We conceded cheap goals against Liverpool - Wenger

05 March, 2017, 00:07 | Author: Garry Little
  • England striker Sturridge has not scored in his last seven appearances for Liverpool

The change did nothing for the Londoners as Liverpool produced a dominant first-half performance to take total control by the break thanks to goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Just four points separate second-placed Tottenham Hotspur from Manchester United in sixth. Either way it was consigned to the dustbin at the interval.

Wenger said he felt the more muscular threat offered by Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud, who earned the starting spots, would be important as Arsenal would need "to fight in the air as well". Ten minutes after Sanchez's introduction, he assisted Arsenal's lone goal. That is back to back 3-0 wins now for Thomas Tuchel's side, but they face a tough task this time around as Leverkusen visit Signal Iduna Park. The wheels have fallen off manager Jurgen Klopp's title challenge, and Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has also been roundly criticised as his side have stumbled.

Liverpool have faltered badly against the Premier League's strugglers, losing and performing dismally in defeat at Hull City and Leicester City - who were both in the bottom three when those games kicked off. And while the prize for the victor will be a top-four spot, the loser will find themselves with questions about how a promising season is going awry.

The Reds have only kept two clean sheets in their last 22 Premier League games against the Gunners and none in their 10 meetings at Anfield since a 1-0 win in February 2006. But not when the best player on the team is sitting for no reason. Liverpool, top of the league briefly in November, will start the weekend in fifth place, and could be sixth by kick-off, as Manchester United will move above them by beating Bournemouth in Saturday's early game.

He operates in the shadow of more eye-catching players such as Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Firmino, but he is missed when he is not playing and contributes vital goals when he does.

This season, Mane scored the victor against Everton in the Merseyside Derby. The man for the big occasion.

Liverpool can not beat the likes of Leicester, Hull or Swansea but they are unbeaten against the other sides now in the top six.

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Klopp's charges are unbeaten in eight games against other top-six teams this term (W4 D4 L0), keeping three clean sheets.

This fixture has seen 16 goals scored in the 90th minute or later in the Premier League; more than any other fixture in the history of the competition.

Alexis Sanchez started Saturday's game behind Arsene Wenger on the bench rather than on the pitch.

The striker has been sidelined with illness in recent weeks, keeping him out of the trip to La Manga and the defeat at Leicester City on Monday. We analysed it and that wasn't enjoyable.

The Gunners tactics in certain away games have been bold to say the least, with their preference to take on the opposition with their possession football, and less focus on preventing their hosts creating their own opportunities to score. When we are compact it's fantastic. With that, and his creativity, Alexis' teammates were allowed to run free, get the ball in risky places and, in the case of Danny Welbeck, finish exquisitely.

Arsenal have struggled against their top-six rivals - particularly on the road - and when you go to Anfield it is all about trying to ride out the storm. "A decision like that is not easy to make, you have to stand up for it".

"It was one of the best games we have played so far because the strength and the line-up of opponent", Klopp told BBC Sport. "What was good in the second half was our collective performance".

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