Arsenal – Liverpool: Arteta’s Incisive Attack Prevails (3-1)
Arsenal brought an interesting idea into this game with a 4-2-4-0 structure in possession, which helped find weaknesses in Liverpool’s compact pressing game. The home side attacked with a high tempo, and deservedly prevailed against a Liverpool side who struggled for width and fluidity in their own attack.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Liverpool visited Arsenal after a week in which the club was shaken by the news that Jürgen Klopp is to leave the club at the end of the season. This was also a game with title race implications, as Arsenal had the chance to close the gap between the clubs to two points if they were to win.
Mikel Arteta’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 shape for this game, with a back four of Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhães, and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Jorginho started alongside Declan Rice in a double-pivot, while Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli were on the wings. Martin Ødegaard played the number ten role in support of Kai Havertz up front.
For Liverpool it was a 4-3-3 formation, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konaté, Virgil van Dijk, and Joe Gomez in the back four. Alexis Mac Allister was the deepest midfielder with Ryan Gravenberch and Curtis Jones either side of him, while the frontline consisted of Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, and Luis Díaz.
Arsenal’s box midfield
The home side started the game well and went ahead in the first twenty minutes through a wonderfully constructed move in which they were able to navigate their way around and through Liverpool’s pressing.
This was partly enabled by the . . .