Three games in and the reigning champions have defeated Championship winners, Leeds United, Europe’s highest spenders in the form of Chelsea, and a resilient Arsenal side under Mikel Arteta.
Liverpool made the most of the slipups made by their fellow title contenders. Jurgen Klopp’s men are showing no signs of complacency after winning the Premiership last season. An impressive 3-1 win against Arsenal took them to the second position, only behind Leicester, who has a superior goal difference.
Even though it was only their third game of the season, Liverpool looks a class apart. The high press, the counter-attacks, the defensive solidity, Liverpool carry everything with them.
Mikel Arteta was full of praise for The Reds stating, “We tried to put them under as much pressure as we could and we were really aggressive trying the high press in many moments, but Van Dijk plays a 60-yard pass to Salah’s chest and they are out. Then you have to travel about 50 meters and this is real quality. That’s why they’ve spent the money they have done, so credit to them.”
Given the difference in quality between both the sides, Arteta tried to play mind games with Liverpool. The Gunners warmed up in a formation that looked like 4-3-3. But that’s the thing with Liverpool. At Anfield, they are a different beast. They just get on with anything the opponent throws at them.
But to everyone’s surprise, it was Arsenal who took the lead through a scrappy goal. Liverpool don’t trail much at Anfield and even when they do, they remain calm and fight back. Their fight to level the score only took around three minutes when Mane scored a tap in from Salah’s impressive run. 10 minutes later, Robertson gave the hosts a deserved lead.
But Arsenal had their chances. Ceballos sparked new life in Arsenal’s midfield, a part of the pitch Arsenal must improve on before the deadline day. He confidently passed Liverpool’s high press by his close touch technique and recognition of space. His astute passing skills also carved open a well organized Liverpool side. But Diogo Jota, who made his debut for Liverpool, settled the game with a brilliant finish from the edge of the box.
There was plenty on show to make the Arsenal faithful optimistic about their future. But the Gunners hierarchy must back their Spanish coach if they envision themselves as one of the best clubs in the world in a few year’s time.