Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as wasteful Gunners bow out of FA Cup third round

  • Arsenal squandered a glut of first-half chances
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold forced Jakub Kiwior's 80th-minute own goal
  • Luis Diaz sealed the win in stoppage time

Liverpool took their chances and Arsenal didn't on Sunday night
Liverpool took their chances and Arsenal didn't on Sunday night / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Arsenal slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Liverpool on Sunday evening, bowing out of the FA Cup in the third round thanks chiefly to their wastefulness in front of goal.

The Gunners spent the opening 80 minutes creatively failing to find the back of Liverpool's net before picking out their own goal. The luckless Jakub Kiwior inadvertently diverted Trent Alexander-Arnold's sharp set piece past Aaron Ramsdale with just ten minutes left to play.

Luis Diaz consigned Arsenal to a third consecutive defeat in the fifth minute of stoppage time, demonstrating the cutting edge that has evaded Mikel Arteta's side in recent weeks.

How the game unfolded

Since Gabriel opened the scoring against Liverpool at Anfield just before Christmas, Arsenal's 53 subsequent shots yielded just one goal ahead of Sunday's cup tie. This glut of profligacy peaked with a staggering sequence of chaos after ten minutes.

Bukayo Saka robbed Joe Gomez to spark a sequence of three shots in seven seconds. Reiss Nelson's initial effort was blocked before Martin Odegaard sent a violent thump against the crossbar. Saka completed the wasteful thrust.

Arsenal's feverish press kept Liverpool penned into their own half for much of the opening 45 minutes but Alisson somehow preserved his clean sheet going into the interval.

Trent Alexander-Arnold almost punished Arsenal's wastefulness on the cusp of half-time. On a rare foray forward, Liverpool's skipper for the day let rip but, just as in the league meeting between this pair two weeks ago, Alexander-Arnold rattled the frame of Arsenal's goal.

Jurgen Klopp is many things but passive is not one of them. The Liverpool boss reshuffled his forward line during the interval and again before the hour mark, bringing a belated pulse to his side's attack.

Diogo Jota, that familiar scourge of Arsenal, was brought on and teed up Luis Diaz from close range in the final 15 minutes. Aaron Ramsdale pawed away Diaz's stinger brilliantly but was helpless as Jota nodded the subsequent corner onto his crossbar.

Unlike the hosts, Liverpool marked their period of dominance with a goal. Alexander-Arnold's wicked in-swinging free-kick skidded off Kiwior's head, wrong-footing Ramsdale and giving the visitors a lead with ten minutes remaining.

Diaz cemented Liverpool's place in Monday's fourth-round draw with the last kick of the game, dancing through the expanse left open by Arsenal's desperate attempts to equalise before picking out the top corner.

Arsenal player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard encouraged the crowd and his teammates on Sunday / Julian Finney/GettyImages

GK: Aaron Ramsdale - 7/10 - The second-choice goalkeeper's arrowed long balls bypassed Liverpool's high press and he made an excellent second-half save.

RB: Ben White - 7/10 - Shut Luis Diaz down and got forward regularly himself.

CB: William Saliba - 7/10 - A stride quicker than Darwin Nunez, who is not sluggish in the slightest.

CB: Gabriel - 6/10 - A rock-solid towering presence in Arsenal's backline.

LB: Jakub Kiwior - 4/10 - Not forced into the uncomfortable positions in which he so desperately struggled against Fulham. Unfortunate to break the deadlock.

CM: Jorginho - 6/10 - Kept the game ticking over in midfield but not overly involved as Arsenal focussed on winning back possession before it got as deep as Jorginho.

CM: Declan Rice - 7/10 - Counterintuitively, Rice's return to a more advanced role showed once more how dominant he is out of possession.

AM: Martin Odegaard - 8/10 - Tiptoed between the lavender shirts like a sprite in a spring field.

RW: Bukayo Saka - 4/10 - Rushed and ragged in the final third, the precise moment when he needed to keep a cool head.

ST: Kai Havertz - 3/10 - Racked with hesitancy each time the ball sat up for a shot.

LW: Reiss Nelson - 6/10 - On a rare start, Nelson was heavily involved, missing several chances himself and creating a flurry from set pieces.


SUB: Gabriel Martinelli (62' for Nelson) - 6/10 - Made a beeline straight for Alexander-Arnold, running at and invariably around the full-back.

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (82' for Jorginho) - N/A

SUB: Emile Smith Rowe (88' for Havertz) - N/A

SUB: Leandro Trossard (88' for Kiwior) - N/A

Subs not used: David Raya (GK), Reuell Walters, Lino Sousa, Cedric Soares, Ethan Nwaneri


Mikel Arteta - 6/10 - Arsenal's boss can't be blamed for wayward finishing but he should take some credit for inspiring the renewed freshness going forward which carved open those chances.

Liverpool player ratings (4-3-3)

Cody Gakpo, Declan Rice
Curtis Jones (left) tangled with Arsenal's Declan Rice in midfield / Julian Finney/GettyImages

GK: Alisson - 7/10 - When there wasn't a Liverpool shirt in the way, Alisson proved to be his familiar smothering self.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold - 8/10 - As penetrative as ever in open play and from set pieces. Alexander-Arnold's quality once again made the difference.

CB: Ibrahima Konate - 8/10 - Integral in keeping Liverpool in the contest in a particularly backs-against-the-wall first half.

CB: Jarell Quansah - 6/10 - Fared well on a very busy afternoon.

LB: Joe Gomez - 6/10 - No full-back is going to enjoy a perfect evening against Saka but Gomez delayed the unrelenting winger on numerous occasions.

CM: Harvey Elliott - 5/10 - Tentatively grew into the game but didn't put his typical stamp on proceedings.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister - 4/10 - Desperately struggled to stem the flow of Arsenal's forward and frequent surges, underscoring his unease with the defensive duties that come at the base of midfield.

CM: Curtis Jones - 6/10 - Composed whenever and wherever he got on the ball, one of the few to bring a sense of calm to Liverpool's midfield.

RW: Cody Gakpo - 2/10 - Utterly ineffective throughout a painfully forgettable 59 minutes on the pitch.

ST: Darwin Nunez - 4/10 - Much livelier when shifted out wide but not entirely effective anywhere.

LW: Luis Diaz - 6/10 - Flitted in and mainly out of the contest until his well taken finish at the death.


SUB: Diogo Jota (59' for Gakpo) - 5/10

SUB: Ryan Gravenberch (59' for Mac Allister) - 5/10

SUB: Bobby Clark (76' for Elliott) - 5/10

SUB: Conor Bradley (76' for Jones) - 5/10

Subs not used: Caoimhin Kelleher (GK), Luke Chambers, Trey Nyoni, Kaide Gordon, James McConnell


Jurgen Klopp - 7/10 - Once again, Klopp's changes sparked an uplift in his side, if not the telling blow.

Player of the match - Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool)