Liverpool took three hugely important points in the battle to reach the top four in the Premier League. Martin Ødegaard and Arsenal are criticized.
ARSENAL – LIVERPOOL 0-3:
Liverpool were a couple of levels better than Arsenal on Saturday night, and took an important 3-0 victory over the London club.
Substitute Jota sent Liverpool into the lead midway through the second half after a beautiful cross from Alexander-Arnold. Just a few minutes later, an icy Salah put in 2-0.
With a little less than ten minutes left of the big game, Jota put his second for the evening, when he took advantage of the mess in Arsenal’s defense.
The victory means that Liverpool are now up in 5th place, and only two points behind Chelsea in the important 4th place that gives Champions League games next season.
– It was very important. I’m thinking of higher positions in the table, we have to do the job of winning every game until the season is over, says a happy Jota to Sky Sports after the game.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are in 9th place after a disappointing match, and have nine points up to 4th place with eight games left of the Premier League season.
Ødegaard receives criticism
Arsenal struggled a lot in both rounds on Saturday night, and at times they were pushed deep down on their own half of the field by a much more dangerous Liverpool. Initially, the London club delivered only one shot on goal.
– Arsenal is run over. This first round is not going to be something Mikel Arteta likes. So far they are struggling, said Gary Neville on Sky Sport’s broadcast.
Nor in TV 2’s Premier League studio were they impressed with what Arsenal delivered.
– After 17 minutes, Arsenal is cracked by Liverpool. For the next ten minutes, Arsenal will not be able to get out of their own half of the field. It must be extremely disappointing for Arteta, said Erik Thorstvedt.
Martin Ødegaard was recently named Arsenal’s best player in March, but in Saturday’s match against Liverpool, Ødegaard did not show his best side.
The 22-year-old did not have easy working conditions from his offensive midfield role when Arsenal often went very deep, but Trevor Morley in TV 2’s Premier League studio was not impressed by what Ødegaard showed.
– Sorry, but no, not good enough. Not involved in the fight, but he is one of the few who is trying to fight, but there are some men against boys at the moment, Trevor Morley said during the break.
– Things propagate and Martin Ødegaard is not a very physical player. He must take his share of the job, too, but right now Liverpool are better all over the place, Erik Thorstvedt thought.
Liverpool pressed on
It was Liverpool who looked like by far the most dangerous team in the first half. Klopp’s men had the ball clearly the most, while Arsenal often had to defend themselves in their own half of the field.
However, Liverpool’s pressure did not lead to many great chances. Milner and Fabinho both fired a shot after about a quarter of an hour played, but Leno in the Arsenal cage had decent control.
However, Firmino made a spectacular save. Robertson played the ball to the Brazilian striker, who took the ball down to the corner of the penalty area. From there, Firmino narrowed, but the ball turned just outside the far corner.
Milner also came to a great opportunity five minutes later. Alexander-Arnold hit 45 degrees to the midfielder, who stood quite alone at around 14 meters. Milner chose to shoot towards the far corner, but the attempt went just outside.
Ødegaard and Arsenal had little to line up offensively in the first half, and the red shirts noted for only one finish during the first 45 minutes.
In addition to this, Arsenal lost Kieran Tierney just before the break, when the important left-back had to be replaced due to an injury.
Liverpool got the payoff
Liverpool were the best team in the first half, but it did not pay off in terms of goals. It was going to be different in the second half.
After 64 minutes, Alexander-Arnold came in from the right, feinted, then sped past the off-balance defender to make the score 1 – 0, giving Jota the lead. Alexander-Arnold, who was wrecked for England’s previous national team squad, cheered uncontrollably after the goal.
Only four minutes later it was left for Liverpool. Thiago hit a nice stick to Salah, who went into the field and down to the corner of the penalty area. From there, he placed the ball ice-cold between the legs of Arsenal goalkeeper Leno, and it was 2-0 to Liverpool.
In the 74th minute, Salah came alone with Leno, but this time the Egyptian failed to outwit the goalkeeper, who also managed to throw himself over the return he had to give.
In the 82nd minute, Jota put in his second of the evening, sending Liverpool up 3-0. The Portuguese knocked the ball into goal after Arsenal messed it up for himself right outside his own box.
– Look at this. It is a team that is not connected, commentator Kasper Wikestad exclaimed when Liverpool scored.
In overtime, Liverpool got two adventurous chances, but it ended 3-0 to Liverpool at the Emirates on Saturday night.
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