It was hard work at times, but we claimed a big win against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
Here are three things we learned from the game:
Coming into this game fresh off the back of a stunning strike at Spurs, and with three goals in his last four games, Alex Lacazette was handed the armband to face the champions. He responded magnificently, leading from the front and taking the game to the visitors where possible. He may have been assisted for the equaliser by a poor Virgil van Dijk backpass, but there was still work to do in rounding Allison to score. His work for our second was arguably even better, preying on a mistake by the Liverpool goalkeeper and then squaring for Reiss Nelson to slot home. This was another fine showing from our in-form French forward.
There are tough tests for a young forward in the Premier League, and then there are games like this. Coming up against the best team in the land, one with comfortably its stingiest backline and some of the best attacking full backs anywhere across Europe meant it was always going to be a big examination for Reiss Nelson in both attack and defence. He was helped by Mikel Arteta's constant instructions from the touchline, our head coach reminding the teenager where he needed to be at all times to curb the forays forward by Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane - and he can be proud of the work he did there. But of course it is in attack where Nelson will feel at his best, and when presented with a chance from Allison's error, he made no mistake. His strike proved to be the winner and was also his first in the Premier League - making him the fifth player aged less than 20 to score in the top flight for us this season. Life is tough when you're up against the best of the best, but Nelson can feel satisfied with his showing here.
In truth, this was a funny win, one that owed as much to character and resolve as it did Liverpool's defensive errors. The champions dominated large swathes of the game, finishing with 69 per cent possession, having had 24 shots to our three and with 13 corners to our two. But for all their dominance, Jurgen Klopp's side did not open us up at will or create a host of clear-cut chances - and that is very much to the credit of the defensive system Mikel Arteta set up in expectation of this barrage. It may not have been a Premier League classic, but this win - our first against Liverpool since April 2015 - will provide a real fillip ahead of our Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Saturday.
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