Arsenal FC hosted Liverpool FC last night in a pulsating goalless draw which saw the two sides muster more than 30 shots between them.
Liverpool FC dominated the early exchanges as the Gunners were often caught in possession and were wasteful with their passing. A new look central defensive pairing of Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista were exposed more often than not by the Reds with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny both missing the game due to minor injuries.
The North London outfit had new signing Petr Cech to thank for keeping the scoreline at 0-0 in the first half. The Czech international pulled off a couple of brilliant saves in the first half. He kept out a Christian Benteke shot from point blank range which looked destined for the bottom corner, before brilliantly tipping a Philippe Coutinho curler onto the post.
The Gunner had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside when Aaron Ramsey latched on to a brilliant Santi Cazorla through ball and beat Simon Mignolet at his near post. However, the assistant referee deemed it offside and for the second week in a row the Reds were let off by linesman blunder.
Philippe Coutinho hit the woodwork twice in the first half, while Alexis Sanchez also struck it once in the second half. Mignolet saved an Olivier Giroud shot from point blank range in the second half as the Gunners piled on the pressure to break the deadlock.
Arsene Wenger was confident that the officials got the offside decision wrong
Arsene Wenger was seen commenting on a host of things in his post match interview, from the incorrect offside decision to Calum Chambers’s shocking performance in the first half. The Frenchman was critical of the linesman’s decision to rule out Aaron Ramsey’s strike while also commenting on the nervous defending by his team.
Speaking in his post match interview, as quoted by the club’s official website, he said:
“Yes. I cannot say the opposite. It was a regular goal. It was a period of the game where we maybe had the most problems defensively but ita s a regular goal. I cana t see why it was cancelled. Ita s clear and on that front you cannot say that Liverpool can complain.”
“Yes. I didna t ask for any explanation. What does it change? Ita s about decision-making and he got it wrong. I could see live that he could not be offside. He started his run behind his man. I could see it from where I was but I thought maybe the angle on TV was different. It was not and I must say that Liverpool played well in the first half. We were insecure defensively and we gave them many balls. We created trouble for ourselves but even in the first half we had chances.”
He responded well. It was important for him – Wenger on Chambers
The Frenchman also acknowledged that he had considered substituting Calum Chambers at half-time, however, eventually decided against it. Speaking about how the Englishman responded after misplacing most of his passes in the opening half, Wenger said:
“He responded well. It was important for him. You sit there and you wonder how far he can go without losing competitive confidence. In the second half he did well. Hea s a good footballer and he will come out of that stronger, with the belief that when he had difficult moments he can come out of it stronger.”
When quizzed if he was tempted to substitute the defender, he said: “Youa re always tempted. I wondered whether I needed offensive players on the pitch. I knew that the most important thing for us was to get to half-time at 0-0. We knew the second half would be different.”
Wenger also rued the Gunners profligacy in front of goal and insisted that his side would get back to goal scoring shortly.
“That will not last. Ita s a fact, I agree, but I believe that we know we can score goals and that will come back.”
The Frenchmen dismissed calls from a section of media that Arsenal FC were in need of more powerful midfielders. He hailed Petr Cech’s outstanding display between the sticks and revealed that if everything goes well Danny Welbeck could return after the international break.