Manchester United legend Gary Neville has lambasted Arsenal star Kai Havertz for arriving late in the box in his side’s victory over Liverpool on Sunday (February 4).
The Gunners won 3-1 at the Emirates after an underwhelming display from Jurgen Klopp’s side. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard got on the scoresheet for Arsenal, while Gabriel Magalhaes scored an own goal.
While on co-commentary duty, Neville criticized Havertz in one of the Gunners’ plays for not positioning himself at the right moment. The former Manchester United defender said (as quoted by The Mirror):
“How many times this season have I seen and am going to see an Arsenal centre forward who isn’t actually a centre forward arrive too late in the box when the cross comes in?”
“It’s so frustrating to watch, it’s Havertz who comes in late on his heels – he needs to be there earlier. He needs to get across his man, he’s in no-man’s-land, he’ll never be found by Saka in the position he’s in.”
Havertz did play a role in Arsenal’s opener, though. The Germany international ran through on goal after latching onto Martin Odegaard’s pass before seeing his shot blocked by Alisson Becker. The ball landed at Saka’s feet, and the 22-year-old slammed it into the back of the net.
Havertz has had an underwhelming campaign overall since his £65 million move to the Emirates last summer. The former Chelsea forward has scored just five goals in 32 appearances across competitions this season.
“You could see that in their performance” – Jamie Carragher explains why Arsenal secured the win against Liverpool
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has offered an explanation for why the Reds couldn’t perform up to the mark against Arteta’s side. The pundit believes the Gunners displayed fight and were more determined to secure the victory.
Liverpool put in a lackluster performance and failed to create any major chances in the encounter. The Merseysiders were largely subdued, registering zero shots on target (via FotMob).
Speaking after the match, Carragher said on Sky Sports:
“There was a desperation about Arsenal. They felt bigger. It’s not so much a criticism to Liverpool, but it felt like they had to win. They knew if they lost they would’ve been out.”
Arteta was racing up and down the touchline after Trossard’s stoppage-time strike. Referring to the Spanish boss’ emphatic celebrations, Carragher added:
“I think that’s why we saw some of the scenes at the end of the game. You saw Arteta celebrating, running up and down the line. It felt huge for Arsenal. You could see that in the performance.”
The Gunners have now closed the gap to league leaders Liverpool to two points. Manchester City, however, are only three points behind the north Londoners with two games in hand.
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