Five points separated Liverpool and Arsenal in the Premier League standings as they met on Sunday at Emirates Stadium – but the Gunners would be vying for a spot in the Fourth Round of the 2023/24 FA Cup as opposed to an opportunity to close the gap in the table.
ARS: Ramsdale; Kiwier, Gabriel, Saliba, White; Jorginho, Rice, Ødegaard; Nelson, Havertz, Saka
LIV: Alisson; Gomez, Quansah, Konaté, Alexander-Arnold; Jones, Mac Alliser, Elliott; Díaz, Núñez, Gakpo
In front of a buoyant home crowd in North London, it was Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal that looked to be the stronger side throughout much of the first half.
The Gunners forced a number of quality chances, with Martin Ødegaard notably seeing his strike denied by the woodwork. Reiss Nelson and Kai Havertz also squandered opportunities to take the lead, which would prove costly against a side of Liverpool’s calibre.
Trent Alexander-Arnold had issued a stark reminder of his side’s ability in the first half when he struck the crossbar, as Jürgen Klopp’s side looked more than capable despite the enforced absences of Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah through illness and international duty respectively.
Liverpool would seize the lead with ten minutes remaining when an Alexander-Arnold free-kick rippled into the back of the net via an unfortunate Jakub Kiwior, and with the wind now firmly in their sails, Klopp’s men added a second goal in stoppage time when Luis Díaz fired past Aaron Ramsdale.Embed from Getty Images
Winless in their three outings since Christmas, Mikel Arteta will be hoping that Arsenal can find form again when they host Crystal Palace on January 20. Liverpool have little time to recover, facing Fulham on Wednesday in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal.
Liverpool will find out their FA Cup Fourth Round opponents at approximately 19:50 UK on Monday, 8 January. The Reds will be ball number 3 in the draw, which is set to take place ahead of Wigan Athletic v Manchester United.