Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

As goalless games go, this was probably up there with a nomination for one of the best. Not a drab, dull affair under the lights and incessant late summer North London drizzle, but an attack minded Arsenal and Liverpool went at it from the off. The question still remains however as to how this ended up as 0-0, but that will be put down to some fine saves by Petr Cech – one from Christian Benteke in particular and also by Simon Mignolet during a high intensity game where both sides struck the woodwork. Aaron Ramsey did get the ball into Mignolet’s net, but was wrongly judged to be offside. Perhaps a point a piece was a fair result in the end, Arsenal got their first home point and a clean sheet for Cech, with the Reds adding this draw to their two wins earlier this season.

Arsene Wenger was forced to play a makeshift defence with news that Per Mertersacker was ill and Laurent Koscielny had suffered a back problem. Callum Chambers and Gabriel were called in and Liverpool sensed rich pickings from the off. Benteke and Coutinho in particular ran and pulled the Gunners’ rearguard all over the pitch. Reds’ captain for the night, James Milner played his usual industrious combative game as he led a Liverpool side intent on hurrying the home side into rushing their passes, and the tactic worked. Santi Cazorla, Mesut Özil and Hector Bellerin were caught out trying to play out from the back as Liverpool pressed the Gunners deep in their own half.

Milner let fly with a shot which Cech had to turn around for a corner. Fizzing from his half, the diminutive Coutinho announced himself with a stunning strike which thundered onto Cech’s woodwork. With the Gunners defence being stretched, Francis Coquelin was called into halt the run of Benteke with a well timed tackle as he bore down on Cech’s goal. Chambers was having a shaky start to proceedings, but Gabriel was growing in confidence. The Brazil defender was alert as Coutinho threatened, putting in a strong challenge on his countryman as he threatened.

Why Ramsey’s goal was unfairly ruled out will remain a mystery as to why, with Brendan Rodgers even later joking that Ramsey’s ” shirt looked offside, ” as he found the target from Cazorla pass. Just before the break, Cech produced some great saves. Bentake was odds on to score, but Cech judged well and threw himself into the path of the ball. Moments later and Coutinho tucked inside Bellerin and struck an arrowed shot which looked to be going in, that is until Cech flew to his left with a finger tipped save onto his upright.

0-0 at the break and Arsenal had to improve for the second half. They emerged with more intent and purpose and a desire to get their game back on track.

Cazorla fed Giroud. His touch back for Alexis,wasn’t the best, but the France striker did well to hold off Skrtel. Alexis struck a shot which clipped Mignolet’s post and away. Coutninho responded with another effort to test Cech. Now Giroud was denied by Mignolet who would be yellow carded for time wasting. Another Reds counter attack and Milner struck at Cech. Arsenal responded with Ramsey’s clever curling effort from the left which looked to be in, until Mignolet clutched the ball from the night sky.
Coutinho tests Cech, saves

Wenger sent on Theo Walcott for Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Coquelin. Now Gomez and Clyne were having to think about their positioning as Arsenal searched for the opening goal.

Ramsey shot from range, but Mignolet did well to hold the deflected shot Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pace troubled the Liverpool defence. His drive and cross was cleared by Skrtel for a corner as Arsenal mounted late pressure. Just time for another Oxlade-Chamberlain shot which Mignolet was equal to as both sides had to settle for a point. But what a game it was, it had everything good about the Premier League. Shame about the no goals though.