Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round, with the Gunners struggling to convert their chances. Mikel Arteta’s side, who ended 2023 with two consecutive Premier League losses, began the match brightly but failed to capitalize on their opportunities. Martin Odegaard, Reiss Nelson, and Kai Havertz all missed good chances, while Liverpool hit the woodwork through Trent Alexander-Arnold. The first half ended level, with both teams struggling in front of goal. In the second half, Jakub Kiwior scored an own goal in the 80th minute, followed by Luis Diaz’s injury-time strike in the 95th minute, sealing Liverpool’s victory. The defeat marked Arsenal’s third consecutive loss in all competitions and their second exit from the FA Cup third round in the last three seasons. The pressure is growing on Arteta to find a solution to the team’s goal-scoring struggles. Liverpool, on the other hand, qualified for the fourth-round draw.
The match started with Arsenal showing great attacking intent. Reiss Nelson had an early chance but shot wide. Arsenal continued to pressure Liverpool, with Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard also missing opportunities. Liverpool had their own chances, with Joe Gomez being dispossessed by Bukayo Saka, leading to a chance for Havertz, whose shot hit the crossbar. The first half ended with Alexander-Arnold hitting the crossbar for Liverpool. In the second half, Liverpool improved their attacking play, but Arsenal still had chances that went begging. Arsenal’s frustration grew as Liverpool brought on Diogo Jota and Ryan Gravenberch. With 10 minutes remaining, Kiwior scored an own goal, and in injury time, Diaz scored to secure Liverpool’s win.
Arsenal’s struggles in front of goal have been a recurring issue, with the team only managing one win in their last seven matches across all competitions. Arsenal fans voiced their frustration, with one fan calling for the club to sign a striker. Mikel Arteta addressed the team’s goal-scoring problems but admitted that signing a new striker may not be realistic at the moment. Gabriel Jesus is injured, and Nketiah was not trusted, leaving Arsenal with limited attacking options. The team’s winter break has come at a good time for Arteta to find solutions to their goal-scoring woes.
Liverpool celebrated their victory, describing it as a huge win despite missing several key players. The team made changes internally at halftime, which had a positive impact on their performance in the second half. Trent Alexander-Arnold acknowledged that there were mistakes in the first half but praised the team’s fighting spirit and resilience throughout the 95 minutes of the match. Jurgen Klopp expressed his pride in the team’s performance and highlighted the difficulty of the draw against Arsenal. He mentioned the need for continuous improvement to compete at the highest level. Liverpool will now focus on their upcoming matches and look forward to a few days off during the winter break.