It was an inevitable fate with Arsenal carrying suspensions and injuries into the match, including the likes of Jack Wilshere, Alex Song, Gervinho, Johan Djourou and Kieran Gibbs.
The nature of the situation forced new players to be introduced into the first-team, with wantaway player Samir Nasri making his first competitive appearance for the season and new players, Emmanual Frimpong and Carl Jenkinson, making their first competitive starts for the gunners. It was always going to be a hard ask for the lads.
The introduction of debutants continued early when only fifteen minutes into the match, our injury plague struck yet again with Koscielny nudging the ball out of play under no pressure at all and held his back in agony. He hobbled off for Arsenal’s reserves captain Ignasi Miquel to make his Premier League debut. After only the second league match we now have three injuries to key-men at the back.
After resolutely keeping out Liverpool for much of the match, as well as creating a few chances of our own, it was yet another red-card that effectively decided the outcome of the match with Frimpong seeing red 18-minutes from time. After being one of the stand-outs of the match, his reckless challenge on Lucas, which resulted in his red-card, sparked Liverpool into action.
Sensing they had Arsenal way on the back foot, they brought on Suarez to provide more venom in attack with Arsene, in response, replacing Arshavin with Lansbury in an attempt to tighten up our midfield. But it was cruel injustice that gave Liverpool their lead when Ignasi Miquel picked up a ball in the box and attempted to clear. With Ramsey tracking back to defend the Welshman found himself in line with Miquel’s clearance with the ball bouncing of his chest and looping over Szczesny and into the goal.
Arsenal, after defending their hearts out, were now cruelly a goal down and a man down. The damage had been done and there was no way back with Liverpool completely killing off the game on the full-time whistle after a well worked move resulted in a Suarez tap-in. Considering the line-up though, the boys can consider themselves proud of their solid defensive performance, and if Frimpong had not seen red the result could have been much different. Now it is time to look on to Udinese and hope we can secure qualification into the Champions League. It will be difficult with another key injury to defence.
“Yes, I feel the result is very harsh on us. The decider was the sending off and as well the offside goal, it was the decider of the game.
“I think Frimpong was a victim of his lack of experience and of his enthusiasm and heart. He deserved a second yellow card, he should not have gone into that challenge.
“I think the target is to have a good team and good players. You can spend money and have a bad team. You want the supporters to be happy and when you don’t win the game you can understand that they are not. But I think we had eight players out today and we still had a good performance. So it is not all doom and gloom, there are positives in the game today.”
Formation: As predicted by allArsenal.com the gunner’s formation was as follows.
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Jenkinson
Walcott Van Persie (c) Arshavin
Wojciech Szczesny | 8.0: The Pole is solidifying his position as number one at the Emirates. Made a crucial save early when Carroll nodded towards goal and also denied Stuart Downing late in the match. Was always alert to danger and reacted accordingly and can not be blamed for the two late goals.
Bacary Sagna | 7.0: Was solid playing in an unfamiliar left-back position. Played defensive by his standards for much of the match, but it was still a very resolute performance.
Thomas Vermaelen | 9.0: What a rock! The Verminator was very impressive all night clearing danger multiple times and was very commanding in the air keeping Carroll subdued for almost all of the match. Reads the game superbly and made an amazing run late in the game, only to shoot wide. Look forward to more great performances from the strong Belgian.
Laurent Koscielny | N/A: Limped off after quarter of an hour to be replaced by Miquel.
Carl Jenkinson | 6.5: Looked shaky in the beginning in his first competitive start, but bounced back well to provide offense down the right. Made a number of good crosses and defended well.
Emmanuel Frimpong | 7.5: This boy has a bright future ahead of him. Was easily one of the stand-outs for Arsenal until his eventual departure. His temperament needs to be addressed. Inexperience lead to his red-card due to his inability to control his eagerness. Maturity should come with more match experience.
Aaron Ramsey | 5.0: Ineffective for much of the match and looked lost. Quite slow on the ball and lacks vision, and was also unlucky with his own goal. Needs to improve if he wants to stamp his mark in the starting eleven.
Samir Nasri | 7.0: Was the most dangerous man for Arsenal and caused a couple of headaches for Liverpool. Made a marauding run in the 34th minute and shot only just wide. Many will be hoping the reports suggesting negotiations have broken down with Manchester City are true as he received a good reception after showing glimpses of brilliance and determination.
Andrey Arshavin | 4.5: The familiar inconsistencies were apparent again. Had good touches sometimes and then just made school-boy errors. Was subbed for Henri Lansbury late in the match.
Theo Walcott | 4.5: Lacked a lot of direction when he received the ball, showing glimpses of the Walcott of old and was typically in and out of the match. Appropriately replaced by Bendtner late in the match.
Robin van Persie | 5.5: With Arsenal very much on the defensive you can’t blame the Dutchman for having little impact on the game. Had a good shot blocked by Reina in the second half, but otherwise had little service to work with.
- Notable Substitutions
Ignasi Miquel | 7.0: Very much thrown in the deep-end when Koscielny limped off injured early, but reacted well and was strong defensively. It was a shame to see his clearance didn’t bypass Ramsey, which lead to the opening goal.
Full Match Highlights