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Arsenal Player Ratings as Mikel Arteta’s Men Outclassed by Liverpool

In recent months, belief has been abundant in Arsenal circles.

However, they were outclassed by Liverpool on Monday night, succumbing to a 3-1 defeat. Arsenal began an important week both on and off the pitch with a loss at the hands of the Premier League champions.

Having beaten Monday’s opponents in both of their last two meetings, Mikel Arteta picked a team which was reminiscent of the one which beat Liverpool on penalties in the FA Community Shield in August, with everyone besides Bernd Leno and Willian starting the curtain-raiser. Even without Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcântara, and Joël Matip, Liverpool’s squad radiated quality.

Much like Arsenal’s 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium in July, Liverpool dominated every aspect of the game’s opening 45 minutes. Bernd Leno made a sharp save to deny a fierce volley from Sadio Mané and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deflected effort cannoned off the crossbar. However, Arsenal took a surprise lead through a messy Alexandre Lacazette strike, which presented itself following an Andrew Robertson error.

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Their scoreline superiority would not last long. Mané bundled home a rebound and Robertson made amends for his earlier mistake with a clever finish to give Liverpool a thoroughly deserved lead at the break.

Arsenal were a little more adventurous and aggressive following the restart – Lacazette missed a glorious opportunity to level the scores – but Diogo Jota’s first Liverpool goal ensured that there would be no comeback. Despite the defeat, this was a strangely positive Arsenal performance. Yes, they were beaten and outclassed, but Arteta’s tactics made complete sense and his team were in the game until the dying minutes.

Nonetheless, here are the player ratings from tonight’s game.

Goalkeeper & Defenders

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: Diogo Jota of Liverpool (Photo by Jason Cairnduff – Pool/Getty Images)

Bernd Leno (GK) – 4.5/10 – Remains unconvincing under high balls and his distribution and should have done better for Mané’s goal. It has been a very shaky start to the season for the Arsenal goalkeeper.

Rob Holding (RCB) – 6/10 – When the squad was announced, many fans were shocked to discover that Gabriel had been dropped. Regardless, Holding’s performance was nothing out of the ordinary; not always comfortable in possession, his defending was mostly solid.

David Luiz (CB) – 5.5/10 – Classy against Leicester City, it was no surprise that Arteta opted for Luiz’s experience at the heart of his defence. He did well for the most part, but the charismatic Brazilian should have done more to interject before Liverpool’s equaliser and his clearance before Jota’s goal should have been better.

Kieran Tierney (LCB) – 5/10 – Tierney’s importance to the 3-4-3 was accentuated in his absence, but the Scotland international was uncharacteristically poor in his return. He was beaten by Mohamed Salah in the build-up to Liverpool’s leveller and struggled with the Egyptian’s pace all night.

Wing-Backs & Midfielders

Héctor Bellerín – 5.5/10 – Fresh after his substitute appearance – and excellent assist – in the Carabao Cup, Bellerín had a relatively quiet night. Was perhaps guilty of coming too far inside for Robertson’s goal, Holding was already occupying the zone which the Spaniard entered.

Mohamed Elneny (CM) – 5.5/10 – Although understandable, Elneny’s inclusion was surprising. He was largely anonymous throughout and in an ideal world, will not be considered for games of this quality and magnitude moving forward.

Granit Xhaka (CM) – 5/10 – The Switzerland captain celebrated his birthday yesterday, but this performance highlighted his many limitations. His pass into Lacazette for Arsenal’s lucky goal was excellent, yet there are still plenty of questions surrounding the 28-year-old.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (LWB) – 5/10 – Improved on his midweek display, but still far from his best. His initial cross for Lacazette’s goal was poor and a loose touch ruined an excellent chance (provided that he was onside) to level the score moments before the interval.


Willian – 5/10 – Did well to take the ball away from Robertson in a dangerous position just before half-time, but much like Aubameyang and Lacazette, was a non-factor because of Liverpool’s sheer dominance.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – 5/10 – His goal was scruffy, but that will not concern him. What will give him nightmares is the glorious opportunity which he missed to level the scores.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LF) – 5/10 – Again, through no fault of his own, Arsenal’s captain was anonymous this evening.


Dani Ceballos (CM) – 7/10 – His introduction immediately brought greater creativity and incisiveness. If the club can secure the signatures of Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey before the deadline, Ceballos is the one who should complete the midfield trio.

Nicolas Pépé (RF) – N/A

Eddie Nketiah (ST) – N/A

Next: How Mikel Arteta Could Use Houssem Aouar at Arsenal

Arsenal are in the unenviable position of having to travel to Anfield once more this week for their Carabao Cup fourth-round tie. The two sides shared a ten-goal thriller at the same stage of last season’s competition, with Jürgen Klopp’s men winning on penalties.

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