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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told of ‘big plus point’ in one position after Liverpool win



Pep Guardiola has given Mikel Arteta a hint of how Man City could line up against Arsenal

It wasn’t exactly our best performance ever, Liverpool dominated the game, had way more shots than we did, far more possession, but we still ran out 2-1 winners against the champions.

We were helped by mistakes from the Mugsmashers, but Alexandre Lacazette took advantage of the first one to score the equaliser after Sadio Mane’s opener, and he provided the assist for Reiss Nelson’s first Premier League goal which turned out to be the winner.

We had to work hard, dig in, and show some real commitment to keep a side as good as Liverpool at bay, and we did that. The players and the manager deserve some props this evening.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be pleased with his team’s defensive maturity after Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over Liverpool, because their centre-backs played well without “messing around”. That’s the opinion of Liverpool hero Steve McManaman, who was full of praise for the way they adapted after some early slip-ups.

Arsenal secured a surprise win at the Emirates, as they prevented Liverpool from having the chance to break the 100-point record.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring for the visitors, poking in from close range after wandering into the box unmarked.

Liverpool’s first goal nearly came as a result of an error from Emiliano Martinez, as the goalkeeper took too long on the ball before clearing, only to cannon his clearance into Roberto Firmino.

Luckily, the ball trickled wide, and Arsenal quickly began clearing the ball a lot earlier from the back.

They were under the cosh for most of the game, with Liverpool having 24 shots to Arsenal’s three.

But due to their defensive workrate, they were able to significantly nullify the champions’ front three, leaving them frustrated at times.

And McManaman believes the defensive attitude Arsenal’s back four adopted after the early mistakes will have pleased Arteta.

Speaking to Premier League Productions, he said: “That’s a big plus point, for Arsenal [the defending].

“We’re used to watching Arsenal being called soft at times, weak at times.

Mikel Arteta

“They’ve been criticised for doing this for the last ten years. But today we saw the resillience in them.

“We saw the resillience in Rob Holding, in David Luiz, there was no messing around, no mistakes, clearing their lines.

“Early on they got caught out wanting to play out from the back with the goalkeeper.

“But after about 15 minutes the message came through and everything went long, they didn’t make any mistakes, and that’s all you can ask for.

“The allowed Liverpool to play wide, allowed them to cross the ball in and attack down the flanks, because they were comfortable that anything came across, they’d clear.

“It worked today, and whether that was the plan because that’s how they’ll face Manchester City, who dominate possession like Liverpool did [I don’t know] And they’ll fancy themselves against Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva or Raheem Sterling in the air?

“That worked, and that’s all we ask from for Arsenal, the consistency in that block of central defence and central midfield, they’re hard to beat.”

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