Liverpool’s undefeated streak faced a setback as they succumbed to defeat against a London club, marking a rare ‘L’ in their season record.
Given that the defeat to Arsenal was a controversial one, you would probably have to go back to last season when Jurgen Klopp watched his players make errors and not look like themselves.
A pivotal moment in the match occurred when Gabriel Martinelli capitalised on a miscommunication between Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk near Liverpool’s penalty area.
Critics, including Michael Owen and Ian Wright, pointed fingers at Alisson for the defensive lapse, asserting that he should have taken charge and cleared the ball, as highlighted on Premier League Productions (04/02/24 at 6:40 pm).
Ultimately, both players failed to take decisive action, allowing the ball to bounce freely, leading to Gabriel Martinelli effortlessly slotting it into the open net and securing the home side’s lead once again.
Liverpool struggled to find their peak performance at the Emirates, yet they remained on par until the hour mark, presenting a viable opportunity to secure a positive outcome from the match.
However, this pivotal moment provided Arsenal with an opening, and they capitalised on it by increasing their goal count during stoppage-time. The icing on the cake was provided by substitute Leandro Trossard.
Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk Mix-up
“It shouldn’t happen, it’s definitely a mistake,” said Owen. “I thought it was Alisson’s fault. If I had to pick a player.
“Listen, you can blame both of them in many ways. I think, potentially, Virgil van Dijk could head this one. He could head it and he lets it bounce.
“After that, he is in total control if Alisson stays on his line. He is in control. He is happy one-v-one. Stronger and quicker. He’s goal side and absolutely in control, just don’t come out and leave him to it, then Alisson comes out and actually half collides and none of them touche it – so, I think it’s more Alisson’s fault than van Dijk’s.”
Wright added: “If Alisson doesn’t come, then there is Gabriel Martinelli and there is no way he gets on that side of Virgil. No way he is getting on that side – but seeing Alisson there and getting the little nudge, it’s confused everything. He needed more communication from the goalkeeper.”
Liverpool Open the Title Door for Arsenal
Liverpool delivered a thrilling late performance against Arsenal in the recent FA Cup match, leaving the home fans on edge as they feared a repeat of past disappointments.
While Mikel Arteta’s team showcased superior skills, a different narrative unfolded before a crucial mistake altered the scoreline significantly.
Liverpool had preferred the original score to persist, but Alisson and van Dijk unintentionally opened the door for a change in fortunes.
This turn of events adds a layer of intrigue, intensifying the competition, and narrowing Liverpool’s lead at the summit of the table to a mere two points.