‘Further evidence of the gap in quality’ – National media verdict as Arsenal lose to Liverpool


Telegraph

“Arsenal will of course be a more dangerous side when Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe return from injuries, although it will have troubled Arteta to see Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe play so woefully together,” writes Sam Dean for the Telegraph.

“These are the three most expensive players in the club’s history, signed for a combined £175 million, yet this was their first start together all season.

“We might not see such a lineup again any time soon.

“No Premier League fixture has produced more goals over the years than this one, although it soon became clear that Arsenal had no intention of allowing it to be another open, chaotic affair.

“Arteta’s side found success in this match last season by sitting deep and taking their chances when they came.

“On that night it was a sign of respect to Liverpool, then the league’s standout team, and further evidence of the gap in quality between the two clubs.”

The Guardian

“This was not just a victory; it was a controlled detonation of Arsenal, who were unable to show any attacking spark,” writes David Hytner for the Guardian. “It was all Mikel Arteta’s team could do to cross halfway and it was difficult to remember them creating a chance.

“The hard truth for Arsenal, as Arteta suffered one of his worst matches in charge, was that the scoreline should have been heavier.

“The floodgates threatened to open after Jota’s first goal and Salah would be denied by Bernd Leno in a one-on-one. At the very end, Salah also narrowly failed to play in Mane.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 03: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal gives their team instructions during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on April 03, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Adam Davy – Pool/Getty Images)

“Arsenal, so frustrating and erratic, must show a better face in their Europa League quarter-final first leg at home to Slavia Prague on Thursday.”

Independent

“For the first 45 minutes of the match, it was an extremely directionless performance from the Gunners,” writes Karl Matchett for the Independent.

“There were half-hearted attempts to press from one or two players in attack, but little in terms of combination play, counter-attacks with intent or real structure in their build-up play which could lead to shooting chances.

“A few minutes of more direct, fast-paced movement of the ball after half-time was a very, very minor positive – it soon reverted to Liverpool dominance and the Gunners stuck in a rut inside their own half, unable to break forward and very poor trying to play out.

Gabriel of Arsenal battles for possession with Sadio Mane of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium

“Two goals could be argued as having been gifted through their own shortcomings, with Gabriel involved in both.”

The summer transfer window is just around the corner.

And the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed.

Arsenal will not have a huge amount of money to spend, but Mikel Arteta will be hoping to make a number of moves, with loanee Martin Odegaard high up the list of priorities to bring in on a permanent deal.

But who would you sign? Get involved in our transfer window debate here.

Mail on Sunday

“Arsenal, crab-like, were reduced to hiding in their shell, containing the attacks,” writes Rob Draper for the Mail on Sunday. “Initially they did so effectively but at the expense of any attacking ambition of their own.

“But eventually they capitulated.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 03: Calum Chambers of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on April 03, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“It left their manager, Mikel Arteta, apologising for the performance and facing questions as to whether it was the worst under his command.

“There was some clarity amidst the chaos. Dani Ceballos won’t be required to stay next season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have to, given his lucrative long-term contract, but it was confirmed he is miles away from being the leader he was last season.

“And the defence simply isn’t good enough. They rode their luck throughout.”





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