The Real Footie Analyst

Player Ratings: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2

Arsenal

Szczesny – 7 – Kept Arsenal in the game with a fantastic save from an Andy Carroll header. Was unlucky to concede the first as the ball looped over him after coming off Aaron Ramsey.

Sagna – 7 – Was solid in defence despite playing out of position at left-back to accommodate rookie Jenkinson. He is still one of the most consistent performers in the league and Arsenal will look to him to shore things up when needed.

Vermaelen – 8 – Arsenal’s star performer on the day. He was able to impose himself on a hapless Andy Carroll and stood up the physical side of the game. He even had a promising run through the middle with his shot eventually going wide and not troubling Reina in goal.

Koscielny – 5 – Only lasted 15 minutes to a back spasm injury.

Jenkinson – 6 – Showed promise at times but will need to do more if he is to make regular appearances for Arsenal in defence.

Ramsey – 6 – He struggled to stamp his authority on the game and seemed to miss having the likes of Wilshere and Alex around to play off. Was guilty of letting Adam and Lucas dictate play and gave away the ball far too often to allow for Arsenal’s attacking movement.

Frimpong – 7 – He showed immense promise and endeared himself to the Emirates faithful with some committed tackles and optimistic runs through the middle of the park. But, his second yellow for a bad tackle on Lucas showed his naivety and inexperience which allowed Liverpool to take numerical advantage of his absence.

Nasri – 7 – Despite the uncertainty surrounding his impending transfer to Man City he showed glimpses as to why they are wiling to cough up £23m for him. He seemed to play too deep at times and failed to link up with the likes of Van Persie.

Arshavin – 6 – He needs to re-invent himself  and show Wenger why he was so effective in his debut season for club if he is to make the team sheet in the coming weeks.

Walcott – 4 – Has a disappointing day and struggled to get past to the eventual man of the match, Jose Enrique.

Van Persie – 6 – The captain had one of his quieter afternoons and never really received the service expected. Hardly troubled the Liverpool back-four as he often dropped to deep in search of the ball.

Subs:

Miguel – 5 – His lack of experience showed today and will have to adjust quickly if he is going to end up making a few appearances now with and already depleted Arsenal squad.

Lansbury – 4 – Was ineffective and picked up a stupid booking and could have ended up being sent off if the referee had been harsher after dissent showing for the yellow card.

Bendter – 5 – Failed to make an impact.

Wenger – 4 – He continues to spend money on young attacking players and overlooks other areas such as his leaking defence. Will need to let Nasri leave so he can splash the cash before the transfer window closes at the end of August. Time is running out and Arsenal’s start to the new season is reminiscent of Liverpool’s last year.

Liverpool

Reina – Had a quiet day between the sticks and made an important save when van Persie scuffed a shot at goal.

Kelly – 6 – Made a welcome return in place of young Flanagan. Didn’t make his usual attacking runs but did what every defender has to do, defend.

Carragher – 6 – Also had a quiet day alongside Agger and marshaled the defence well.

Agger – 6 – See above.

Enrique – 8 – He had poor Theo Walcott in his pocket all afternoon. Defended well and nullified any attacking threat coming down his flank. Made very good use of the ball and provided Stewart Downing with some decent balls to run onto. Deserved man-of-the-match.

Downing – 7 – linked up well and made some telling runs at the Arsenal defence. Looks to have settled in well following a impressive debut against Sunderland last week. Looks to create chances and runs at defenders – something Liverpool lacked last season.

Adam – 7 – Didn’t quite match a sterling Anfield debut last week but kept things ticking over. Linked well with Lucas and Henderson to overshadow a young and inexperienced Arsenal midfield. Wasted a few free-kicks as well.

Lucas – 6 – Played to his usual tempo and shored up things when needed. Decent performance as expected.

Henderson – 5 – Ran all afternoon and didn’t have any effect Dalglish would’ve hoped for. He looked out of position at times and seemed more assured when playing from the middle.

Kuyt – 5 – Also had a disappointing day and gave the ball away when a quality pass was needed in the final third. Seemed to find himself in the middle of the park at times which seemed to congest play.

Carroll – 5 – Needs to impose himself on the game more if he is to lead the line. Seems to get frustrated when things don’t go his way.

Subs:

Meireles – 7 – A welcome return for last year’s Players Player of the Year. Seemed as if he had a point to prove to the manager and setup Suarez for the all important second goal.

Suarez – 7 – Liverpool’s current ‘go-to’ man. He creates anxiety amongst opposition defences and his presence alone exposed Arsenal’s numerical disadvantage when Frimpong was shown his marching orders. Liverpool’s pocket-rocket undoubtedly changed the game.

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