Arsenal Vs Liverpool: The good, the bad, the ugly

Arsenal, Reiss Nelson (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Reiss Nelson (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /
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Arsenal, Granit Xhaka
Arsenal, Granit Xhaka (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /

The Ugly: An abysmal opening half-hour

Even disregarding the opening goal, Arsenal were incredibly passive prior to the first water break. It was a lesson in lethargic, absent-minded play against a ruthless opponent, who, for the first 30 minutes, were at the top of their game.

Arsenal dropped far too deep into their own half in an attempt to play out from the back, which is almost suicidal against a side like Liverpool, one of the best pressing teams in the world. Emiliano Martinez nearly pulled a Loris Karius, dwelling on the ball for too long as Roberto Firmino closed him down and blocked his kick. There was no control in midfield to keep hold of possession. Liverpool entirely dominated the match and were excellent, if but for the final finish.

Nonetheless, Arsenal did get to grips with their opponents as the game progressed and were somehow able to grind out a win. The victory itself was an ugly one, which is sometimes necessary when playing against a superior team. Arsenal had just 31% possession and three shots compared to Liverpool’s 24.

Arsenal Vs Liverpool: 5 things we learned. dark. Next

Despite the fight shown to win, however, if Arteta’s side played as they did in the opening half-hour against Manchester City, the FA Cup semi-final will be over before it has even begun.