‘Chaos’, ‘Nuts’ – Declan Rice opens up on what it’s like to face Liverpool at Anfield

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Declan Rice has spoken about his experience of playing against Liverpool at Anfield when he visited with Arsenal in the 1-1 draw just before Christmas.

The fixture came at a time when the teams were first and second in the table, and it was a suitably frenetic clash for the then top two in the Premier League.

The England midfielder revisited that match in a piece for The Athletic, recalling how much he enjoyed playing in such a frantic encounter.

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Rice said of Liverpool: “The way they play, the football they play, it’s like a chaos game that they create. Balls in behind from Trent Alexander-Arnold constantly, picking up the second balls, re-delivering, second phase, third phase, fourth phase – they’re just relentless at it. At Anfield, especially the Kop end, goals get sucked in, but that game I absolutely loved.”

Reflecting on being the sole Arsenal player left defending a four-man counterattack which ended with Trent smashing the ball off the crossbar, the former West Ham captain quipped: “Oh, mate. It was crazy. Nuts!”

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Liverpool have endured a horrendous April which has effectively ended their hopes of winning the Premier League in Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge, but Rice’s recollection of the Arsenal game midway through the campaign shines a light on just how captivating the Reds were when at their best.

The 25-year-old is no stranger to the big occasion, having played in European finals at club and international level, been involved in a title race and represented his country at the World Cup, and he’d already lined out at Anfield five times in his West Ham days before the Gunners visited last Christmas.

Therefore, for him to use words such as ‘chaos’, ‘crazy’ and ‘nuts’ about his most recent visit to our iconic home illustrates how it can rattle even elite, experienced footballers.

Recent visitors to Liverpool’s stadium have enjoyed an easy ride of it, with Atalanta and Crystal Palace both taking advantage of our April slump to win in L4, but let’s hope that Klopp’s team can give him two more Anfield victories to see out his marvellous reign.

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