On Wednesday, Arsenal pulled off one of the most unexpected results of the season, defeating Liverpool in a 2-1 victory. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly from the shock win.
Project Restart has been a roller coaster for Arsenal. Losses to Manchester City and Brighton were followed by four consecutive wins, including an impressive victory at Wolves. Then, just three days after a dismal defeat in the North London Derby, they go and beat the champions, Liverpool, who are chasing down a record points total. It was a surprising victory, to say the least, one that brings a little positivity to the club.
In this recap, we take a closer look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from a wild and bizarre evening at the Emirates.
The Good: Alexandre Lacazette, Reiss Nelson, and Rob Holding
We saw effective pressing from Eddie Nketiah and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang result in goals against both Southampton and Norwich. This time, it was Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson who reaped the rewards for their efforts. Nelson’s pressure on Virgil van Dijk led to a rare error from the Dutchman, who did his best Sead Kolasinac impression by passing it straight to Lacazette. The Frenchman then rounded Alisson before slotting home the equalizer.
Both were involved again for the second goal. This time, Lacazette intercepted Alisson’s careless pass to set up Nelson, who calmly picked his spot to give Arsenal the lead.
While Lacazette has not been at his best this season, he deserves plenty of praise for this performance, and he seems to be one of the few players in this Arsenal squad who performs in the big games. As for Nelson, what a way to get your first league goal: a match-winner against the champions.
Meanwhile, in defence, Rob Holding returned to the team and was mostly solid. Looking at the stats, he won five out of six ground duels, two out of three aerial duels, made six clearances, and blocked two shots. Arsenal’s defending still wasn’t exactly secure and was last-ditch at times, but they looked far less error-prone with Holding back there than with the likes of Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi.