In an interview after the draw against Liverpool, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said that this is the strongest version of The Kop he has faced this year.
The most obvious difference between the two versions of Arsenal at Anfield this season and before is definitely Declan Rice’s defensive midfielder position. In that situation that took place in the 72nd minute, Arnold clearly threw away the opportunity to score for The Kop, but Gunners fans definitely need to admire Rice for his intelligence in defensive skills.
The English star tried to stay in position, leaving Mohamed Salah unable to do anything other than pass the ball to the right sideline to create conditions for his teammates to finish. This helps goalkeeper David Raya easily read the situation and have more time to make the save.
Just by handling the above situation, Rice made Arsenal fans feel secure because the team owns one of the highest-class defensive midfielders in the Premier League currently.
Not only is he a remote shield for the defenders, the former West Ham United star also acts as a “trump card” in every attack situation of Arsenal when satellites on the attack like Gabriel Martinelli or Bukayo Saka stuck due to his impressive ability to pull the ball.
Arteta once described the 24-year-old as “a beacon” in the midfield when Rice first arrived at the Emirates from West Ham. The match at dawn on Sunday morning proved the 40-year-old coach’s comments to be completely accurate when the star born in 1999 became a solid “fulcrum” for his teammates during the most difficult times.
Devil’s triangle Rice – Saliba – Gabriel
After having to divide points at Anfield last season, many questions arose for Arteta about how his team coped under pressure. More than half a year since the above draw, the Spanish strategist has introduced a trio of insurmountable rocks in front of the Gunners’ goal, Rice – William Saliba – Gabriel Magalhaes.
Although these three players have not yet been able to help Arsenal achieve victory at Anfield after 11 years, the above trio will become the foundation to bring the Gunners to success in the future.
There are not many changes in Arsenal’s tactics compared to the last trip to Merseyside, but the presence of Saliba instead of Rob Holding is the key to making Liverpool no longer as explosive as in the previous confrontation.
In fact, Jurgen Klopp’s team still tries to penetrate Zinchenko’s left-side position to find scoring opportunities, but the superior 1-on-1 ability of the duo Saliba and Gabriel makes the Red Brigade powerless to finish off. Gunner.
“The two boys (Saliba and Gabriel) are playing more and more maturely,” Arteta said. “The boys are still young but have performed excellently in their positions.”
Saliba (blue shirt) owns Arsenal’s penalty area.
Klopp tried to put Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliot on the field to find a difference, but the German strategist’s plan went completely bankrupt when Arsenal’s central defender duo proved superior in every dispute.
The Emirates Stadium team has not been able to break the “demonstration” at Anfield after more than a decade, but the top performance of the “devil triangle” in front of Raya’s goal will help Arteta find the perfect winning formula for the north London club.