Arsenal and Liverpool played the derby of the 11th round of the English Premier League. In front of 60 thousand spectators at the Emirates Stadium, the teams took one point apiece, as the event ended with a draw, 1-1.
The home team was a bit better in this match, although Liverpool had better chances. The Gunners attackers couldn’t breach the Reds defense for a long time, but in the end, Alexandre Lacazette saved the day for Unai Emery and his teammates.
Milner Scored his 50th Premier League Goal
Although Arsenal pressured the guests in the second half, their final touch was always inadequate. Liverpool used that in the 61st minute when James Milner scored. Sadio Mane stormed down the left flank, making a cross in the box, which was deflected by Bernd Leno, Arsenal’s goalkeeper. Luckily for the guests, the ball went straight to Milner, who launched a rocket from some 20 yards. There was no chance for any of the home players to stop that ball. It was his 50th goal in the Premiership.
“The pleasing thing is the chances we created,” he said. “I didn’t know that was my 50th Premier League goal, which is nice, but it would have been nicer to get three points.
“We could have kept our shape better in the first half. We needed to be more solid — that’s something to learn from. We were better in the second half and were a threat from set-pieces.”
Liverpool had a chance to seal the fate of the hosts just 14 minutes later when Virgil Van Dijk missed a huge opportunity after a corner when he appeared alone in the box. His header was just too weak to beat Leno. The Dutch defender had one even better chance in the late part of the first half when he hit the woodwork.
Lacazette, the Hero of the Emirates
As the end approached, Arsenal became more and more aggressive, but their attacks were not productive as they should be. Emery decided to put in Danny Welbeck, and that decision was the right one. With him up front, Gunners were more concrete, and that finally paid off in the 82nd minute. Iwobi passed the ball in the box, when Lacazette rushed in and reached it before Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alison. The Brazilian left the net unprotected, and the Frenchman used that, making a fantastic shot from the left into the far side of the goal.
“The first big game we lost (against City) but we knew if we work like we did for 12 games we can have points and we felt we had the quality to play the top of the league tonight,” Lacazette said in a postgame interview.
Both sides had one shot on goal until the end of the game, but nothing spectacular happened.
Liverpool’s coach Jurgen Klopp is satisfied with a point from this meeting, but in general, he had many remarks about his players and their performance.
“They had a few chances for sure, it’s a home game for them. They are in a good moment. We got a point, we deserved a point and we could have had more. I don’t feel like we dropped two points.” but then he continued, “I saw Virgil van Dijk after the game and he said ‘I should have had a hat-trick.’ I was not a good football player but I was good at heading and today I would have scored three.”
Unai Emery was also content with a point, but he admitted that he wanted a win in this one.
We wanted to win but the performance is good, we push and we work the match, doing our tactics and with our supporters pushing us with energy. For the supporters it is a great match and a good spectacle but I am only 50% happy because we wanted to win.
The guests are now first in the standings with 27 points, one more than Man City who has a game in hand. Gunners are fifth with 24.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool have no time to waste, as they have international matches during the upcoming mid-week. The Gunners are hosting Sporting Lisboa, in the fourth round of the Europa League this Thursday. On the other side, Liverpool heads for Belgrade, to meet with Red Star in the Champions League.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.