‘Got to shape up’: Gary Neville unimpressed by two Arsenal players who were ‘played around’ in first-half today
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

‘Got to shape up’: Gary Neville unimpressed by two Arsenal players who were ‘played around’ in first-half today

Gary Neville was unimpressed by Arsenal duo Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka in the first-half against Liverpool today – and told Sky Sports they were ‘played around’

Arsenal got off to a dream start at the Emirates today after Gabriel Martinelli put them ahead inside two minutes. 

Martin Odegaard played a delightful ball behind the Liverpool defence and Martinelli finished calmly. 

But Jurgen Klopp’s side got themselves back into the game after Darwin Nunez equalised and began to dominate. 

As a result, Partey and Xhaka were on the receiving end of some criticism from Neville during the first-half. 

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Neville unimpressed by Xhaka and Partey 

Speaking while co-commentating on Sky Sports, Neville criticised the Arsenal midfielders for their all-round play. 

“Xhaka and Partey have got to shape up, on the ball and off the ball,” Neville said. 

“Look at that, they’re just getting played around as well. Liverpool are being really brave and playing balls into balls when players are marked. 

“[Jordan] Henderson and Thiago are handling it.” 

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Xhaka and Partey have been excellent for the Gunners this season but were certainly off the pace in the first-half. 

Liverpool won the battle in midfield for large parts of the opening period as Henderson and Thiago showed their experience. 

Despite Liverpool dominating for most of the opening period after going behind, Arsenal managed to grab a goal on the counter-attack. 

Another brilliant piece of play from Martinelli down the left-hand side led to an easy tap-in for Bukayo Saka. But Liverpool found another equaliser through Roberto Firmino in the second-half.

Xhaka and Partey certainly improved in the second-half of the game as the Gunners dominated the midfield battle. Saka converted a high-pressure penalty to eventually hand Arsenal a 3-2 win in what was a thrilling affair at the Emirates.

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