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Joe Gomez stops Bukayo Saka in his tracks – 4 dribbles attempted, 0 successful

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Liverpool might not have consistently been at their best in the 2-0 win at Arsenal, but they never let the game get away from them, and Joe Gomez epitomised just that.

“Staying in a game that looked in the first half like that, then growing into a game is a pretty special thing to do,” Jurgen Klopp assessed after the latest win.

If we were to believe Alan Shearer, Liverpool ought to have been four to five goals behind at the break after Arsenal unleashed 13 shots to the Reds’ two in the first 45 minutes.

As per FotMob (as seen below), five of those 13 for the Gunners hit the target and the three big chances they created were all missed.

A lucky escape, perhaps, but also a nod to Arsenal‘s lack of finishing ability and Liverpool’s defence getting in the way of shots and not allowing them to fly at Alisson too easily.

The second half was a different story, Klopp’s side turned the tables and landed 10 shots to Arsenal‘s five – none of which were on target.

At the end of the day, Liverpool made their moments count and they are the team that are in the draw for the FA Cup fourth round.

 

Gomez pockets Saka

Gomez has been a model professional, playing various positions without complaint and rarely putting a foot wrong – just as he did at the Emirates Stadium.

His direct opponent was Bukayo Saka, whose name was in the headlines this week after reports that Arsenal had complained to the PGMOL over his protection – despite readily being awarded fouls.

With the spotlight on him, Gomez went the whole match committing just one foul and as per FotMob, Saka ended his night with zero successful dribbles from four attempts.

Not only that, but Gomez’s 90 minutes saw him make:

  • 12 defensive actions – most of any player
  • Four clearances – second-most in the match
  • Three recoveries
  • Two interceptions – joint-most
  • One block
  • Won five duels – seventh-most of any player

Another outstanding display from Gomez, who played out of position yet again at left-back and made it look like he’s at home there.

A pivotal performance behind the win.

 

Jota the thorn that never leaves Arsenal’s side

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Díaz (3rd from R) celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Diogo Jota was one of Liverpool’s two pre-planned substitutes at the 59-minute mark, and he was once again influential off the bench.

Composed with the ball and quick to press off it, Jota may have ended his night with only 16 touches in 30 minutes, but his influence was beyond that.

He won both the two ground and aerial duels he contested, managed to win two free-kicks and, importantly, set up Diaz for the goal that wrapped it all up.

As returns from injury go, this one has been significant and Arsenal will despise having had to face him again as he has now been directly involved in 10 goals against them.

Moreover, he’s scored or assisted in all five outings for the Reds at the Emirates.

‘Oh, he wears the number 20. He will take us to victory’.

 

The spark returns for Diaz

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates his side's openimg goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One goal, two of his three shots on target and three successful dribbles from three attempts, this was more of the Luis Diaz we have come to expect.

The Colombian struggled to find his form, but we’re starting to see him come out of the other side, and FotMob’s 7.8-out-of-10 rating for his display at Arsenal spoke volumes.

It was the third-highest rating from the match, he was behind only Trent Alexander-Arnold (8.2) and Alisson (8) – and it was well deserved.

He has two goal contributions across his last three outings, and he did win a penalty against Newcastle – the kind of output that breeds confidence.


FotMob is an essential app for every fan to keep up to date with their team or follow football worldwide, their incredible new features provide all you could ever want and information you never knew you needed! You can download the FotMob App here.