When Francis Coquelin is the only Arsenal player to have a shot on target the entire first half against Liverpool, you know you’ve got problems.
The only other Arsenal player to have a shot during the entire first 45 minutes was Granit Xhaka, which was saved.
The worst part was that Coquelin was still terrible. He committed two fouls, picked up a yellow card and won zero tackles or interceptions. In fact, despite being Arsenal’s only player to have a shot on target, the midfielder was taken off at halftime for Alexis Sanchez.
Francis Coquelin's game by numbers vs. Liverpool:
2 fouls committed
1 aerial duels won
0 tackles won
0 interceptions pic.twitter.com/0dKnxk5ZXb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 4, 2017
After the full 90 minutes, despite being taken off halfway through, Coquelin was still level on shots on target with Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck, our only goalscorer. That’s right, Arsenal had just three shots on target the entire match. Liverpool had seven.
As far as passes were concerned, Coq completed 15/19, most of which were actually forward and 5/5 were in the final third. Although considering Arsenal didn’t have a touch in the Liverpool box for the duration of the first half and even our main striker, Giroud, only attempted four passes, that doesn’t mean a whole lot.
Something Coq did come top in was blocks. He completed two – the most out of any other player on the pitch at full-time despite being subbed at the break.
After the 25-year-old was subbed off, Arsenal looked marginally better, especially at the beginning of the second half. With Alexis on, we looked re-energised. Not as lively as most would like the team to look when playing against one of our oldest rivals but as if we’d at least eaten a banana in the dressing room or something.
However, as much as this could be attributed to Alexis raising the bar as soon as he set foot on the pitch, you can’t ignore that arguably our worse player – Coquelin – being taken off was also a factor.
Sources: FourFourTwo’s Statszone, Squawka.