Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Granit Xhaka's livid reaction to Alexandre Lacazette's Anfield goal

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Arsenal had plenty of reasons to feel optimistic after their defeat at Liverpool on Monday night.

Truth be told, Liverpool were much the better side and deserved the three points for their dominance, but Arsenal made a real nuisance of themselves on the counterattack.

Mikel Arteta has made some incredibly positive changes since inheriting the reins at the Emirates Stadium in December and the flexibility of the team's tactics has been a huge part of that.

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

The former Manchester City coach has ensured that his Arsenal team can easily adapt to a more defensive setup whenever they're playing a team who, on paper, have much more quality.

And bearing in mind that Arteta entered Monday's trip to Anfield with a 2-0 record against Jurgen Klopp, it shouldn't be a shock that the visitors caused the champions a fair few problems.

In the end, goals from Sadio Mane, Andrew Robertson and Diogo Jota ensured that Liverpool kept up their 100% start to the season, but things could easily have been so much different.

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Big chances for Arsenal

Despite the fact Arsenal had 17 fewer shots throughout the game, one of them happened to be a glorious chance for Alexandre Lacazette that could have levelled the scores.

Lacazette raced through on goal while Liverpool held a slender, one-goal advantage, only to see his one-on-one effort pretty easily blocked by Alisson Becker.

But if there's any consolation for Lacazette, he did at least find the net earlier in the game, even going as far as firing Arsenal into the lead after profiting from Robertson's defensive clanger.

It was a smart enough finish from the Frenchman, albeit scuffed, though the writing was on the wall for Arsenal even when they held the advantage - and clearly Granit Xhaka was acutely aware.

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Xhaka angry after Arsenal's goal

That's because the Arsenal midfielder was heard 'berating' his own teammates despite having just scored against Liverpool by shouting: 'we are scared, we are scared'.

Broadcasters beINSPORTS reported at half-time: "We perhaps got some insight into why Arsenal couldn't hold on to their lead with what Granit Xhaka said to his teammates immediately after that Alexandre Lacazette goal.

"He ran over to the celebrations and said: 'we are scared, we are scared!' and a few of his teammates looked rather strangely at him.

"But what I think he was trying to get at was that they're scared to play their football, they're scared to go after and hustle Liverpool and really, they let them back into the game straight away."

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Very interesting, to say the least.

Should Arsenal have played differently?

You can hardly blame Arsenal for feeling a little bit timid travelling to a Premier League ground at which Liverpool haven't lost a single game since April 2017.

That being said, perhaps Xhaka was right and the Gunners could have enjoyed more success if they left their worries at the 'This is Anfield' sign and just played their football regardless. 

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But against a Liverpool team that has bulldozed everyone before them over the past year, you've got to imagine that teams have tired that before and duly bitten the bullet.

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