WHEN Unai Emery began his Well-known 4 collectively for the primary time, he was taking the largest danger of his time at Arsenal to date.
Deciding on Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang AND Alexandre Lacazette all in the identical aspect was an actual declaration of intent.
It was a workforce sheet which screamed out to unbeaten Liverpool ‘you’d higher be prepared as a result of we’re coming for you with all weapons blazing’.
However it was additionally a line-up which left them dangerously uncovered to Liverpool on the counter-attack.
But anxious Arsenal supporters needn’t have frightened, as a result of Granit Xhaka turned within the efficiency of his profession to assist keep his workforce’s lengthy unbeaten run going.
The Swiss midfielder has lengthy been the person the followers like to hate for his tendency to squander possession and to concede free-kicks in harmful areas.
However alongside new Emirates idol Lucas Torreira, Xhaka was just about faultless in the course of the park as he stored Liverpool at arms’ size for a lot of this north London thriller.
One penalty-area sort out to halt Mo Salah in full movement was definitely worth the admission worth alone.
No marvel Emery celebrated the problem as if his workforce had simply scored. That’s how a lot it meant to him.
However it wasn’t simply Xhaka’s defensive excellence which caught the attention.
His calm authority on the ball was equally spectacular whereas his passing statistics have been additionally high notch.
It was his beautifully-weighted by way of ball which was flicked on by Ozil for Lacazette to flash a shot proper throughout the face of the Liverpool objective.
Having been requested to function as an emergency left-back in current weeks, Xhaka was clearly relishing the chance to return the center of the midfield battle.
His partnership with Emirates idol Torreira was proving to be an actual conundrum for Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool boss couldn’t perceive how the towering Fabinho was being bodily bullied by the tiny Uruguayan pitbull.
Georginio Wijnaldum was discovering the going simply as robust for the guests as they struggled to discover a manner by way of to the Arsenal back-four.
In the long run, they needed to go excessive, bypassing the midfield with one Andrew Roberton ball excessive into the channel for Sadio Mane.
Not for the primary time within the match, Bernd Leno didn’t take care of the cross and this time he was left undone by James Milner’s emphatic 62nd minute end.
However there’s a actual resilience about Arsenal lately and so they merely refused to lie down and settle for their destiny.
Lacazette’s 83rd-minute equaliser was not more than they deserved for Emery’s boldness on sending on three attacking subs and throwing the kitchen sink on the Premier League leaders.
And when Liverpool threatened to grab a late winner proper on the loss of life, it was Xhaka who stepped as much as clear the hazard.