Point gained not lost for Jurgen Klopp in cold light of day for Liverpool
- Jurgen Klopp will have cursed dropping two points against Arsenal on Saturday
- Alexandre Lacazette cancelled out James Milner’s opener at the Emirates
- It was a high-quality draw that showed both sides have made a lot of progress
Jurgen Klopp will probably have cursed two points lost at the final whistle because Liverpool were ahead until late on, and had a goal from Sadio Mane wrongly disallowed. But in the cold light of day, he may see it as a point gained.
It was one of those high-quality draws that showed to me both Arsenal and Liverpool have made progress from last season, in Arsenal’s case progress from the beginning of this season as well.
I’m impressed how quickly they have improved under Unai Emery and given they haven’t lost since the second match of the season, Liverpool shouldn’t dismiss going back home with a result.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will have cursed dropping two points against Arsenal on Saturday
Particularly important in the context of a title race, Klopp’s players have shown they are able to defend well when the overall team performance isn’t outstanding.
Liverpool can play better than they did at the Emirates but they still looked comfortable at the back and didn’t look like losing. It’s a real asset to be able to dig in when not at your best.
An important part of that is Virgil Van Dijk of course. We know about his leadership qualities but what I notice is how easy he makes the game look. He never looks stretched.
Klopp’s players have shown they are able to defend well when they aren’t playing great
At one point, he controlled the ball on his chest before striking a volley, most players would have gone to head it. The Liverpool back-four that played could stay together for the next four or five years.
Let’s give praise to Arsenal as well. It’s tempting to look at Liverpool’s front three and be intimidated but when they had the ball, they were brave and got players forward, their full-backs high up the pitch, to ask questions.
I like Lucas Torreira in midfield. Playing the holding role is not just about getting the tackles in, when you’re on the ball, it helps to have good feet and composure to springboard the attacks.
I’m sure Arsene Wenger would love to have had someone like him at the latter end of his Arsenal career to follow Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.
I like Lucas Torreira in midfield – he held his own in the midfield and had good composure
I am sure Wenger was aware how important the position has become in the modern game, it’s just that his latter signings to play there weren’t as good as Torreira.
Overall, Arsenal deserved the draw. I thought a top four challenge would beyond them this season.
It still might be but they are closer to the rest of the Big Six than I thought. They showed a lot of character and have a real threat up top with Alexander Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. I was surprised he was taken off.
It’s good for the game to have a competitive Arsenal, and they are once again.
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