After Crystal Palace, Unai Emery knew his next league game was a crucial one.
At home against Klopperpool.
These managers have been rivals since 2016 when they met in the Europa League Final in Basel.
Liverpool played well in the first half and scored first with a terrific bending shot by Daniel Sturridge.
But they were battered in the second half. completely outplayed as Sevilla attacked incisively at high speed and scored three goals.
Emery is very good at winning the second half of a football match and that Europa League Final influenced Klopp a lot. His squad was changed ruthlessly and radically that summer,.
Emery’s new Arsenal style involves setting up a team that’s very hard to play against, especially in the first half.
So Arsenal don’t score many goals in the first half but usually dominate in the second.
At Selhurst Park, Mustafi was found out on both goals and in tomorrow’s 5.30pm kick-off he’ll be playing against the relentless Firmino, the electric Mane and the super-nimble Salah.
The lesson for other managers last week was obvious: If Xhaka is at left back, put your best dribbler up against him and you’ll get a penalty or a free kick in a promising area.
Liverpool’s top dribbler is Mo Salah but little Shakiri is also inventive, Mane is bold and forceful and Trent stretches defences all day long, as does the flying Robertson on the left flank.That means that Liverpool have a lot of balance and speed and penetration. They lose the ball quite a lot but often but they can win it back quickly. That’s the theory and practice of gegenpressing: if you attack when you haven’t got the ball, you’re near the goal and often get a chance to score.
VERDICT : Arsenal badly need a left back and Emery must address that in January.
Knowing that he will need warriors when the whistle blows at 5.30pm, the Head Coach might even start Danny Welbeck.
I’m impressed by new keeper Leno and reckon he will be quite busy.
It feels like a three-goal game but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if Arsenal win 2-1.