The Reds were never in control of the game and only looked good for about fifteen minutes. They were just building on momentum when Hector Bellerin’s sweet strike started a flurry of goals and the visitors went 3-0 down in the span of seven minutes. 3-0 was always going to be an uphill task and despite Jordan Henderson reducing the deficit by scoring from the spot, Liverpool had to go home looking at an embarrassing 4-1 defeat. Liverpool’s defeat was made to look even worse with Emre Can’s sending off.
Brendan Rodgers rued his team’s defensive performance and also said that the player’s were too negative right from the starting.
a Right from the kick off we were too negative. We put ourselves under a bit of pressure and in the first 10 minutes they had decent control of the game as youa d expect sometimes when you come away from home.
a But I thought after that first 10 minutes and once we managed to get a rhythm and find our passes, we were the better team and we created the better chances.
a So wea re looking to go in at half time maybe 0-0 or in front but then we defend very, very poorly for all goals really.
a We concede the first one away from home and then obviously it can be difficult. We concede the first goal on 36 minutes and then ita s very, very difficult through to half time.
a Second half in fairness to the players they come out and work well, but ita s easy when youa re 3-0 behind. Every team works and tries to get something, so pride was important for us second half.a
Raheem Sterling has been making all the headlines recently with his controversial interview with BBC where he spoke about his refusal to sign a contract extension with the club just as yet. Rodgers refused to blame the distraction surrounding his situation for having any part to play in the potentially season-defining loss for the club and insisted that it was because Liverpool conceded “bad goals”, they lost.
a I thought Raheem was outstanding today in all fairness, the kid done great. Ita s not distractions, we were just poor defensively. You see from our record the last six games we havena t conceded away from home and played well. Ita s just a disappointing day. When you concede bad goals like that youa re always going to be up against it against a team thata s pretty confident.a
Emre Can was sent off as he conceded a second yellow card in the dying embers of the game and Rodgers called it an unfortunate act as he felt there was no malice intended on the German’s part.
Rodgers said, a Ita s one I can see why hea s been sent off. The first one (yellow) the refereea s probably given it for the reaction. The second one in all fairness to the boy hea s not that type of player. He tries to stretch round with his right foot and then he slips with his left foot and it looks like a scissor challenge. I know Emre well enough to know hea s not that type of player but unfortunately he gets the red card.”
Liverpool’s top 4 hopes are all but over after the loss at Arsenal and Brendan Rodgers agreed but said that the players had an obligation to the club and the supporters to fight right till the end. His focus will now be at the game against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup on Wednesday.
a It was always going to be difficult for us after the Manchester United result and today makes it very, very, very, very difficult to arrive in the top four.
a But we have an obligation to the football club and to all our great supporters to keep fighting right to the end.
a Todaya s a big disappointment for us but we didna t defend well enough at key moments. Now we have to prepare, get ready, wea ll be back in tomorrow morning and look to get to the semi-final of the FA Cup.a