Arsenal slumped to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the FA Cup despite missing a number of huge chances to break the deadlock. The Gunners were on top for the majority of the contest but were left kicking themselves at the final whistle, with an own goal from Jakub Kiwior and a late strike from Luis Diaz handing victory to Liverpool.
Express Sport takes a look at some of the biggest talking points from today’s game at the Emirates Stadium…
Arsenal left to rue missed chances
Arsenal could have been four or five goals up in the first half but were ultimately left to rue their failure to put the ball in the back of the net. Reiss Nelson spurned two early chances before missing another opportunity as the first half progressed, while Kai Havertz also went close but not close enough with a fiercely-struck effort.
Martin Odegaard went on to rattle the crossbar with a ferocious strike, which had Alisson Becker clawing at thin air, but the Gunners ultimately failed to make their early dominance count. Their inability to convert chances into goals came back to haunt them in the second half, with Liverpool finding the net twice to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Liverpool changes pay dividends
Jurgen Klopp chose to switch things up at half-time after Liverpool failed to create many chances without Mohamed Salah on the pitch in the opening 45 minutes. He responded by shuffling some of his attacking players, with Luis Diaz playing on the right, Darwin Nunez on the left and Cody Gakpo through the middle.
Liverpool quickly managed to start making inroads in Arsenal’s half, with their decisive goals coming after a sustained period of pressure. Although the Reds will certainly find it difficult without Salah in their squad over the next few weeks, Klopp will be delighted that his players eventually succeeded in grinding out a morale-boosting victory.
Klopp survives yet another injury scare
Klopp will also be counting his lucky stars after Jarell Quansah recovered from an injury scare following a painful knock in the first half. The 20-year-old appeared to twist his knee without coming into contact with another player and looked to be in some pain as he fell to the ground clutching his leg.
Quansah eventually climbed back to his feet and played on without too much difficulty, allowing Klopp to breathe a heavy sigh of relief given Liverpool’s existing injury woes. The Reds manager will certainly be hoping that Quansah is not left with any lasting damage, with Liverpool needing all the help they can get in central defence at the moment.
Arsenal get timely transfer reminder
If it was not clear to Mikel Arteta before kick-off that Arsenal are in desperate need of another striker, it certainly was at the final whistle. Their finishing was nothing short of dreadful, with the absence of Gabriel Jesus leaving a distinct lack of bite at the top end of the pitch.
Havertz was deployed as the lone striker against Liverpool but failed to do much in front of goal, with the addition of an out-and-out striker able to provide the missing piece of the puzzle. Arsenal legend Ian Wright was clear in his demands to his former side as he reacted on X, formerly Twitter, simply posting: “We need a killer.”
However, it will certainly be tricky for Arsenal to sign a player of the right calibre, with the January window a notoriously difficult one for clubs to do business in.
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