Liverpool had to be satisfied with a 1-1 Premier League draw at Arsenal on Saturday as their usually prolific attacking trio were well shackled by their improving hosts. Liverpool had netted at least three goals in their last five games against Arsenal, but forwards Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah were kept off the scoresheet.
“Arsenal is in a very good moment… we made life a bit to easy in the first half for them,” Klopp said. “A point at Arsenal will always be an absolutely good result.” Liverpool, unbeaten in the league this season, went top of the table on 27 points but Manchester City and Chelsea could both overtake them with wins on Sunday.
Despite starting brighter, Arsenal were fortunate not to go behind in the first half when Mane steered home a rebound of the post. It was ruled out for offside even though he was behind the ball when Firmino took his initial shot. “It should have been a goal,” Klopp said, adding that changes to the rules meant it was irrelevant that Mane had been offside earlier on in the move.
“It was a brilliant attack. It’s what you do on the training ground… so it’s a pity that it didn’t count. But we made a few more mistakes tonight than the ref,” Klopp said. Liverpool’s best chances fell to centre back Virgil van Dijk before James Milner drove home in the 61st minute after Bernd Leno tipped Mane’s cross into his path.
A well-taken equaliser by Alexandre Lacazette meant Arsenal took their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 14 games, and gave a much better showing than previous games against other top-six teams. Arsenal lost to Manchester City and Chelsea in the first two matches of the season, and Saturday was the first opportunity for new manager Emery to prove that Arsenal could shed their reputation for struggling against major rivals.
“Today was a good test for us. We need more… But this spirit is like we want,” Emery said.