Feature

#ARSLIV: Four things we noticed

Lacazette celebration

We extended our unbeaten run to 14 fixtures on Saturday with a 1-1 home draw against Liverpool - but what did we learn from our Premier League outing?

ALIVE TO THE COUNTER

Liverpool had scored 17 goals against us in our past five meetings, and many of those were the result of rapid counter-attacks. So it was encouraging to see Arsenal quell Liverpool's threat from breakaways.

Lucas Torreira made two or three vital interceptions in the first half alone, to stop promising attacks in the first half alone.

Henrikh Mkhitryan's positioning and awareness also proved crucial early in the second half, with the game still goalless

It's not to say Liverpool were kept quiet entirely of course, they managed 13 shots over the 90 minutes (one more than us) but the manner of chances conceded meant we were rarely overrun against one of Europe's most deadly forward lines.

Holding

THE XHAKA/TORREIRA AXIS

Granit Xhaka was moved back into central midfield after two games at full back, to renew his central midfield partnership with Lucas Torreira, and the two stamped their authority on the game from the early exchanges.

Xhaka made an early sliding challenge to dispossess Mo Salah inside the area and it set the tone for a committed, whole-hearted display from Unai Emery's men.

He made more tackles (five), more passes (97) and took more touches (118) than anyone else on the pitch. He also covered more distance than any other Arsenal player.

Torreira too has rapidly become a fans' favourite at Emirates Stadium, and it's easy to see why. He was everywhere again this evening, breaking up attacks and also playing with his head up, looking for a killer pass when he wins possession.

Moments after we fell behind he brought a fine save out of Allison to lift the fans again.

His stats were impressive as well, winning possession 10 times and he recorded   the highest passing accuracy in the opposition half (87 per cent).

This was only the diminutive Uruguayan's seventh start for the Gunners, but he's already become one of the most important players of Unai Emery's squad.

Torreira

LACA THE MAN OF THE MOMENT

A few eyebrows were raised when Unai Emery replaced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after 73 minutes, with Arsenal trailing 1-0.

Auba is our top scorer this season, and had netted at a rate of a goal every 28 minutes last month, but was replaced by Aaron Ramsey late on, with Arsenal pushing for the equaliser.

Alexandre Lacazette stayed on though, and the man who had started at centre half justified the head coach's confidence in him with a superbly taken equaliser.

The chance seemed to have gone when Allison came quickly off his line to narrow the angle, but Lacazette showed his composure and deadly finishing to arrow the ball just inside the far post. It was his sixth goal of the season, and a priceless one, to extend our unbeaten run to 14 games. 

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring against Liverpool

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring against Liverpool


FIGHTING BACK

Arsenal have now won more points from losing positions than any other Premier League side this season (eight).

Once again we failed to win a first half, but after Liverpool took the lead on the hour mark the Gunners once again stepped it up and were good value for the point.

It will be concerning to Unai Emery that we have conceded the first goal in each of our past three league games (also against Leicester and Crystal Palace) but the ability to fight back – despite the heavy workload many of these players have endured lately – will give the boss plenty of cause for optimism too.

Mustafi in the crowd