Andy Robertson has admitted Liverpool’s full-backs needed more of a defensive performance than usual to keep Arsenal’s “tricky wingers” quiet.
Though Liverpool ended up keeping a clean sheet on Wednesday night, left-back Andy Robertson says they needed to work hard defensively to achieve it.
“I think it was a wee bit more [of a] defensive performance tonight, me and Trent (Alexander-Arnold),” Robertson said.
“Martinelli and Saka are really hard work – tricky wingers, always wanting the ball in behind, always looking to take you on one-v-one.
“I thought Trent was outstanding against Martinelli. It’s never easy against Saka so I was happy to keep him quiet in this game. A really tough game.”
Martinelli and Alexander-Arnold certainly had a good battle going on, with most of Arsenal’s best opportunities coming down that side.
The Brazilian winger was in great form, but Alexander-Arnold managed to win some duels as well. He made two tackles and was dribbled past twice, whilst winning two of his four ground duels, so he had an even matchup with the Gunners’ left side.
In the end, it didn’t count for much for Arsenal. A couple of defensive errors meant the problems they’d caused at the other end looked like nothing but missed opportunities.
The only consolation is that Arsenal’s young side should only get better.
If the likes of Martinelli and Saka are causing Liverpool problems now, they should be even more threatening in a few years’ time.