A major battle ensued on Sunday at the Emirates when the flying Arsenal took on fierce visitors Liverpool, who have been out of form since the beginning of the season. The Premier League leaders were looking to extend their impressive start to the season against the struggling Liverpool and they did exactly that when they were able to overcome them 3-2, with goals from Martinelli and Bukayo Saka (2).
The London club drew first blood when they scored via Gabriel Martinelli in just 58 seconds into the game to get the match off to a flying start. Arsenal did well to win the ball from a Liverpool attack to put together a string of passes launching a counter attack, with the beautiful play capped by an Odegaard through ball for Martinelli who made no mistake to place the ball past Allison to make it 1-0 to Arsenal very early on.
This triggered a tenacity in Liverpool’s play, desperate for a an equalizer, and a clear cut chance would fall for Darwin Nunez, only for his powerful effort to be kept out by Arsenal’s Ramsdale, following that up with a save on Luis Diaz’s goal-bound attempt. Both teams going back and forth with each department evenly matched, and Liverpool’s star man Mo Salah seems to be having no luck trying to replicate the form he has shown in the last few seasons. Liverpool’s constant pressure on the Arsenal defence paid off well in the 33rd minute, a move started by Alexander-Arnold playing a long ball towards Luis Diaz who did well to square the ball for Nunez to finish by gliding the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1. Darwin’s 3rd goal for Liverpool this season meant Arsenal are still without a clean sheet playing at home in the Premier League since March.
There was to be another twist in this game right before half-time, 4 and a half minutes into the added 5 stoppage time minutes. The Gunners launched a swift counter-attack from a Liverpool free-kick which allowed Martinelli to set off driving into the Liverpool defence, tricking both Alexander-Arnold and Henderson, before ultimately squaring it for Bukayo Saka to hurry it into the back of the net to go into half-time with the advantage.
The 2nd half began with Arsenal looking to put the game to bed but a seemingly endless call of offsides prevented Mikel Arteta’s men to do so. At 52 minutes, Liverpool launched their first attack of the 2nd half, which wielded a very good return for them when substitute Roberto Firmino (subbed on for injured Diaz) grabbed an equalizer from a Diogo Jota through keeping the game alive still and extending his impressive goal scoring record against Arsenal (10 goals against Arsenal now).
An injury scare for Arsenal in the 57th minute when Jesus seemed motionless after he went down, but the quick response from the referee to signal the Arsenal medics onto the field to treat the Brazilian effectively, nursing him to health to resume with the game. The two teams were both searching frantically for a goal to give them the lead and the win in this game, Arsenal’s short passes were proving effective with a string of very short passes inside Liverpool’s 18-yard area and after the ball was bouncing endlessly off bodies a penalty was awarded for a foul by Thiago on Martinelli. Michael Oliver was certain of his decision and stood by it, allowing Bukayo Saka to step up and convert the penalty for his 2nd goal of the game and to be the second-youngest Arsenal player to score 20 Premier League goals for the club.
Arsenal did really well to hold on to the ball, playing the clock out and even though some chances were created at times by both teams, were able to grab all 3 points at the Emirates and at the end of the game week were still on top. Arsenal still top the league with 8 wins out of 9 games this season so far, boosting their confidence as title contenders for the Premier League.
At Goodison Park Everton hosted a Manchester United side that had Ronaldo on the bench and things got off to an excellent start for Lampard’s men when Alex Iwobi placed a beautiful curler past De Gea in the 5th minute to give them a lead. The lead only lasted a period of 10 minutes before Antony grabbed his 3rd PL goal in as many games for Manchester United. Cristiano Ronaldo’s chance to feature came in early in the game at the expense of an Anthony Martial, who was subbed off with an injury in the 29th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo’s quest for a 700th career club continued, and would only prolong for a short period of time after he ended the quest at 44 minutes, Casemiro winning the ball back and playing the Portuguese great through on goal and Ronaldo made no mistake to convert the chance and become “CR700” (5 for Sporting, 450 for Real Madrid, 101 for Juventus, 144 for Manchester United). Another record in the history books for Ronaldo, and it is without a doubt that he is right up there as one of the best to ever kick a football. His long-time rival, Lionel Messi didn’t feature (not in the squad) in PSG’s 0-0 draw against Nimes on Saturday.