Arsenal’s Premier League campaign starts with another defeat this time from Liverpool. For the fifth time in six years, an opening-day win has eluded them.
Fans frustration has continued from the lack of signings to Liverpool coming from behind to win at Emirates Stadium.
Liverpool scored four times in quick succession either side of half time to stun their hosts, with Philippe Coutinho getting two goals, before a late fightback almost earned Arsenal a point in a thrilling game.
Wenger gave debut to Rob Holding pairing him with Calum Chambers at the back which made the back line rather inexperienced and totally lacking in chemistry.
Another new signing Granit Xhaka started off on the bench while Coquelin and Elneny started in the midfield.
Alexis Sanchez started as a centre-forward with Olivier Giroud not completely match fit and Walcott started off from the right side.
On the new Emirates Stadium pitch started the first half with Walcott showing signs of form and determinaton and Iwobi getting along with Sanchez and Ramsey.
The Euro 2016 star given greater attacking license in the No 10 role, was pretty much everywhere, full of energy and inventive. His confidence was on cloud 9 as he tried to lob Mignolet from 50 yards in the first half.
It had been a first half of few chances but there was a glorious one in the 28th minute. Walcott was tripped as he wriggled away from Alberto Moreno, got up to take the penalty himself – and was denied by Mignolet’s flying save.
It was just 63 seconds after that Coquelin tackled Henderson and found Iwobi who then picked out Walcott on the corner of the box with a crisp diagonal pass, and he found the bottom corner.
After that just before the conclusion of the first half, Coutinho won a free kick, Holding, well, holding him outside the area (not really). Incredible precision was still required to beat Cech from that distance, but he delivered – his shot swerving over the wall and into the top corner.
Arsenal had bossed most of the first half. Within 11 minutes of the restart they were staring defeat in the face.
Coutinho once again in the second half sliced open the defence with an exceptional flicked through ball to Wijnaldum, who picked out Lallana in the middle and scored. From here started the downfall with Liverpool scoring 3 goals in quick succession with Coutinho and Mane on the scorecard.
By now Oxlade-Chamberlain was on for Iwobi and he gave the home side a flicker of hope with a wonderful solo goal. Xhaka made his debut with Arsenal still deep in trouble, but Chambers’ flicked header from Cazorla’s free-kick set up a grandstand finish.
Plenty for both managers to ponder after a relentless contest that showcased the abilities and fragility of both sides.
Arsenal fans’ rancor will have been partially solved by their late fightback – and there’s no need to panic yet. This was a game that was great value right from the start, with brilliance and blundering in equal measure throughout. It’s what the Premier League is all about.
Disappointing start and as expected, but the season has just started and if we don’t make new signings, it will be a long and painful one.
Although we have to thank both Liverpool and Arsenal for rescuing us from a rather dull opening BPL weekend but I’d take a win everytime over an exciting match.
Happy Independence day to everyone from India. Jai Hind.
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