

The Reds were dominant against an Arsenal side that beat them in the Community shield at the end of last month. However, on Monday night, Klopp's charges showed exactly why they are the current league champions.

What was impressive against the Gunners was Fabinho's role in the middle of the field and his ability to kill off any potential Arsenal attack. Also, Liverpool's front three remain lethal as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane dazzled once again despite only Mane getting onto the scoresheet.

But the stroke of genius was Klopp signing Jota, who was not reportedly linked with a move away from Wolves but the fact that Liverpool sealed the deal in a matter of days showed that it is business as usual.

Jota made his debut against Arsenal and ensured Liverpool collected three points by scoring the Reds' third goal of the night.

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