Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat of Liverpool at the Emirates stadium didn’t turn out to be the new dawn Jurgen Klopp may have been expecting.
Phil McNulty certainly feels that a handful of players hardly covered themselves in glory with their performances in North London, singling out both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah.
“Liverpool are a shadow the team that chased four trophies last season and they have problems in all parts of the pitch,” the chief football writer wrote for BBC Sport.
“Trent Alexander-Arnold was given a nightmare by Gabriel Martinelli before he went off injured at half-time, while Virgil van Dijk’s poor form continued.
“There was also the rare sight of Mohamed Salah being substituted – but he was so poor, so anonymous, that he could not have uttered a word of complaint to manager Jurgen Klopp.”
Criticism of the No.66 may be a little harsh in part, especially for the opening goal from the Gunners as the right-back was left exposed by a lack of support from his teammates when defending against a quick transition from the hosts.
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That’s not to say that the Academy graduate enjoyed a game to remember before his early injury-enforced substitution.
What now for the right-back spot?
Calvin Ramsay will have to view the 24-year-old’s potentially prolonged absence from the first-team as an opportunity should a scan on his twisted ankle return some uncomfortable news for us.
Joe Gomez will likely slot in first before the young Scot is trusted to fill in for his fellow fullback.
Ultimately, of course, there’s no ignoring the fact that an Alexander-Arnold-less Liverpool would be a big blow for Klopp’s men, regardless of ongoing critique over his form at a domestic level.