Arsenal vs Liverpool Player Rating as Liverpool dump Arsenal out of the FA Cup with late win


Arsenal’s season appears to be teetering on the edge after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool after a third straight defeat and they have themselves to blame for missing countless chances.

The game started furiously, with both sides looking to play and probably avoid adding a replay to a packed fixture schedule.

Arsenal were much stronger, however, and created a few good chances in the opening 10 minutes. Reiss Nelson could have done better when he received a great long-range ball from Aaron Ramsdale.

Kai Havertz tested Alisson with a curling shot soon after, before Martin Ødegaard cracked the crossbar from inside the box. The Gunners really should have taken the lead early on with Liverpool on the ropes.

Liverpool then leveled somewhat but were largely limited to playing in spurts as Arsenal continued to dominate the ball. With the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, it may not have been too surprising.

The marked lack of Arsenal’s top nine was evident throughout the first half, with Havertz taking too long to get a shot away after being played in by Ødegaard. Declan Rice’s pressing in the lead up to this chance was excellent, it must be added.

Ben White had Arsenal’s next try, unleashing a wild drive from the edge of the box at Alisson, who did well to parry it away. From the following corner, Havertz again had a famous chance to open the scoring, who headed wide.

Liverpool’s best effort came just before half-time, Trent Alexander-Arnold hitting the crossbar with a superb strike, just as he did in the league game over two weeks ago.

The second half began as the first had ended, but with Liverpool more involved in the goal attempts, Darwin Núñez struck a right-footed shot just wide of Ramsdale’s post.

Gabriel Martinelli, who came off the bench, provided Arsenal with a much-needed spark, skinning Trent Alexander-Arnold but he was stopped before he could do any more damage.

Liverpool came so close to scoring with less than 15 minutes remaining. Luis Díaz’s shot was brilliantly saved by Ramsdale and from the resulting corner Diogo Jota’s header hit the post.

The Reds did take the lead in the 80th minute, Jakub Kiwior heading into his own net from Alexander-Arnold’s dangerous free kick.

Arsenal’s comeback was building little and Liverpool sealed the deal in injury time when Díaz crushed the home side in fine style after a defensive break.

Questions are being asked about Arteta, while Klopp and co. keep marching on.

Arsenal player ratings

GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 7/10 – The second-choice goalkeeper’s arrowed long balls bypassed Liverpool’s high press and he made an excellent second-half save.

RB: Ben White – 7/10 – Shut Luis Diaz down and got forward regularly himself.

CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – A stride quicker than Darwin Nunez, who is not sluggish in the slightest.

CB: Gabriel – 6/10 – A rock-solid towering presence in Arsenal’s backline.

LB: Jakub Kiwior – 4/10 – Not forced into the uncomfortable positions in which he so desperately struggled against Fulham. Unfortunate to break the deadlock.

CM: Jorginho – 6/10 – Kept the game ticking over in midfield but not overly involved as Arsenal focussed on winning back possession before it got as deep as Jorginho.

CM: Declan Rice – 7/10 – Counterintuitively, Rice’s return to a more advanced role showed once more how dominant he is out of possession.

AM: Martin Odegaard – 8/10 – Tiptoed between the lavender shirts like a sprite in a spring field.

RW: Bukayo Saka – 4/10 – Rushed and ragged in the final third, the precise moment when he needed to keep a cool head.

ST: Kai Havertz – 3/10 – Racked with hesitancy each time the ball sat up for a shot.

LW: Reiss Nelson – 6/10 – On a rare start, Nelson was heavily involved, missing several chances himself and creating a flurry from set pieces.

SUB: Gabriel Martinelli (62′ for Nelson) – 6/10 – Made a beeline straight for Alexander-Arnold, running at and invariably around the full-back.

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (82′ for Jorginho) – N/A

SUB: Emile Smith Rowe (88′ for Havertz) – N/A

SUB: Leandro Trossard (88′ for Kiwior) – N/A

Liverpool player ratings

GK: Alisson – 7/10 – When there wasn’t a Liverpool shirt in the way, Alisson proved to be his familiar smothering self.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8/10 – As penetrative as ever in open play and from set pieces. Alexander-Arnold’s quality once again made the difference.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 8/10 – Integral in keeping Liverpool in the contest in a particularly backs-against-the-wall first half.

CB: Jarell Quansah – 6/10 – Fared well on a very busy afternoon.

LB: Joe Gomez – 6/10 – No full-back is going to enjoy a perfect evening against Saka but Gomez delayed the unrelenting winger on numerous occasions.

CM: Harvey Elliott – 5/10 – Tentatively grew into the game but didn’t put his typical stamp on proceedings.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 4/10 – Desperately struggled to stem the flow of Arsenal’s forward and frequent surges, underscoring his unease with the defensive duties that come at the base of midfield.

CM: Curtis Jones – 6/10 – Composed whenever and wherever he got on the ball, one of the few to bring a sense of calm to Liverpool’s midfield.

RW: Cody Gakpo – 2/10 – Utterly ineffective throughout a painfully forgettable 59 minutes on the pitch.

ST: Darwin Nunez – 4/10 – Much livelier when shifted out wide but not entirely effective anywhere.

LW: Luis Diaz – 6/10 – Flitted in and mainly out of the contest until his well taken finish at the death.

SUB: Diogo Jota (59′ for Gakpo) – 5/10

SUB: Ryan Gravenberch (59′ for Mac Allister) – 5/10

SUB: Bobby Clark (76′ for Elliott) – 5/10

SUB: Conor Bradley (76′ for Jones) – 5/10

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