Manchester United icon Gary Neville was shocked by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defending as Liverpool conceded their second goal in the primary half against Arsenal. Bukayo Saka tapped home on the far post because the England full-back was certainly one of two players called out by the pundit.
Each Alexander-Arnold and playmaker Thiago were singled out for his or her roles as Gabriel Martinelli broke from the half-way line to help Saka. “They’ve been struggling for the last 20 minutes of this match, Arsenal, but someway within the fifth of injury time at the tip of the primary half they get a counter-attack,” Neville said on Sky Sports commentary of the sport.
“It’s not ok from Thiago, I praised him throughout the first-half, I don’t know what Trent Alexander-Arnold’s doing here though I actually have to say, once he goes across there he leaves [Kostas] Tsimikas isolated on his own.
“Liverpool’s right-back goes across and that’s not ok. He had to remain in the center, [Jordan] Henderson was showing him down that line and Saka is stretching for his life. [Mikel] Arteta who would’ve been wanting his side to go in level can get them in 2-1 up now.”
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Martinelli gave the Gunners the lead contained in the first minute as he finished past Alisson after being played in by Martin Odegaard. Liverpool equalised through Darwin Nunez as Luis Diaz latched onto an Alexander-Arnold long ball before crossing for the Uruguayan to attain.
Arsenal icon Paul Merson agreed with Neville that Alexander-Arnold was at fault for Mikel Arteta’s side’s second nevertheless. “[Liverpool] Higher team first-half, bang unlucky,” Merson told Sky Sports. “But I still think Thiago’s got to make the foul, three-v-three, I believe Trent Alexander-Arnold’s in position, wait, wait, and he takes a likelihood, guesses what Martinelli’s going to do and you may’t guess at this level of football.
“It’s perfect positioning and Trent’s going to chop out the pass in the center but takes a likelihood. Great play by Martinelli but that’s made his mind up, because Trent Alexander’s made that run to go and cut him, he’s got to in the reduction of, great goal by Saka.”
Reds icon Jamie Carragher described Saka’s goal as a “shambles” from Liverpool’s perspective. “Shocking that,” Carragher tweeted. “1 minute to go until half time. One other defensive shambles. #ARSLIV”
Alexander-Arnold was substituted off at half-time by Jurgen Klopp for Joe Gomez, after he was left nursing an ankle injury he picked up when defending a cross from Martinelli.