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On Monday night we will be taking up the toughest challenge the fixture list can offer as we travel to Anfield to take on the champions. The last time we won there in the league we had Mikel Arteta partnering a monstrous Abou Diaby in the centre of our midfield as Podolski and Santi Cazorla opened their accounts for the Gunners. Worryingly however, that was eight years ago now and since then we have only picked up two points from twenty-one at a ground that was the scene of one of our most spectacular triumphs as a club.

It is the third season in four that we play them away in the opening month, although this year that is September rather than August. It has ended in defeat each time. So, the recent omens are not good. Certainly, there is no-one in the team, the management or the fanbase who is underestimating the difficulty of the task that will be facing us, and yet, might there be any causes for optimism?

Well, first it is fair to say that the fans at Anfield give their team a huge boost, so although their absence will not weaken the Liverpool team it will at least deny them an atmosphere they thrive in. Even more so if we manage to stop them having it all their own way. No one wants to see fans unable to safely attend football matches but whilst that situation holds it may be the best time to go to Anfield.

Further hope may be taken from our two recent victories against them. Of course I enjoyed them both thoroughly and I do not want to piss on anyone’s strawberries but it must be said that in one match we finished the chances they gifted us and then held on for dear life and in the other we actually drew. That being said, where there may be genuine hope is in the fact that Arteta has clear tactics for how he wants us to play against this lot and the last two performances have both had many good features. It might take something of perfect storm for us to go there and win, but stranger things have happened. Furthermore, an away draw would be a very good result and for the first time in years we do not look dead and buried before anyone kicks a ball in anger.

In the media Klopp has been happy to dole out the praise to his opposite number, saying

“He’s shown in a short period of time that he seems to be an exceptional football manager. The team he sets up now, the structure is absolutely great. You can see the balance between the defence and offence is really good. You can see a lot of things that are pretty helpful in football. They are well organised, still with creative freedom for the players. I have to say, since he’s there, he’s done a brilliant and impressive job.

“He’s changed, I think, the whole mood at the club. I don’t think anyone would have thought that at the end of the season they would win any competition, but he managed to do that by lifting the FA Cup and then the Community Shield.”

Sentiments we can all agree with and perhaps ones that raise the hopes just a little more than we might like? It is always advisable not to get too expectant before this match, as you never know whether they might not get two goals in the first half that effectively win them the game, which can be a bit deflating. But with Arteta at the helm and the club clearly on the up you just never know what might happen.

For his part Mikel Arteta is expectedly complimentary about Liverpool, saying

“I don’t see any complacency. They go to any ground, even when they are 2-0 up, 3-0 up and they’re still going the same way…This is an incredible credit to their coaching team, the culture that they have created and the spirit of that team…They just go for it every single minute of every game. And throughout the season, to do that for 10 months, that’s a massive compliment, I think for them.”

However, he also shows his usual focus on the collective behaviour of our players and our club, the repetition of which builds a true platform for success, noting

“So we want to be one of those teams, those basic things have to be implemented every day. And that goes through in training, you cannot expect that do that (during) the weekends and training a different way.

“So that’s the way you conduct yourself every day as well. I will say we will do our best to try to be much better than last year, then whatever they do, it is up to them.”

I am sure we will be much better than last year (how could we not?) but I also hope, against my better judgment, that we do something special. Ahhh, fandom. It’s the hope that kills you but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Teams

Liverpool will be without Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip, the former possibly leaving space for a first start for Thiago Alcantara, whose stats off the bench in his debut had the BBC a lot more gushing than the members of this bar who watched his performance. If only he were off the pace on Monday. Joe Gomez may or may not be deemed match fit after a return to training on Friday from a short-term injury. Apart from that Klopp has a full squad to choose from. So we will see Salah, Mane and Firmino and that pair of superb full-backs come at us with everything they have. Oh joy.

At the time of writing there appears to be no new team news out for us so I will have to take a couple of punts whilst acknowledging that I may be a bit out here.


Gabriel – Luiz – Tierney

Bellerin – Xhaka – Ceballos – AMN

Willian – Laca – Auba

If Tierney is fit to come back into the side I expect him to start in his left-CB/left-FB hybrid role. I think AMN will get the nod in front of him, based on his defensive soundness and Arteta’s form for playing him against big teams. IF Luiz is okay to start then he will go central and I think Gabriel will play on the right ahead of Holding as Mane’s pace would terrorise poor Rob. The rest picks itself really. I think Pepe will be on the bench for if we need a goal but Willian’s positional discipline and workrate will see him start. Laca to work his socks off and get subbed for Eddie as usual. Of course, if neither KT nor Luiz are fit I expect we will see Holding and Gabriel but if we line up with Kola as the third CB I think we are in for a long old night. Please, not that. Anything but that. I would even play a back four and stick Elneny as an extra man into midfield to sit in front of the defence rather than have Kola asked to play a role he simply is not suited to against Mo Salah of all people. We will have to see what Mikel does, but I am sure he has a plan. Preferably a cunning one.

The holics’ pound

Well, here we are not in the business of betting against our boys and there is some value on an Arsenal win, as the bookies are not expecting one! 1-0 and 2-1 are both available at between 16/1 and 20/1 depending on where you shop. If you fancy a punt on the 2-0 scoreline to match our last win (and our most famous one) then you are more optimistic than most but will be rewarded with 33s or better. However, in this Brave New World where all handballs by defenders are penalties and attacking players can handle the ball as long as it is kicked a couple more times before they slam it in the net, I am going to lump it on a continuation of the high scoring theme so far this year (and this fixture has a history too remember) and try an eye-of-the-needle through pass of a bet, going on 3-2 to the good guys. It is available at about 35s and has the added bonus of still being live even if we go 2-0 down! Although, of course, I hope that contingency is unnecessary.

We have the whole weekend to prepare for 8pm on Monday, a kickoff moved forwards 15 minutes to accommodate UK pubs closing an hour earlier due to tighter restrictions. If we get no points from the game it will not be unexpected. But what we have come to expect from our team is a performance. Arteta will want every one of them to go there with the mindset that we can win. As long as we have that attitude and can see the progress we are making (and avoid a drubbing) then I think all Gooners will be happy. In that sense, this is a bit of a free hit for us.

We have a tough run coming up and, as ever, I am hoping we kick it off in style. Who says we cannot make it three in a row against the best team in the country?

Have a good one Holics.


173 Drinks to “Anfield Looms… Free Hit or Hat Trick?”

  1. 1
    TTG says:

    Terrific preview GSD , you’ve summed the prospects game up extremely well but you may have missed some team news for the Bindippers. Both Allisson and Thiago are doubts and we do have some extra confidence after our recent performances against them , Given that we drew 5-5 in our last visit there we are on a roll and I believe we can get a 1-1 draw.
    Having said that the Premier League has to address not only the ridiculous handball definition but also the fact that we are seeing far too many penalties . That is why the flagrantly dishonest Jamie Vardy wins the Golden Boot ( interesting when we discussed ‘pure ‘ players for our Fantasy League team he wasn’t cited) . Football has become an absolute lottery and that is without fan pressure from the stands. It needs to be sorted.

    Back to tomorrow I think you have the team spot-on GSD. Pity no place for Saka who played so well in the Community Shield and it could just be Auba plays centrally but the overload to Auba worked so well at Wembley we will want to set it up again .
    A weekend of upsets might end in a spectacular way . COYG!

  2. 2
    bathgooner says:


  3. 3
    bathgooner says:

    tabsed it!

  4. 4
    bathgooner says:

    An excellent preview GSD. I agree with your team selection and the Plan B with a back-4 plus Elneny shielding – an excellent plan. I’ll be delighted with a 3-2 victory but as you suggest would be content with a good performance stretching the opposition and making them work for every chance. A draw would be a very acceptable outcome too.


  5. 5
    bt8 says:

    All angles covered in style, GSD. Continuing in that vein of optimism, I’ll go for 2-3 to the away side on an Auba brace, a Saka winner, and Leno to make us glad he’s our no. 1. COYRRNBG

  6. 6
    ksn says:

    A fine, comprehensive preview of our first watch from behind the sofa match of the season. I can’t think of any changes to your team, GSD. The only doubt is if Arteta would prefer Elneny to Ceballos to start with and bring on Ceballos later. His first concern would be to not concede an early goal and I think Elneny being more defensive minded that Ceballos would fit the requirement better. Pepe would come on to replace a tiring Willian or to get a goal if we are behind by the sixty minute mark. Definitely no Kola tomorrow please.

    Irrespective of the match result, how we stand up to the challenge tomorrow will be of interest to me and loss by a big margin would dent the self belief that Arteta has instilled in the team and also affect our claim to be one of the top four contenders.

    The mind games have started with Pool claiming that Thiago and Allison would not be available due to injuries. I think both will recover miraculously and play. Thiago is the key and it would be interesting to see how Arteta limits Thiago’s influence on the game. Not conceding during the first fifteen minutes, as we generally start poorly, would be crucial.

    Interesting and nail biting game ahead. COYG.

  7. 7
    bt8 says:

    Another 5-5 would also be jolly. Especially if we score the last five. 🙂

  8. 8
    Countryman100 says:

    Excellent flowing preview GSD which I really enjoyed. Naturally we are more optimistic after the two wins but they are still the cream of the crop in the PremierLeague. Given that we still haven’t strengthened midfield, it would be a real result if both Henderson and Thiago were missing. I would be very happy with a point.

  9. 9
    Countryman100 says:

    I don’t watch much Spanish football, but I thought I might dip in on Barca’s first game of the season. Against Unai Emery’s Villarreal, complete with Francis Coquelin, formerlyof this parish.

  10. 10
    bt8 says:

    Behemoths Adama Traore and Michail Antonio just collided in the Hammers-Wolves game, and Traore came out the better. Quite the player.

  11. 11
    Countryman100 says:

    Glad to see Emery having such a positive effect at the Yellow Submarine. Barca 2-0 up.

  12. 12
    bt8 says:

    David Moyes on the verge of successfully dialing in the three points and an unblemished record since his Covid positive diagnosis.

  13. 13
    ksn says:

    Glad we beat West Ham last week even though they appeared to have the better chances in that game. Today they are playing really well and putting Wolves to the sword 3-0). A little bit of luck goes a long way and I hope we get some of that tomorrow.

  14. 14
    ksn says:

    WHU 4 – Wolves 0. United totally outplayed Wolves. Tough league.

  15. 15
    TTG says:

    The West Ham result suggests lasts week’s win might be more of an achievement than we surmised at the time. And we’ve also beaten Leicester away ! I’m not as big a fan of Wolves as some . Good day for Foxes though !

  16. 16
    Countryman100 says:

    I seriously thought that, Liverpool and City apart, Wolves were the best team I saw live in the last two seasons until lockdown. They just have not got going since. They have big money behind them and play the super agent game.

  17. 17
    Countryman100 says:

    Update on Barca Villarreal – Barca 4-0 up with half an hour to go. Emery working his magic. Villarreal four points from three games.

  18. 18
    Trev says:

    Really good preview, GSD, and personally I like the chatty, informal style 👍🏻👍🏻

    I make your team spot on and like TTG, I feel a bit sorry for Saka missing out on a starting place. I do agree he will opt for AMN who has that extra experience, although a hard working Tierney – Saka pairing against the overlapping Alexander-Arnold would not be the worst thing. Just to chuck one in the mix, how about Tierney-AMN-Saka down the left hand side to pen Arnold back a bit and release Aubameyang through the middle. If van Dyke has a weakness, apart from the old bamboo, it is against pace coming straight at him, or even past him !

    Who knows ? Not I, for sure, but it is nice to anticipate a game like this with a modicum of excitement rather than dread.

    If we score first, the 3-2 win might just be on the cards – otherwise I would plump for a scoring draw. As usual with us particularly, it could all depend on the ref on the pitch and his mates on the Vagaries And Ridiculousness panel.

  19. 19
    Countryman100 says:


    Vagaries And Ridiculous Panel


  20. 20
    Trev says:

    Oi Countryman !

    That was me, not TTG !

  21. 21
    Goonersince54 says:

    A good summation of our task at a silent Anfield tomorrow GSD.
    As for your team selection, my only quibble would be re Gabriel.
    Given he was bought precisely because we didn’t have a natural left footed central defender, it defeats the purpose to then play him on the right side of defence.
    So i think he will line up centrally alongside Tierney, with Luiz playing on the right.
    Down the years since our historic victory to win the Title there in 1989,it seems we have been punished with the odd exception, unremittingly since, for having the temerity to do so.
    And not just defeats, but humiliations, gleefully lapped up by the gutter press and television pundits alike.
    So has Mikel done enough to instil the confident mindset needed, to prevent the current crop of players from not approaching the game from a negative, beaten before kick off viewpoint, which seems to have prevailed all too often when we visit Anfield.
    Well like anything in Life worth having, you’ve got to earn it first, so 120% commitment form the first whistle to the last, is the first and most important non negotiable, and from that all else follows.
    So win/lose or draw that’s all we as supporters, can ask for.
    Pool in the past 2 seasons have been stellar, and look like continuing on this season as well, technically they are well ahead of us, and in recent seasons have left us for dead in fighting spirit and will to win.
    Whilst we cannot yet match them in the first, i will be mortally disappointed if under Mikel, we cannot match them in the 2nd and 3rd on Monday night.

  22. 22
    bt8 says:

    Re: Trev @18: The identities of said panel:

    Referee: Craig Pawson. Assistants: Lee Betts, Richard West. Fourth official: Anthony Taylor. VAR: Andre Marriner. Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes.

    Marriner is the one to watch out for.

  23. 23
    Osakamatt says:

    Great preview GSD, very sensible
    team choice too. I’ll join the
    general trend in making one
    change – I think MA will stick
    with Rob and play Rob, Luiz, KT
    along the back.

  24. 24
    Osakamatt says:

    @22 that is a scarily incompetent
    group bt8.
    We will just have to hope that their
    incompetence goes our way.
    Actually when I look at the new
    handball rule all the penalty decisions
    this weekend were correct except
    the one not given against Calvert-lewin.
    An absurd rule where the punishment
    is far outweighing the crime.

  25. 25
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Fabulous preview GSD. I guess your team selection is the likeliest. Only question is if Gabriel is predominantly left footed will he enjoy playing on the right?

    I think a 2-0 counter-attacking masterclass will be perfect! Winning and not conceding a goal away against the champions.

    On an entirely different topic, after Suarez started his Atletico career with some verve his fellow striker Diego Costa couldn’t hide his admiration:

    Strike partner Diego Costa, added: “He is very good, one of us can do the fighting and the other can do the biting.”

  26. 26
    BtM says:

    While no member of the Baldrick family has ever had a cunning plan, GSD, the Arteta family appears to be replete with them and I anticipate Mikel will be cooking up more than a fricasseed rat ahead of tonight’s game. I like the sound of that 2-3 away win 🙂

    Some will recall that we were equally unfancied last season at this stage and were very unlucky not to go 2-0 up when Auba lobbed narrowly past after an Allisson screw up and then Pepe missed the opportunity to write his name all over the sky in lights when he fluffed the opportunity to run in for a one-on-one with their keeper. To come away with anything tonight the Arsenal will need to capitalise on every opportunity that comes our way.

    And, per Clive, “120% effort from the first whistle” and then for 90+ minutes will be essential.

    I think managing Sane will be as important to the outcome as limiting Alexander Arnold’s right side meanderings. If Mikel goes with a back three, the right sided defender will need to be fleet of foot (sorry, Rob, that rules you out).

    Enjoy, Holics.

  27. 27
    BtM says:

    A glimpse of John Jules playing in Doncaster’s weekend win.

  28. 28
    Osakamatt says:

    Was that him missing one at the
    end there BtM?
    Anyway, thanks for the clip.

  29. 29
    Osakamatt says:

    the back three for the league win
    in July was Rob, Luiz, KT.
    Mane was quite cheaty in that
    game as I recall, a sly kick out
    at Rob

  30. 30
    Countryman100 says:

    Interesting but I think defendable view on Twitter

  31. 31
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Nice preview. I’m optimistic but not overly confident and think a draw would be a very decent outcome. However, I still have a feeling that we’ll win 2-1.
    With no fans allowed at football in England at the moment, is there any record of the increase in missing hub caps around Liverpool this year?

  32. 32
    bathgooner says:

    A very defensible view, C100 @30. Can we exploit that? We need to be solid defensively and to take an early chance to add to their pressure. They will be lifted by Shitteh’s thumping yesterday and determined to gain revenge for the Charity Shield. The visit of the Arsenal to Annie’s Field has always reminded them of 26 May 1989 and lifted their resolve but for the first time in ages we have a team with the ability and psychology to go toe to toe with them. A courageous and determined performance from our boys is all I ask. Anything else is pure bonus.

  33. 33
    BtM says:

    @28 He’s playing number 19 in what looks to be more of a ’10’ role than main striker. He’s in the mix every time when Doncaster attack and it’s his cross from the left that assists their fourth goal. Interesting to see his body language with his team mates. Looks like he fits right in there. Hopefully it’ll be an excellent loan assignment for him. It’s rare to see many clips of our loanees. I enjoyed this one.

  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    Excellent preview, GSD. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
    It is going to be a testing game. Klopp might accept one defeat, but not two. His team will know that. We are going to have to scrap every second of every minute. A draw or better would be a triumph.

  35. 35
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers all for the kind words, much obliged.

  36. 36
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    When dealing with Mane it looks like we will be choosing between one of two blokes who are right footed but slow and one bloke who is left footed but quick.

    Personally I would say being quick is a more useful attribute than being right footed when facing Mane. Especially given he is right footed himself and I would rather him be shown outside. A lefty in defence will be going onto their strong foot if Mane decides to cut in.

    Holding covering Mane in the channel is not a good call in my opinion. And Luiz should always be the central player. I don’t want him in the channels either.

    Anyway, those appear to be the options so we will see what Arteta does…

  37. 37
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers for the link BTM. He did look very much at home.

  38. 38
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Countryman @30.

    I certainly hope it is both interesting and defensible to see this match as a free hit that will not be season defining for us.

    I’ve written an entire preview along those lines… 😅

  39. 39
    bathgooner says:

    Heh, GSD @38!

  40. 40
    Steve-o says:

    Nice preview, GSD!

    I think you hit the spot with the line up, all bar one, which sees Elneny come in for Ceballos.

    Ceballos might be one of the “let’s not throw him in against the big teams away” players this season, I feel. That said, I think this really applies if Xhaka is the partner in the centre. Say if that fella from Lyon comes in, Ceballos won’t be the one sacrificed on a stage like this.

    Up the arse.

  41. 41
    Pangloss says:

    Great preview, dino, and I apologise for not saying so sooner. Re yours @38, I thought I’d read something along those lines somewhere.

    I’ve just watched a rather odd clip on the BBC website, apparently from Football Focus where Martin Keown comes up with an analogy for the way Klopp sets up Liverpool and expresses some confidence that Arteta can come up with an appropriate counter-setup. Naturally, it the beeb after all, more time is spent poking fun at the analogy than seriously considering it, but I think there might have been something in it.

    Finally, as a long-time Everton player, I wouldn’t think Mikel needs much encouragement to plot a Liverpool defeat – never mind that he’s now managing their opponents and is a former employee of the team that most would think are likeliest to run them close for the league title.


  42. 42
    Trev says:

    Pangloss, I’m amazed,

    I had no idea you played for Everton !

  43. 43
    Trev says:

    GSD @38,

    He doesn’t read it you know. Still thinks I’m TTG too 🙄

  44. 44
    Countryman100 says:

    Trev and GSD. Stop ganging up on me. It’s wicked to mock the afflicted (as Frankie Howard used to say). 😁

  45. 45
    TTG says:

    A few weeks ago , a friend of mine , a vicar , asked if I would explain how the Gift Aid system works from a tax point of view to his parishioners at their Annual meeting . I , of course agreed and now find the meeting is at 7.30 pm tonight ! It will be a very short talk! The vicar himself is a Fulham fan so he’s being punished for booking me too .
    Looks like I might miss our first two goals 😃

  46. 46
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bellerin Holding Luiz Tierney
    Xhaka Elneny AMN
    Willian Laca Auba

  47. 47
    North Bank Ned says:

    or perhaps lining up:

    Holding Luiz Tierney
    Bellerin Xhaka Elneny AMN
    Willian Laca Auba

    Bench: Rúnarsson, Gabriel, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Saka, Pepe, Nketiah

  48. 48
    North Bank Ned says:

    Kola clearly being rested with an eye to Thursday 🙂

  49. 49
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I imagine it will be your second setup Ned.
    Elneny is a solid choice, he shouldn’t do anything rash.
    Good luck to Rob. Hector will have to give him some support in the channels. If I were Pool I’d be attacking that side all day.


  50. 50
    Countryman100 says:

    In person meeting or Zoom TTG?

  51. 51
    BtM says:

    @49 they will be, GSD.

  52. 52
    bathgooner says:


  53. 53
    ATG says:

    Come on Arsenal!

  54. 54
    Countryman100 says:

    Surely that’s a red card for Mane?

  55. 55
    ATG says:

    Cheat Mane! Tapping his shoulder ha ha what a plonker

  56. 56
    bathgooner says:


  57. 57
    BtM says:

    Fore arm smash by Mane. Xhaka would’ve been off for that.

  58. 58
    ksn says:

    We are defending too deep and so far we haven’t managed any meaningful possession.

  59. 59
    BtM says:

    Leno needed to take control there. Good work by Luiz.

  60. 60
    BtM says:

    Great save, Leno

  61. 61
    bathgooner says:

    Good stop Leno

  62. 62
    ksn says:

    Terrific save by Leno!!

  63. 63
    ksn says:

    Going to be a very long evening. Difficult to watch.

  64. 64
    BtM says:

    Leno used his Pitching Wedge there. Sand was needed 🙂

  65. 65
    BtM says:

    Wouldn’t you have taken 0-0 after 20 mins before kick off, ksn? No pictures on the scorecard.

  66. 66
    scruzgooner says:

    laca getting in amongst the pigeons.

  67. 67
    scruzgooner says:

    off the bar!

  68. 68
    BtM says:

    Lovely clearance onto the bar there, Hector. Good man 🙂

  69. 69
    ksn says:

    Another very close call. The cross bar saved us.

  70. 70
    BtM says:

    Willian’s first touch. 23 minutes in!

  71. 71
    ksn says:

    Very happy it is still 0-0, BtM but I am worried that we are only concentrating on defending.
    Got into trouble trying to play out from the back.
    We still haven’t had a shot, they had four?

  72. 72
    bathgooner says:

    I think that’s a real barometer moment for this ref. How many unpunished foul throws do we see regularly these days?

    Hey hey!

    Get in!

  73. 73
    scruzgooner says:

    i only just turnede on after about 20. whom did mane smash? did he get yellow?

    rob is in, mo’neny is in, that’s both a surprise. i thought you’d nailed on your teamsheet, dino.

    get in!!

  74. 74
    BtM says:

    Would you have taken 1-0 after 25 mins, ksn? Or preferred 90% possession and be one behind?

  75. 75
    Steve-o says:

    Not a lot of diagonals…..GOAAAAAAAL

  76. 76
    ksn says:

    Fortune favors the brave and the good guys.

  77. 77
    bathgooner says:


  78. 78
    Steve-o says:

    A bit of luck 3 ways for that goal. We’ll take it!

  79. 79
    scruzgooner says:

    why we do that?

  80. 80
    BtM says:

    Bummer. Xhaka and Luiz in a tangle there.

  81. 81
    ksn says:

    They have equalized already, BtM.
    Tierney’s mistake?

  82. 82
    scruzgooner says:

    leno, you gotta punch that puppy OUT if you’re not going to catch it!

  83. 83
    Steve-o says:

    Tough. Surprised Salah got the better of Kieran.

  84. 84
    BtM says:

    Ball should never have gotten to Salah, ksn. Screw up by Xhaka and Luiz. Leno might have done better. Tierney too.

  85. 85
    scruzgooner says:

    it was all ends up. looked like we stopped play when the linesman put uyp his flag. just for a couple beats, but they didn’t stop.

  86. 86
    scruzgooner says:

    pass the ball, xhaka. don’t run into blind alleys.

  87. 87
    bathgooner says:


    But why that awful music?

  88. 88
    scruzgooner says:

    no one defended that well.

  89. 89
    BtM says:

    Bellerin staying close to Mane. Willian should have covered back on Robertson.

    3-2 for us still looking good though 🙂

  90. 90
    Countryman100 says:

    Cheap goal. Should Gabriel be on ?

  91. 91
    scruzgooner says:

    get solid, arsenal. stop them, don’t worry about scoring right now. push and push, and mark your man.

  92. 92
    Steve-o says:

    What @89 said, hey BtM

  93. 93
    BtM says:

    Conundrum – Willian isn’t in the game. He’s not pressing and we have no supply from midfield.

  94. 94
    BtM says:

    Can’t give it away like that, Rob.

  95. 95
    scruzgooner says:

    btm at least he did well to recover.

    but, still, DON’T do that.

  96. 96
    BtM says:

    Ceballos will come on the second half, maybe at the expense of Willian or Laca. I think Saka for Ainsley is a possible too.

  97. 97
    scruzgooner says:

    laca working his socks off.

  98. 98
    scruzgooner says:

    i’d like to see willian off, saka on, put amn in midfield and run saka down the left in front; laca middle, pea on the right.

  99. 99
    ksn says:

    I worry about the ease with which they attack our goal. We have a problem in getting or keeping the ball. Maybe the way Arteta has set them up to defend, defend…

  100. 100
    Countryman100 says:

    Great chance but poor touch from Ainsley

  101. 101
    scruzgooner says:

    close, amn!

  102. 102
    BtM says:

    Willian trying to make me look foolish. Easy task 🙂

  103. 103
    scruzgooner says:

    well played out, rob.

  104. 104
    ksn says:

    Saka will definitely get involved more and maybe Pepe also as compared to Willian who has gone absent.

  105. 105
    bathgooner says:

    Why two added minutes?

  106. 106
    scruzgooner says:

    three goals?

  107. 107
    BtM says:

    Disappointing we’re going in one down. All to play for in the second half. If Willian stays on he has to drop back into midfield and help win the ball, bring it forward. He’s wasted standing out on the wing.

  108. 108
    Cynic says:

    Martinez would have caught that Salah shot. Fly paper gloves that bloke had.

  109. 109
    bathgooner says:

    scruz @106, you don’t add time for a restart from a goal unless there’s been an inordinate delay due to VAR or a long elebration.

  110. 110
    BtM says:

    Maybe. Did you see the disallowed goal he dropped at the foot of the Fulham striker earlier tonight? However, the thought did cross my mind, but he’s a Villa player now so academic.

  111. 111
    Countryman100 says:

    Spot on BtM

  112. 112
    bathgooner says:

    Leno was not at fault for either goal. On the first, it was all he could do to get a palm to that shot. That was the only direction the ball would go if it wasn’t going to continue goalwards. Why was Mane standing there unchallenged?

  113. 113
    Countryman100 says:

    He should have been in the dressing room Bath

  114. 114
    Cynic says:

    I didn’t soil my tv with Fulham, no. I simply think he was a more solid keeper in every sense, including physically. Touch of the chocolate wrists about Leno, but he’s built like a twiglet. Horrible mixed food metaphors (?) but never mind.

  115. 115
    bathgooner says:

    Hang on in there Gunners! Remember how Leeds kept going and scored three against this shower.

  116. 116
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ksn. I don’t think they have been sent out to defend necessarily. But Pool are making us defend with their attacking quality.

    Midfield is our problem. They can’t turn with the ball.

  117. 117
    BtM says:

    Can’t give the most dangerous attacker in the League a free run in like that. Where were you, Hector/Rob?

  118. 118
    bathgooner says:

    Another dirty scouse tink targets Tierney. Co-incidence?

  119. 119
    BtM says:

    How can you express interest in Emi and not switch on when he plays? Anyway, history.

    Yes, Bath @115

  120. 120
    BtM says:

    Xhaka would have been off for that one too, Bath.

  121. 121
    BtM says:

    Can’t do that, Rob

  122. 122
    BtM says:

    Off-side, Laca – but you have to net those.

  123. 123
    Countryman100 says:

    Well played Rob

  124. 124
    BtM says:

    For Xhaka? Wow, that’s an Arteta first.

  125. 125
    Countryman100 says:

    Xhaka off for Dani. Not Elneny. Interesting

  126. 126
    bathgooner says:

    Good sub.

  127. 127
    BtM says:

    Twi in a row, Laca! 🙁

  128. 128
    bathgooner says:

    Need to bury that LACA!

  129. 129
    Countryman100 says:

    Got to score Laca. Great ball Dani

  130. 130
    BtM says:

    Two rather different decisions there. Is the ref a scouser?

  131. 131
    BtM says:

    Unnecessary pressure on Rob with those play in our box. He’s not comfortable tonight.

  132. 132
    BtM says:

    Mane would have netted the two Laca missed.

  133. 133
    BtM says:

    Silly, Dani.

  134. 134
    BtM says:

    Pepe didn’t have the heart there.Ralphi Brand would have buried that ball and the keeper, eh Bath?

  135. 135
    BtM says:

    Ceballos making a difference

  136. 136
    BtM says:

    Shit corner, Pepe.

  137. 137
    BtM says:

    Clogger Milner as Liverpool try to hold on. They don’t know about GSD’s Holic pound prediction on which I have wagered the entire BtM estate 🙂

  138. 138
    BtM says:

    This s much better than drinking in a bar with others. Only buying drinks for myself! My forte!

  139. 139
    BtM says:

    Where’s cba when you need him? (RIP, old timer)

  140. 140
    BtM says:

    Tiredness creeping in. Playing out from the back tonight hasn’t been best.

  141. 141
    BtM says:

    Ex Wolves Tosser. Worse miss than Laca’s

  142. 142
    BtM says:

    Another shit Pepe corner

  143. 143
    bathgooner says:

    It can still be upgraded but I do like the Elneny-Ceballos combo.

  144. 144
    bathgooner says:


  145. 145
    BtM says:

    Pity. Poor goal to lose that one.

  146. 146
    Osakamatt says:


  147. 147
    BtM says:

    I said before the game we’d need to be clinical and take every chance if we wanted to come away with points. We didn’t.

  148. 148
    BtM says:

    Another good chance there. We’ll beat them in London. Good night, BtM. Good night, mate.

  149. 149
    Osakamatt says:

    sorry, a general bastard that
    and I didn’t mean anyone’s post

  150. 150
    Countryman100 says:

    Game turned on two things. Mane getting away with a clear red and Laca missing a great chance. Not the end of the world.

  151. 151
    bathgooner says:

    A reasonable performance against a top team playing realy well. Progress but also a demonstration of where improvement is still required.

    Marks out of ten:

    Leno 7

    Holding 6.5
    Luiz 7
    Tierney 7

    Bellerin. 6.5
    Elneny 8
    Xhaka 6 (Ceballos 8)
    Maitland-Niles. 7.5

    Willian 6 (Pepe. 4)
    Lacazette 7. (Nketiah 6.5)
    Aubameyang 6

  152. 152
    Countryman100 says:

    Now let’s beat them in the Cup and duff up Sheffield United at the weekend. Oh and buy a midfielder or two.

  153. 153
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I am joining Matt with a general bastard

  154. 154
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Some Sky twat asks Roy Keane what he particularly liked about Liverpool’s performance.
    GSD turns off the tv.

  155. 155
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Baff. Great scores. I’d not change much and nothing by more than 0.5. Nicely played.

  156. 156
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    There is no one watching that who can’t see we need to buy in midfield. Although Dani made a big difference with his guile and energy.

    Errr, I won’t surprise anyone by saying that right now I’d play Elneny and Dani. Xhaka can sit on the bench. Or a seat in the stands. Or one on the bus. The lovely bus. It’s nice there.

  157. 157
    Osakamatt says:

    on the positive side I suppose
    it was better than last season
    in some ways as this time I am
    disappointed we didn’t nick a

  158. 158
    North Bank Ned says:

    That was a reality check on how far we still have to go. Nowhere near as far as last season but still aways. 2-1 might have flattered us, but 3-1 flattered them. Nonetheless, Klopp has a team that will take some stopping this season. They are technically good individually and collectively, and so good at getting the ball quickly to a player in space and in getting someone out wide in space and going forward in the opponent’s third. The positives for us are that we made a game of it though out. All three goals conceded should have been better defended however, and we couldn’t finish when we did have the chance to level things up.

  159. 159
    bathgooner says:

    Matt @157, spot on.

  160. 160
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@157: We could even have landed the ‘holics pound with your 3-2…

  161. 161
    bt8 says:

    Only seen the last 35 minutes so far but it looks like we escaped with our dignity intact. On to bigger and better.

  162. 162
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Sky and BBC both bottling it completely with their cowardly failure to mention the elbow Mane shoved in KT’s face in the second minute. That is a red card all day. No way VAR would overrule it if Craig Pawson had the inclination to make calls judged on the laws of football. Why did VAR not suggest he have a look?

    Why do our UK coverage providers seem to think it was not worth mentioning?

    Spineless, the lot of them.

  163. 163
    Goonersince54 says:

    Remarkably generous player ratings @151 Bath
    I didn’t have a single player over 5.
    Completely outplayed by a totally dominant Pool, who if they had had their shooting boots on should have scored 6.
    I cannot in all honesty find a single crumb of comfort from the game tonight.
    I might have been a tad ambitious calling us a top 8 side .

  164. 164
    Cynic says:

    At the risk of being accused of having an agenda, just for a change, I thought Leno was lees than great on the third goal as well. He should have been more central, the defenders were positioned near post to his left covering that side of the goal.
    Once he saw Luiz’s header lacked the power to get out of the box, two steps to his right and he’s much better positioned. The replay from behind the striker at about 18 seconds here shows what I mean. Probably harsh but he’d have given himself half a chance with two steps.

    video to show cynic’s point [eds.]

    He still may not have saved it, but still.. and I think we look far dodgier at the back this season in general.

  165. 165
    Cynic says:

    Shit sorry someone fix that?
    That’s why embeds are a bad feature folks…

  166. 166
    Cynic says:

    If player ratings are a thing then not entirely serious ones follow. Well some of them aren’t all that serious.

    Leno 3
    Bellerin 3 (Minus a point for a foul throw, which is schoolboy stuff. If he did more than one, knock another point off. Plus knock one off for his ‘tache.)
    Tierney 3 (Couldn’t even get Mane sent off, needs to learn to scream and writhe a bit more 😉 )
    Holding 4
    Luiz 4
    Xhaka 3
    Elneny 4
    Maitland-Niles 4 (One point off for sounding like a copper in a Fu Manchu novel)
    Willian 2
    Lacazette 3 (Scores that highly for scoring, although that pathetic miss should get him on minus points.
    Aubameyang 4 (two of those given for signing the contract)

    Nketiah 2
    Pepe 2
    Ceballos 5 (Should have started. Always should)

  167. 167
    bathgooner says:

    Clive @163, they were. They were done on the final whistle while I was still relieved that we hadn’t been totally embarrassed. They would be moderated by the benefit of perspective to:



    4 (7)

    3 (1)
    4 (4)

  168. 168
    TTG says:

    Time to keep the faith.Liverpool are an exceptional side .
    We’ve made mistakes this season.Leno is nowhere near as solid as Martinez , we got the team selection wrong today but at Anfield Liverpool do that to anybody. If they played Leeds again they would mash them, they were not match tight on the first day. They murdered Chelsea and although I thought we were dull and have got five upgrades needed at least we woukd look a whole lot better with a good midfield. Look at the difference when Ceballos replaced Xhaka.
    Arteta is a fine coach but he needs two years before we can compete properly with Liverpool

  169. 169
    bathgooner says:

    Wise words indeed, TTG. Absolutely correct.

  170. 170
    Cynic says:

    If you Gooner subscribers are unimpressed with the look of the new one, don’t blame me. I got shitcanned after fifteen years (five as designer/layouts) and have had zero involvement with it at all.

    If you think it’s fabby, keep it to yourself please. I prefer not to know. 🙂

  171. 171
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG is right @168. We got beaten by one of the best sides in the world that may be close to its zenith. We have a ways to go to compete on the same level, but we know that. We also know it will take several transfer windows to get there. Klopp’s team wasn’t built overnight either. Glass half full it may be, but we are in better shape to make the journey than anytime in at least four or five seasons.

  172. 172
    BtM says:

    @171 Two thumbs up, Ned.

  173. 173
    scruzgooner says: