Simon Mignolet told the Liverpool Echo that they studied Arsenal’s penalty technique ahead of the game on Sunday although he wasn’t sure how much it would help given the absence of normal penalty takers on the pitch.
Theo Walcott became the latest Arsenal man to struggle from the spot and had he converted who knows what the outcome of the game might have been. But in what is now a familiar scene when Arsenal players step up to the spot, he didn’t.
Although Walcott snatched the lead for Arsenal shortly after, the rest of the game was a bit of a disaster from an Arsenal point of view. You might have noticed.
“I was pleased with the penalty save,” Mignolet told the Merseyside paper.
“We had studied where Arsenal players put their penalties but it was difficult because their normal penalty takers weren’t on the pitch.
“It happened to be Walcott and luckily I picked the right spot.
“That’s how we started a few years ago against Stoke when we won and went on to challenge for the Premier League title.
“The most important thing is that we have started with three points.
“There are a lot of things we can learn from this game but it’s great to start with a victory, especially with it coming at the Emirates, a ground where we haven’t taken many points in the last few years,” he added.
“As a team we have lots of attacking options now. A lot of players with pace who can make the difference going forward.
“The second half at Arsenal was like how we played against Barcelona. We can build on this.”
The game saw three very distinct Liverpools – an uncertain one, a Klopp one and a nervy one.
Sadly for us, the Klopp one was enough to blow Arsenal out of the water and inflict so much damage that even a Man of the Match cameo from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is looking to convert a great pre-season into good football when it matters, could not undo it.
Worst of all, it was all so predictable.