Did Arsenal's heavy defeat at Liverpool really surprise anybody? - My Arsenal Blog

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Did Arsenal’s heavy defeat at Liverpool really surprise anybody?

Posted on December 30, 2018 by David Nugent

When I read back my article for yesterday, I felt like I was maybe bigging Liverpool up slightly too much. However, I published it anyway, as it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time.

It turns out after the Merseysiders hammered the Gunners 5-1 that my opinion of Liverpool’s attack was rather understated. Jurgen Klopp’s team produced a devastating attacking display helped by a terrible defensive display to record a comfortable victory.

Major defensive concerns

I understand that the Gunners have some injury concerns and Liverpool are explosive going forward. However, their defensive display at Anfield was nothing short of embarrassing.

The team from north London have had defensive issues for a long time, especially against the better sides in the league. Unai Emery’s arrival has not fixed those issues.

Summer signings Sokratis and Stephan Lichtsteiner were straight out of the how to buy a defender on the cheap handbook. Both players are experienced, but neither were really an improvement on the poor defensive options the Gunners already had at the club.

Emery has helped nurture a positive atmosphere at Arsenal. However, the Gunners latest away games have shown that there is still major work to be done to get back to where the Gunners want to be. If the Spaniard is backed in the transfer market, he may be able to help the team progress in the near future.

Still in the race for top-four

Things have improved at Arsenal under Emery, but the Gunners have at times been lucky to pick up results this season in the top-flight. The team from north London are closer to the top-four than in the latter years of Arsene Wenger’s reign.

The Gunners are now odds of 13/5 to secure a Champions League spot this season. A top-four finish is not an unrealistic aim for Emery’s team.

However, they are nowhere near as good as the teams challenging for the title, which of course includes league leaders Liverpool. The trip to Anfield was always going to prove a difficult one, as it has done in the recent past for the Gunners.

Anybody that has watched Arsenal on a regular basis will know that their weak spot is in defence, which I am sure that Emery will be looking to rectify over the next few transfer windows.

The conditions were all set up for Liverpool to record a big win over the Gunners on Saturday evening. Emery’s side now needs to dust themselves off and go again on New Year’s Day at home against Fulham.

Was Arsenal’s heavy defeat at Liverpool surprising?

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