Arsenal legend and Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has looked ahead to the Gunners’ upcoming Premier League meeting with Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Mikel Arteta’s charges appeared to have put their early post-restart issues with victories over Southampton, Sheffield United, Norwich and Wolves, plus a draw with Leicester.
Indeed, Arsenal began brightly against Tottenham, taking the lead through Alexandre Lacazette, but defensive errors helped Spurs turn the game around and run out 2-1 winners.
With the Premier League champions coming to the Emirates Stadium, Nicholas isn’t feeling overly optimistic about the result – but he did praise the Gunners’ improved shape and increased goal threat.
“Arsenal should have gone on to win the game against Tottenham – they had better shape and they were creating much more,” he wrote on Sky Sports.
“But they got lazy in the second half, and it was the same old story. Arsenal had plenty of the ball, but then Sead Kolasinac makes a mistake, Shkodran Mustafi makes two or three. On a positive note though, Arsenal look like they have goals in them.
“This Liverpool team are still 10-15 yards off the Premier League champions they are. They will pop it about against a weak defensive side. Arsenal’s shape has improved, but their defenders have not, and that could come back to haunt them again.”
Arsenal certainly have had a fair bit to shout about in recent weeks – Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka’s incredible form down the left, Cedric Soares doing well on the opposite flank, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos forming a great midfield partnership, and as Nicholas said, improvements up front.
However, central defence is very much the same old story – David Luiz wasn’t in particularly inspired form, while Kolasinac and Mustafi were poor on the day, and as such, bragging rights went to the Gunners’ bitter rivals.
Though the Reds have long wrapped up the title, they still have records to play for – only three wins from three would now see Jurgen Klopp’s side surpass Manchester City’s centurions of two seasons ago, so they’re unlikely to take the foot off the gas.