The World Champion defender of Liverpool switched roles with the more error-prone Premier League backline, while the Reds inexplicably re-established themselves at Arsenal
- Arsenal achieved a shock victory over Liverpool in the Emirates on Wednesday
- Virgil van Dijk and Alisson made mistakes while the Gunners’ defense was silent
- The Reds have been accused of sitting in their armchairs ever since they secured the title
The Simpsons’ list of prophecies is long, from the time they predicted that Donald Trump would become the U.S. president of the horse meat scandal to the invention of smart watches.
Then there’s that 1993 clip of Sideshow Bob repeatedly raking and slapping himself in the face – a scene that pretty much sums up David Luiz’s defensive days.
But strangely enough, it was Virgil van Dijk and Alisson who couldn’t get around the rakes here, while Luiz stayed lower for the crucial FA Cup semifinal.
Liverpool were stunned by Arsenal in a 2-1 win for the Gunners in the Emirates on Wednesday
The Reds’ defense was leaked when Vigil van Dijk’s error led to Alexander Lacazette’s goal
Alisson later made the mistake for Reiss Nelson’s goal, with his pass falling straight to Lacazette
Graeme Souness, who was in the Sky Sports studio, had already suggested before kickoff that you never know what you will get with players confirmed as champions.
“I can’t explain why you just drop the tempo,” Souness said from experience.
But we weren’t expecting this – not such flawed mistakes from the two men who played such important roles in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool who won the Premier League title so easily.
First Van Dijk was pressured by Reiss Nelson. The Dutchman touched his attempted pass back to his goalkeeper, Alexandre Lacazette picked up the loose pass and scored.
The conversation leading up was about Arsenal’s shaky defense against the champions’
Van Dijk claimed he made a mistake, but only to hide his embarrassment from his mistake. If you are built as a statue, you will not be blown over by a gentle breeze.
Then a pass from Alisson accidentally found Lacazette. He skipped and Nelson scored 2-1.
The cameras showed that Jurgen Klopp caught flying with his mouth wide open on the sidelines.
Opta statistics show that no club has made more mistakes in the rear in the past four seasons that have led to Premier League goals than Arsenal.
However, David Luiz’s likes enjoyed a relatively smooth game and remained low
The hosts were not at their best here either. The Liverpool opener, for example, had to do with poor communication and organization of Arteta’s new look-back three from Rob Holding, Luiz and Kieran Tierney.
Andy Robertson followed Holding and Luiz moved away from his central position in an attempt to close him. That turned out to be a mistake by the Brazilian.
It gave Sadio Mane plenty of room in the middle to score, and he did.
Jurgen Klopp was visibly frustrated as Liverpool appeared to be relaxed again in the match
Such an undersized defense would undoubtedly also be punished by Manchester City on Saturday.
But it was Liverpool’s defense that stole the show here.
Souness suggested at half-time that the players, for whatever reason, were “sitting in their armchairs.” Given how extraordinary these mistakes were, it’s hard to disagree with that diagnosis.