Six bizarre things that happened during Arsenal v Liverpool

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Football News

Arsenal and Liverpool went all kinds of crazy in their opening game of the season after sharing seven goals, some of which were of the finest quality.

Philippe Coutinho's world-class free-kick on the stroke of half-time gave Liverpool renewed hope going into the break while Sadio Mane's equally terrific solo effort justified why Jurgen Klopp paid £30m to sign him from Southampton.

Meanwhile, Arsenal suffered their third defeat in their last four opening Premier League games and also lost two first-team stars, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey, to injury.

Theo Walcott missed a penalty before scoring a goal 40 seconds later and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continued his impressive run of form with a top-notch consolation goal.

Needless to say, your attention would have been focussed firmly on the matters on the pitch so you may have missed some of the more bizarre themes to emerge from the classic encounter. That is why we have compiled a list of the best of them, which you can now enjoy below.

Xhaka tops the foul charts

Arsenal fans were hoping to see Granit Xhaka, their new £30m signing, right from the very start and many were surprised to see Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin preferred in centre midfield. By the time the Swiss emerged from the bench, he had a massive task on his hands.

But despite being 4-2 down by the time he got onto the pitch, Xhaka came on with bundles of enthusiasm and threw himself into every possible challenge he could. The only thing is, he failed to win even one of them.

Incredibly, despite playing only 24 minutes, he committed more fouls than any other player that weekend. Also, none of the six tackles he attempted were successful and he also received what is likely to be the first of many Premier League yellow cards. 

Jurgen Klopp needs new glasses

Describe Jurgen Klopp's face in two words and you will likely come up with 'smile, glasses'. The thick rimmed spectacles are a major part of the Klopp brand so you would think the German would take more care of them. Think again.

Klopp was as lively as ever on the Emirates touchline and managed to lose his glasses amid his goal celebrations. We'll never know if they come through unscathed but we can at least enjoy the moment, as it was caught on camera.

Rob Holding is already better than Calum Chambers

Neither Rob Holding or Calum Chambers were impressive at the back for Arsenal with both struggling to deal with Mane's pace and Roberto Firmino's trickery. However, Holding, a £2m addition from Bolton, was probably the better of the two.

That, surely, can't make sense. Chambers cost £16m to sign from Southampton in 2014 yet appears to be at exactly the same level as his new teammate. So where has the £14m difference come from? We'll let you decide. 

Gary Neville absolutely trashed Alberto Moreno

Gary Neville is back on Sky Sports and the world is good again. The fiery character may have failed spectacularly as a manager but he has not lost any of his punditry prowess in his six-month absence. Despite being on the winning team, Neville pointed his analytical fingers straight at Liverpool's looney left-back Alberto Moreno and didn't hold back.

Brading the Spaniard as 'absolute garbage', Neville said: "You might as well start a goal down with Moreno at left-back.”

Arsene Wenger doesn't know if Arsenal are 'physically ready'

Asked to explain why Arsenal were so frail at the back, Arsene Wenger claimed his players were not "physically ready" for the start of the Premier League.

He said: "It is an impossible situation to get players back from the Euros and prepare. We played a very good first half and were unlucky to concede a goal just before half-time and after that, we paid for a lack of experience. We are not ready physically."

But rewind to the previous weekend, when Arsenal beat Manchester City 3-2 in a preseason friendly, and Wenger was singing a very different tune.

"We could see that we have played together for a while now, so there’s a good fluidity and understanding in our game and reading of each other," Wenger said after that game.

"I felt our transition from defence to attack was good, defending was good for the most part and physically we look ready."


Southampton were the real winners at the Emirates

Liverpool may have claimed the three points against Arsenal but it was Southampton who had reason to celebrate as well. With Walcott, Adam Lallana, Mane, Chambers and Oxlade-Chamberlin all on the scoresheet, it meant their former players scored five of the seven goals in the game.

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Steven Gerrard
Alexis Sanchez
Premier League
Theo Walcott
Philippe Coutinho

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