Arsenal emerged victorious in a five-goal thriller at the Emirates, beating Liverpool 3-2. With this victory, Arsenal returns to the top of the Premier League table, one point ahead of Manchester City. There is plenty to discuss. Let’s get into the Arsenal week 9 match review.
Arsenal Week 9 Match Review: The Positives
Arsenal enjoyed a brilliant start to the match. The Gunners took the lead in the very first minute, with Odegaard providing the assist for Martinelli’s goal. Arsenal continued pushing early on and it seemed like this could be a very long match for Liverpool.
Martinelli Was the MOTM
Martinelli was outstanding and deserves MOTM for his performance. Not only did he provide a goal and an assist, but his tireless running put major strain on Liverpool’s defense. Gabriel Martinelli tore Trent Alexander-Arnold to pieces and eventually, Liverpool substituted the entire right side of their defense. That alone shows the impact that Martinelli had on this match.
Saka Scored a Brace
Saka was also excellent. He scored twice, once at the end of first-half stoppage time and again in the second half from the penalty spot. His penalty in the 76th minute ultimately proved to be the winning goal for Arsenal. Bukayo Saka took the penalty with impressive poise, despite the significant pressure of the moment. He has now scored against every single top 6 side in the Premier League other than Arsenal.
Partey and Odegaard Excelled in the Midfield
The midfield battle was more competitive than I expected, given that only Henderson and Thiago made up Liverpool’s midfield. However, Thomas Partey excelled nonetheless. Partey protected Arsenal’s back four and helped Arsenal advance up the pitch on many occasions. His resistance to Liverpool’s press was invaluable in this match.
Odegaard also played quite well. He played a fantastic pass to Martinelli for the opening goal of the game. Martin Odegaard could have done better with his effort toward the goal, but his passing and vision was on full display. The Norwegian midfielder put in quite a performance.
White and Tomiyasu Impressed at Right-Back and Left-Back
Ben White and Tomiyasu played quite well at right-back and left-back, respectively. White has continued to grow into playing at right-back and hardly put a foot wrong, defending and passing well. Tomiyasu was a MOTM contender, winning aerial duels and shutting down Salah. This was one of Tomiyasu’s best performances in an Arsenal shirt.
Arsenal Week 9 Match Review: The Negatives
The main negatives were defensive mistakes from Gabriel and Saliba. Gabriel could have done much better to prevent Liverpool’s first goal and his clearance only aided Liverpool’s attack. Saliba, meanwhile, lost track of Firmino for a moment and this lead to Liverpool equalizing for the second time.
Gabriel has made some defensive mistakes this season and will need to continue to cut those out. Saliba also made a rare defensive mistake and will no doubt work hard to avoid doing so in the next match. Additionally, Liverpool really started to dominate possession in the last 20-25 minutes of the first half and their equalizer felt almost inevitable based on the run of play.
Additionally, I think Arsenal could have been even more clinical in front of goal. Still, Arsenal scored three goals, so this is a minor criticism. Alisson made some good saves to deny Arsenal more goals, to be fair.
Arsenal Week 9 Match Review: Manager Rating: 8.5
The most surprising Arteta made was playing Tomiyasu at left-back, but that proved to be a masterstroke. Tomiyasu completely neutralized Salah, in large part due to Tomiyasu dominating the aerial duels against Salah. Furthermore, the substitutions helped Arsenal see out the match. Thankfully, Jesus is said to be fine after his head injury against Liverpool, so that substitution was planned. Arsenal also remained brave in the final 20 minutes and refused to accept anything less than a win, putting pressure on Liverpool until the Gunners won a penalty and converted it.
The Gunners Face Leeds United in the Premier League Next
Arsenal beat Liverpool in the Premier League for the first time in two years. Now, the Gunners play Leeds United in the Premier League next. This isn’t as big of a test as Liverpool or Tottenham, but Leeds away is still a tricky fixture. Hopefully, Arsenal can defeat Leeds again and remain at the top of the Premier League table. I would say that’s a safe bet, given how Arsenal have performed in this fixture in the past.
Check back next week for our match review of Arsenal vs. Leeds United.