Arsenal came back from 1-0 down to draw against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, in an encouraging display for Unai Emery’s side.
With most fans and pundits going into the game expecting Arsenal to be on the wrong end of a 4-0, the Gunners surprised everyone by actually having the better of the first half. Liverpool rallied and opened the scoring after the break, but Arsenal fought back and levelled through Alexandre Lacazette.
Though they couldn’t quite get the win, there were a lot of good signs in the clash against one of the title contenders this season. Hopefully, Emery also identifies what the team still need to work on to turn these matches into wins.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Bernd Leno 7
A lot of Arsenal fans on social media put the blame at Leno’s door for Liverpool’s goal, but go back and rewatch it. His save was actually going harmlessly to Sead Kolasinac until an unintentional touch off Rob Holding took it straight to James Milner’s feet. It was bad luck.
That said, the goalkeeper did have one bad moment, failing to reach an aerial ball ahead of Virgil van Dijk. Other than that, he made a few saves and did well to keep the score low.
Hector Bellerin 8
Bellerin had to race to be fit for this one, so the fact that he dealt so well with Sadio Mane for much of the game was all the more impressive.
At the start of the season, there were plenty of calls for Stephan Lichtsteiner to replace Bellerin in the starting XI, but those have almost completely gone away, and that’s a testament to how the Spaniard is pushing on.
Shkodran Mustafi 8
The world just seemed to be waiting for Mustafi to fall apart against Liverpool’s front three, but it never happened. His passing was excellent, he made a lot of key tackles and won a lot of aerial duels, and generally put in a great performance.
The German did fall asleep for one over the top through ball to Virgil van Dijk. Other than that, he deserves a lot of credit.
Rob Holding 8.5
Holding was the star of the show defensively, dealing incredibly well with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. The centre-back has had to adapt to playing with a large number of different left-backs recently, and the fact he’s doing so well with each one shows how much progress he’s making.
Sead Kolasinac 7.5
Kolasinac had the almost impossible task of coming back from injury after one game in three months to face last season’s top goalscorer. From that point of view, he did very well, though Holding did have to cover for him on a few occasions after his marauding runs forward.
Those offensive forays got the Bosnian in a number of great positions, and he deserves credit for knowing when to go and timing his runs perfectly. However, he didn’t make much of those positions, only creating one chance. That’s something to work on.