2 Liverpool players who performed and 3 who underperformed against Arsenal | English Premier League 2022-23

Premier League giants Liverpool renewed their rivalry with Arsenal in front of a packed Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon (October 9). Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal dominated proceedings in their backyard, securing a 3-2 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s lackluster Liverpool.

Gabriel Martinelli scored once and Bukayo Saka bagged a brace for the Gunners, while Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino found the back of the net for the visitors. Following Sunday’s result, Arteta’s side kept their place at the summit, with them picking up 24 points from nine games. Klopp’s men slipped down to 10th place after securing only 10 points from eight games.

Playing at home, the north Londoners enjoyed the perfect start to the match. Inside the opening minute, the hosts won possession in midfield and the ball ended up at Martin Odegaard’s feet, who took his time to assist Martinelli for his opener. Just past the halfway mark of the first half, Nunez lodged his first shot on target, but Aaron Ramsdale refused to be beaten at his near post.

Nunez had another shot in the 34th minute, only this time it ended up in the back of the net. Luis Diaz’s cross from the right was perfect and Nunez’s sliding finish ensured Ramsdale had no chance of keeping that one out. The visitors’ joy was short-lived, however, as the home team quickly bounced back with a reply. Five minutes into first-time added time, Saka put the Gunners ahead, tapping home Martinelli’s low cross at the far post.

Eight minutes into the second half, Liverpool equalized through substitute Firmino. The Brazilian latched on to Diogo Jota’s pass and slotted the ball into the far bottom corner. In the 74th minute, Thiago Alcantara fouled Gabriel Jesus inside his box, compelling the referee to point to the spot. Saka stepped up to take it and thumped it home past a hapless Alisson to give the home team the lead.

The Merseysiders tried to crawl back into the game but lacked the end product in the final third, extending their winless run in the Premier League to three games. Here are three of Reds’ stars who disappointed and a couple who impressed in north London on Sunday:

Underperformed: Jordan Henderson

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC – Premier League

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson endured a difficult time at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. The Englishman struggled to keep pace with the Gunners’ midfielders and was caught out of position more than once.

The FA are investigating a comment made from Jordan Henderson towards Gabriel in today’s game 😳🚨

Henderson failed to mark Odegaard in midfield in the first minute, allowing the Norwegian to play Martinelli through on goal. The England international was lucky that his lack of positional awareness was not exploited more regularly. Against Arsenal, Henderson also lost possession 15 times, lost three duels, and committed a foul.

Performed: Darwin Nunez

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC – Premier League

The Reds’ marquee signing Darwin Nunez impressed onlookers with his determined display at the Emirates. He chased down every ball, tried to keep opposing defenders on their toes with his movement, and scored a neat goal in the 34th minute.

Nunez was in the right place at the right time to slide home Diaz’s low cross from out wide, giving the Arsenal keeper no chance. In addition to the goal, Nunez won a couple of aerial duels and made a clearance.

Underperformed: Trent Alexander-Arnold

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC – Premier League

Liverpool ace Trent Alexander-Arnold has faced heavy criticism for his lack of defensive awareness. On Sunday, his shortcomings once again came to the fore, especially during the build-up of Arsenal’s second goal.

Instead of staying in the middle, Alexander-Arnold drifted to the right to block Martinelli. The Brazilian brushed him aside and zipped in a low ball into the Liverpool box, allowing Saka to finish at the far post.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will never “silence his critics” by scoring a free kick or making a pinpoint cross: everyone knows how good he is going forward.He’ll silence them by learning to track third-man runs, staying balanced on 1v1s…in general, becoming a reliable defender.

Before being replaced due to a knock at half-time, Alexander-Arnold misplaced four long balls, ceded possession 11 times, and lost two of three duels.

Performed: Diogo Jota

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC – Premier League

Diogo Jota was arguably Liverpool’s best player on Sunday afternoon. He was patient, he was persistent, and always looked for ways to catch the opposition off-guard. His excellent through ball in the 53rd minute was a thing of beauty, leading to Firmino’s well-taken goal.

📊 Diogo Jota is aiming to become the first Liverpool player to score in five successive league meetings with Arsenal on Sunday. #lfc [lfc]

The Portuguese forward was also strong in duels, fulfilled his defensive responsibilities, and carried the ball well into the opposition third. Against Arteta’s men, Jota won seven of 11 ground duels, made a key pass, drew two fouls, attempted three tackles, and completed two of three dribbles.

Underperformed: Mohamed Salah

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC – Premier League

Last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner (23 goals) Mohamed Salah has been well below his best this season. Against Arsenal, he once again cut a frustrating figure, spending almost the entirety of the match on the periphery.

Antony (3) has more Premier League goals than Mo Salah (2) this season 😲

Except for an encouraging 31st-minute dribble, during which he brushed off a couple of defenders before attempting a lame shot from the edge of the box, Salah did precious little. He had no shots on target, lost four of six duels, ceded possession five times, and made only 17 accurate passes before being subbed off in the 69th minute.

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Edited by Sushan Chakraborty

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