Arsenal

Arsenal a striker away from Liverpool win as Dubai trip offers respite from FA Cup meltdown

Arsenal had few successes but plenty of frustrations in their FA Cup defeat to Liverpool, with Gabriel Jesus’ absence highlighting a problem for Mikel Arteta in the January transfer window

Another defeat made it three in a row for Arsenal as Liverpool scored twice at the Emirates Stadium to knock the Gunners out of the FA Cup. A glut of opportunities were missed before an own goal from Jakub Kiwior and a stoppage-time goal on the break from Luis Diaz sealed the tie for the visitors.

Arsenal will now have just two more games this month against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest. They will fly to Dubai for a warm weather training camp to rest, recover and train to try and find a way out of their poor form.

However, before we escape from this poor run, we need to assess the successes and frustrations from this Liverpool clash. Finding the positives is certainly a challenge; however, it is worth looking for them to see the potential of what is to come.

Successes
A gluttony of chances
You know it, I know it. I think it should be clear for everyone to see at this stage that the chances are simply not being taken at this stage and the encouragement from the defeat to Liverpool should stem from the amount of good chances that can be created.

Martin Odegaard should do far better than striking the bar with his shot, Kai Havertz’s header that skewed past the post needed to be on target and Bukayo Saka had numerous opportunities to find the net but couldn’t. This will lead to further calls for a striker to be purchased, but it is difficult to know if this will change.

Reiss Nelson’s impression
Reiss Nelson was given the chance to start the game against Premier League table toppers Liverpool and impressed in his display. He added speed and trickery that had been missing from the Gunners’ side in the wake of some poor showings from Gabriel Martinelli.

Arteta was clearly pleased with his winger’s display and how he saw him off the field showed that. He’s above Emile Smith Rowe in the pecking order and perhaps demonstrated why with his offering on the day.

Plenty of time for rest
I hate to write this because the prize for winning on Sunday was simply much greater. However, it is true that without the FA Cup games Arsenal will be given more chances to recover and perhaps can use this time to find out the crux of the problems plaguing their form

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