Our Arsenal Week 29 match review covers the Gunners’ disappointing draw at Anfield. Arsenal went up 2-0 early in the match and seemed to have the game in hand. However, Xhaka sparked a completely unnecessary confrontation with Trent Alexander-Arnold late in the first half, which seemed to wake Liverpool up. They scored almost immediately, and controlled the game from then on. In the end, Arsenal were lucky to come away with a point. Let’s take a closer look at this match.
Arsenal Week 29 Match Review: The Positives
Ramsdale Was Brilliant
While it can be difficult to focus on the positive aspects of a disappointing match, there were a few bright spots for the Gunners. Ramsdale’s performance, in particular, was excellent. He made several crucial saves in the second half, including a world-class stop on a Salah effort late in the match. Arsenal surely would have lost without Ramsdale’s heroics.
Martinelli and Jesus Continued Their Strong Play
Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, especially Martinelli, were good against Liverpool. Martinelli scored the first goal of the match with an excellent finish and turned provider for Jesus’ goal. Jesus took his goal well with an accurate header. However, both players faded somewhat in the second half.
Arsenal Week 29 Match Review: The Negatives
Xhaka lit a fire under Liverpool
It’s unfair to blame this disappointing result entirely on Granit Xhaka, as the entire team was comprehensively outplayed in the second half. However, Xhaka’s needless altercation with Trent Alexander-Arnold was certainly a turning point in the match. Xhaka doesn’t do this sort of thing nearly as often as he used to, but his old habits seem to come back at the worst possible times.
Holding gave away a penalty with a clumsy challenge
Holding is a decent backup center back, but there’s a reason Arsenal only start him when necessary. He gave away a penalty at a crucial moment with a clumsy challenge on Jota. Luckily for Holding (and Arsenal), Salah missed the penalty. However, Holding was still not great overall.
Ben White was caught out multiple times
Ben White struggled quite badly in this match. He was caught out multiple times throughout the game. He lost Firmino in the sequence that lead to Liverpool’s second goal. White has been somewhat inconsistent when played as a fullback, and this was one of his worst performance in the position.
Arsenal gave up a two-goal lead
Of course, the single biggest negative from this match is that Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead. The Gunners were completely outplayed in the second half. They seemed to have no answer to Liverpool, and were lucky to come away with a point in the end.
Arsenal Week 29 Match Review Manager Rating: 3/10
This was one of Arteta’s worst performances as an Arsenal manager for some time. Even though Liverpool’s dominance actually started at the end of the first half, Arteta failed to make the necessary tactical adjustments at the break or at any time during the second half. His substitutions were also questionable, particularly subbing out Odegaard for Kiwior.
Arsenal Face West Ham Next
Arsenal face West Ham away on Saturday in an absolute must-win. However, West Ham are in relatively good form. They’ll also be very motivated, as a win would see them all but ensure survival. Regardless, I’d bet that Arsenal bounces back and gets all three points against the Hammers.