It was a disappointing showing from Unai Emery’s Arsenal at Anfield, where they lost 3-1 and continued their failure on Liverpool’s home pitch. A poor performance from new man David Luiz highlighted the Gunners’ first loss of the season.
The lineup and formation for Arsenal was certainly a surprise, as Emery moved from his favored 4-2-3-1 for a 4-3-1-2 and dropped lethal forward Alexandre Lacazette in place of Nicolas Pepe.
The issues clearly stemmed from the inability to contain the Reds fullbacks with no wingers, but Emery stuck with the formation for the entirety of the match.
The first goal came late in the first half, as Liverpool had a corner in the 41st minute. The 20-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold took the corner and found Joel Matip leaping above everyone to drive the header home for the lead.
Arsenal’s poor luck continue straight out of the half as Luiz was caught pulling on Mohamed Salah’s jersey in the box which resulted in a penalty. Salah took the penalty with ease, sending Bernd Leno the wrong way, and putting Liverpool up 2-0 in the 49th minute.
The Egyptian wasn’t done with Luiz, as he would round the Brazilian on a yellow card with skill and drive into the Arsenal defense, passing Nacho Monreal and placing the ball past Leno to double his tally.
In the late moments of the game, Arsenal grabbed their only goal, as Lucas Torreira collected a lucky rebound and drove it to the bottom corner. But it was too late for the Gunners, and the match would end 3-1.
Though the defensive showing was poor, Pepe had a great debut, becoming the first defender in 50 matches to dribble past Virgil van Dijk. Except for the missed one-on-one chance, his footwork and ability were class.
Arsenal will not be pleased with this loss, as they drop to third behind Liverpool and Manchester City, but they will be pleased with losses from Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, that make their top-four spot comfortable.