Arsenal often bring plenty of talking points to the table and today was no exception, as the Gunners were defeated 4-3 at home to Liverpool in their first Premier League game of the season.
In light of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista’s absence through injury, the worry over a Calum Chambers and Rob Holding pairing was visible, as Arsène Wenger opted for protection in Francis Coquelin’s presence ahead of handing new boy Granit Xhaka his debut.
Despite a promising first half in which Philippe Coutinho’s free-kick denied the north Londoners the lead going into half time, the second period brought forward familiar grumbles from the home crowd as Liverpool racked up three more goals.
Stat of the Game: Despite playing just 24 minutes, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka committed more fouls (4) than any other Premier League player this weekend.
Whereas the £4.2 million spent on Augsburg’s Ragnar Klavan gained a few appreciators, the Reds’ work at the other end versus a depleted Arsenal defence was just as eye-catching. Liverpool’s fluidity in attack tortured the Gunners’ youthful centre half duo, and there was one name deemed responsible for it all – Arsène Wenger.
Arsenal utlimately lacked defensive experience. You cannot score 3 goals at home and not win the game, let alone lose it. Despite a spirited fightback, at the end of the day Arsenal didn’t get the job done, not even close. The last couple of goals purely acted as a consolation. Arsenal fans blamed Wenger for the defeat and now hope he makes a response in the transfer market before it is too late. The Gunners are already 3 points of the pace of Liverpool and both Manchester clubs and with a game against Champions Leicester City up next, it doesn’t look great for the Gunners.
Wenger has blamed a lack of ‘defesnive experience’ for losing the game. Whose fault is that? …. himself. Arsenal fans are not happy.
Nothing new. Arsenal been drifting for some time under Wenger. Club lacks leadership. Nobody in club holds Wenger properly to account. #afc
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 14, 2016
Arsene Wenger to blame. Known about the Per injury for weeks and penny pinching has already cost us 3 points. That was so winnable.
— PB (@OliPriceBates) August 14, 2016
this is no ones fault but Wenger. whether you're an AKB/WOB, it's a fact. He's left us short again when he and 3 months to prepare us.
— Naż (@NabardWaissi) August 14, 2016
Nothing like an opening day loss and Wenger then saying in his presser "If the quality is there, then we will buy" to start the season.
— Jubz (@Jubzafc) August 14, 2016
The once revolutionary, Arsene Wenger, is now a yesterday's man. He has been for some time.
Outdated principles in a modern game.
— Adam Sweeney (@AdamWSweeney) August 14, 2016
Not the start the Frenchman had hoped for, who has more than just the club’s fans to win over. Key men Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil have just two years left on their contract, so this season could really be do or die for Arsenal in many aspects. Luckily, there’s still a couple more weeks of the transfer window left to reassure some heads.