ARSENAL put their North London derby woes behind them by responding with a 2-1 victory over Premier League Champions Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. Sadio Mane put the visitors ahead with a cool finish in the 20th minute after Andy Robertson whipped in his iconic low cross from the left-hand side.
However, an atypical mistake from Virgil Van Dijk witnessed Alexander Lacazette equalise for Mikel Arteta’s side on the half hour mark before Reiss Nelson turned the tie on its head just before the break.
The surprising victory shoots The Gunners up to ninth in the table only two points behind local rivals Tottenham in seventh.
Sun Sport’s Frankie Christou provides his player ratings of the Arsenal players.
Emiliano Martinez – 6/10
The Argentinian has been in fine form since filling in for the injured Bernd Leno but he breathed a sigh of relief early on as his attempted clearance hit the charging Roberto Firmino before smacking the post.
He denied Alexander-Arnold in the dying moments in the game which proved to be vital in his side attaining all three points.
Rob Holding – 7
The 24-year-old’s continuous battle with Mane brought a mean streak which is not usually seen in Arsenal’s defence. He looked the more experienced defender in the centre of Arsenal’s defence despite his Brazilian counterpart to his left having over 150 more Premier League appearances than him.
David Luiz – 4
Failed to get across quick enough for Mane’s opener. The ex-Chelsea defender was a shadow throughout and his continuous attempts to find either Lacazette or Aubameyang with a long ball from defence just handed the ball back to Liverpool every time.
Kieran Tierney – 7
Arteta’s decision to play the Scotsman as a left-sided centre-back allowed Tierney to prove his versatility as he carried out an assured performance.
Cedric Soares – 6
Mane’s never-ending runs in behind seemed to bewilder the Portuguese International who became a walking advert for The Clash’s smash hit ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’. He did not know whether to follow the winger inside or take turns his attention to the forever overlapping Andy Robertson. However, his performance improved in the second half as Arsenal grew into the game.
Lucas Torreira – 6
Considering this was his first start since his horrific ankle break against Portsmouth in the FA Cup back in March, the Uruguayan international was the liveliest of the Arsenal midfielders. Yet, due to Liverpool having the fair share of possession he found himself chasing shadows and was eventually replaced on the hour mark.
Granit Xhaka – 7
His slow start was mirrored in Arsenal’s opening thirty minutes but as time went on Xhaka found his stride. He sat deep to ease the pressure on Arsenal’s makeshift defence but his persistent nature led him to go into the book for a pointless challenge on Naby Kieta which meant he was walking on eggshells for the final ten minutes.
Bukayo Saka – 6
Deployed at wing-back, the thought of Mo Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold bombing beyond him meant Saka was unable to show his usual flair in the final third. Albeit, both Salah and Alexander-Arnold had a quiet game and it was a testament to his defensive nous.
Nicolas Pepe – 5
Forgot he was even on the pitch until the final five minutes when his misplaced pass went out for a throw.
Alexandre Lacazette – 8
Oozing with confidence after scoring a rocket against Spurs on the weekend his manager put faith in the Frenchman to head Arsenal’s attack with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left on the bench. He was feeding off scraps all evening as Arsenal lacked that creative edge throughout but stayed alert as he got himself on the scoresheet to level things up and got the vital assist for Nelson’s goal to put them ahead just before the break.
Reiss Nelson – 8
It was his pressure which proved that Virgil Van Dijk is human after all as the 20-year-old’s tenacity and determination to chase down the ball led to the mistake for Lacazette’s equalizer in the first half. The youngster and the Frenchman then swapped roles as Lacazette’s ball into feet led Nelson to show an empty Emirates he can also finish.
Via Sun UK
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