Although he admitted his side could have left Arsenal victorious, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was content with a point…
Liverpool’s impressive start to the new season continued on Monday night as they deservedly earned a draw against an Arsenal side tipped by many as dark horses for a league title tilt.
It could have been even better had the visitors converted one of a number of openings in an electrifying first half spell but given the Merseysiders had won only once in almost ten years of previous league and cup trips to the Emirates that was perhaps too much to hope for.
“We definitely could have had all three points,” Rodgers reflected afterwards at the post-match press conference. “Certainly performance-wise, I was very happy with how we worked.
“The first half in particular we created chances and should have been in front. Second half, you expect some pressure in the game, but we defended that very well and always looked a threat going forward.
“Our performance level is growing all the time, you see our defensive organisation was very good against a top-class team. The overriding feeling is we get a point, a clean sheet and we move to the next game.”
Key moments during a highly-entertaining contest included a contentious offside decision, which robbed Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey of a goal, and Philippe Coutinho twice hitting the woodwork for the away side.
That there were no goals owed much to two impressive performances from the opposing goalkeepers with Peter Cech arguably making the save of the night to deny Christian Benteke from point blank range shortly before half-time.
“[It was a] great ball in by [Roberto] Firmino and a great save,” commented Rodgers on the incident.
“He had a period of about 10-15 minutes, Petr, where he made some fantastic saves. I think [Christian] has done everything he possibly could, he’s stretching on it and he gets his contact.
“It was a good save and congratulations to the ‘keeper. Both ‘keepers were good, I thought – Simon Mignolet had to make a couple of good saves for us.”
Two of the alterations were enforced, through injuries to captain Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana, meaning Lucas Leiva came in from the wilderness and Emre Can and new signing Roberto Firmino were both handed their first starts of the season.
In regards to the fitness of the absentees ahead of the game against West Ham United on Saturday, the boss added: “We’ll just wait and see over the course of the next week.
“It was a disappointment, of course, to lose both of them for this game but the boys came in and did extremely well so we’ll just assess that day by day.”
Liverpool sit third on seven points after three games of the new Premier League season.
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