It is never easy picking a Man of the Match following a defeat. Liverpool went down 2-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday in what was billed as a top of the table clash. The result shows that Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers still have a lot of work to do if we are to maintain a push for a top four finish.
As Rodgers pointed out after the game, Arsenal were simply the better team on the day. Many Liverpool players did not come out and play on Saturday if you compare them to our victory over West Brom the match before. The biggest disappointment would have been our midfield of Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson. Against West Brom all three of them had great games but on Saturday they seemed off the pace and allowed the Arsenal side to stitch together their quick short passes which undid us.
Our defensive setup took a hit when Glen Johnson was ruled out just before kickoff with pain on his face and jaw which meant Jon Flanagan had to come in at right back.
Both of Arsenal’s goals could have been prevented if we defended better. For the first goal, Cissokho should have done much better in stopping the cross from coming into the box in the first place and for their second, Ramsey should have been shut down much quicker and not given the space and time to get his shot off.
But, if we are to pick a Man of the Match from Liverpool, I would give it to Mamadou Sakho. It was not his best game for the Reds but compared to the other players on the field, he may just had edged them out.
The French defender played at centre back in the first half and was pushed out to left back in the second and still managed to hold his own in defense. Sakho managed 79 touches in the game, won 85.7% of his duels, won 100% of his aerial duels, made 4 interceptions and had an 89.8% pass accuracy from 49 passes (Stats from Liverpoolfc.com)
Sturridge and Suarez did not have the best of games too but you could see in glimpses their brilliance. Although they have been banging in the goals, they still need to continue working on their partnership. There was a moment in the second half that Suarez went for goal instead of passing to Sturridge who could have tapped it into the goal. Both strikers were very frustrated as Suarez missed and Sturridge wanted the pass. It goes to show how hungry both strikers are and their desire to want to score all the time.