Arsenal reduced the gap between themselves and Liverpool at the top of the table to two points with a win over the Reds at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday, February 4.
Following their 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground last time out, Mikel Arteta made two changes. An injury to Gabriel Jesus meant Kai Havertz replaced him up top, while Jorginho replaced Emile Smith Rowe in the midfield.
Liverpool, meanwhile, were coming off a dominant 4-1 win over Chelsea at Anfield. Conor Bradley, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Darwin Nunez were replaced by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ryan Gravenberch, and Cody Gakpo.
It was the home side that were in control for most of the first half. They opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Bukayo Saka. The ball fell kindly to the winger after Havertz’s shot was saved by Alisson, and the Englishman fired into the open net to make it 1-0.
Despite their dominance, Liverpool did manage to find an equalizer late in the first half (48′). Luis Diaz got into the box, got past William Saliba, and his touch eventually went into the goal off Gabriel Magalhaes’ hand.
The Reds had their moments early in the second half, but Arsenal continued their dominance and got their well-deserved lead back in the 67th minute. A miscommunication at the back between Alisson and Virgil van Dijk saw Gabriel Martinelli get a simple finish to make it 2-1.
The visitors’ chances of getting back into the game took a hit after Ibrahima Konate was sent off in the 88th minute after receiving a second yellow card. Leandro Trossard eventually put the game to bed, nutmegging Alisson in the 92nd minute and scoring to make it 3-1.
With the win, Arsenal moved into second place with 49 points. Liverpool are still at the top with 51, while Manchester City are on 46 points with two games in hand. Here are the Gunners’ player ratings.
Arsenal Player Ratings
David Raya – 6.5/10
The Spaniard didn’t have much to do on the night, facing just a single shot on target.
Ben White – 6.5/10
It was a solid game throughout for the right-back, who was probably Arsenal’s best defender on the night.
William Saliba – 6/10
It was a forgettable outing for the Frenchman, who was sloppy throughout the game. His mistake eventually led to the Reds’ only goal of the night.
Gabriel Magalhaes – 5.5/10
Did not have the best of games either, but was slightly unlucky to score the own goal. He was arguably also lucky to not see a second yellow card.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6/10
Put in a decent shift for 45 minutes. He was subbed off for the second period, and it is unclear if it was for injury or tactics.
Declan Rice – 7/10
A strong outing from Arsenal’s £100 million man. He was active throughout the game and helped out defensively. He finished the game with six duels won, two interceptions, two clearances, and five recoveries.
Jorginho – 7.5/10
A lively outing for Jorginho, who has barely received a start this season. He was instrumental as the Gunners controlled the game from the center of the pitch.
Martin Odegaard – 7/10
Odegaard was heavily involved in the attack. He should have gotten an assist, but Havertz missed out on an easy chance, finishing with three chances created and four passes into the final third.
Bukayo Saka – 8/10
He found himself at the right place at the right time to score the opener. Was decent apart from that, getting three shots (one on target) and 11 touches in Liverpool’s box.
Kai Havertz – 6.5/10
Havertz should have opened the scoring, but he was lucky that Saka was there to bag the rebound. Apart from that, he struggled to keep up with the physicality of the Liverpool defenders (losing 18 duels). The performance indicated yet again that playing up top is not his best position in the Premier League.
Gabriel Martinelli – 7.5/10
The Brazilian’s hard work was paid off by the easy chance he received to put his side back on top. He had a decent game otherwise.
Jakub Kiwior – 6/10
Put in a solid shift for Arsenal, replacing Zinchenko after the first half.
Leandro Trossard – 7/10
A smart finish from Trossard late in the game guaranteed all three points for Arsenal. He replaced Martinelli for the last 15 minutes, and he looked good.
Reiss Nelson – N/A
Came on too late and did not play enough minutes to merit a rating.