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24th Aug 2015

5 things we learned from Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool

Simon Lloyd

Thirty-four shots between the two teams, yet there was no separating Arsenal and Liverpool in their goalless draw.

Despite losing their 100% winning start to the season, Liverpool might be the more satisfied with a point – although they dominated much of the first half. For Arsenal, the draw means they are without a home win in their opening two fixtures at the Emirates.

1. Petr Cech proves his worth

Just a fortnight ago, Cech was under scrutiny for his error in the season opener against West Ham, but his performance behind a patched-up and visibly uneasy Arsenal defence was crucial.

In a first half where Liverpool looked more likely to break the deadlock, Cech highlighted his class. He denied Christian Benteke from point-blank range and finger-tipped a goal-bound Philippe Coutinho effort on to the post.

Could he genuinely help the Gunners challenge for the title this year?

2. Brendan Rodgers may wish to rethink selling Lucas Leiva

With interest from Turkey, many are suggesting that Monday’s match may have been Lucas’ final game for Liverpool.

Although only getting a start because of Jordan Henderson’s absence, the Brazilian’s performance might just have made Brendan Rodgers think twice about allowing him to depart.

Especially in the first half when Arsenal’s passing seemed uncharacteristically sloppy, Lucas was very effective in regaining possession and shielding his defenders from the hosts’ attack.

Furthermore, his inclusion gave Liverpool’s more attack-minded players license to roam and put a weakened Arsenal defence under significant pressure.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

3. Liverpool are looking solid defensively

They survived a few hairy moments towards the end of the game, but Liverpool generally coped well with Arsenal’s attacking threat.

Dejan Lovren, a player that drew criticism from some supporters last season, put in a very composed performance alongside Martin Skrtel to gain Liverpool’s third successive clean sheet.

Having introduced a considerable number of new faces to his squad, Rodgers will be particularly pleased that he has a solid defence as a platform to build on.

4. Arsenal unsettled by missing men

Without the central defensive pairing of Per Mertasacker and Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal were clearly out of sorts in the first half.

Despite still managing to field many of their first-choice attacking players, there was a definite uncertainty amongst the Arsenal back line, who struggled to keep possession of the ball when trying to move forward.

The sloppy passing appeared to filter through to the rest of the team, who found themselves very fortunate to make it to half time with the scores level.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

5. Arsenal lack firepower upfront

Karim Benzema might well have tweeted his intentions to stay in Madrid, but the performance against Liverpool highlights Arsenal’s need for more options in the striking department.

Olivier Giroud has proven to be a fairly consistent performer, but too often in games against bigger teams he is non-existent. This was again the case on Monday.

As already mentioned, Liverpool were excellent in defence, but it will no doubt worry Arsenal fans that Giroud was barely noticeable for the entire game.