1. In a way, Jurgen Klopp’s recent record spending in the transfer window can be traced back all the way to Unai Emery. The last time the two managers met, Liverpool lost 3-1 to Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final. Although Klopp dismissed the idea that Emery tactically outmaneuvered him in Sevilla’s comeback win, the German manager described the match as a “decisive moment” for his time at Liverpool. Eschewing the Moneyball philosophy of his Dortmund days, he got rid of 15 players from that squad that summer and replaced them with record-breaking purchases at center back and goalie that raised Liverpool’s quality and expectations enormously.  
  2. That spending has Liverpool tied for first place and Arsenal in fourth heading into this match. After opening their season with losses against Manchester City and Chelsea, Emery solidified Arsenal’s spine with an 11-match win streak finally snapped last weekend against Crystal Palace.
  3. But Liverpool and Arsenal - and Klopp and Emery - are connected in other ways. Klopp managed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Sokratis while at Dortmund. While Mkhitaryan struggled under his watch, Klopp described Aubameyang as one of the best counter attacking players on the planet.
  4. To continue the warm feeling, Emery stated he would like to enjoy the journey and smile as much as Klopp, although perhaps no one enjoys the journey more than the Liverpool manager.
  5. Sead Kolasinac makes his return to Arsenal’s starting eleven at left back, and Granit Xhaka replaces Matteo Guendouzi at holding midfield. Liverpool make their own change at the position with Fabinho finally getting a run on minutes at Jordan Henderson’s expense.
  6. As expected, Arsenal are on the front foot early with Lacazette getting an early chance after a quick change of play.
  7. Liverpool’s first attack comes down their left side as Mkhitaryan fails to track back on Andy Robertson. This match will be decided on the wings as Kolasinac goes against Mo Salah on Liverpool’s right side.
  8. There’s been much written about how Klopp has taken his foot off the pressing pedal for the sake of long term success, but he’s ramped up the high press this match.
  9. Continuing the ex-Dortmund theme, Aubameyang goes close off a quick attack from a midfield turnover and a diagonal pass from Xhaka. And Mkhitaryan almost gets a goal from a cross that tricked Alisson.
  10. And we have our first flashpoint of the game with a Sadio Mane goal ruled offsides. He was initially off, but Firmino’s touch played him back on. Regardless, that is another terrific ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
  11. Virgil van Dijk follows up the Mane controversy with a headed chance. Robertson scuffs his opportunity a minute later. Liverpool have wrestled control of this match at the 20 minute mark.
  12. Klopp is making loud noises on the sidelines, directed at either his players, the refs, or the tense environment in general.
  13. Now, it’s Lucas Torreira’s turn to make a forward run. Arsenal’s attacking sequences are not defined by attacker or defender, but through spacing and a freedom from each player to make a direct run forward with the ball.
  14. Arsenal had a move in the 31st minute starting with Leno breaking the press that would have been the goal of the season.
  15. Van Dijk hits the post off a set piece. Like Alisson earlier, Leno’s poor decision off the cross created van Dijk’s chance.
  16. Arsenal could have scored four goals as the first half comes to a close. Van Dijk and Robertson especially will need to sort out their communication.
  17. As the second half begins, the commentators attempt to figure out Liverpool’s shape is a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3. The difficulty in analysis comes from Firmino’s loose positioning as either a false nine or an attacking midfielder playing behind Mane.
  18. Track Mane’s run for James Milner’s opening goal. Mane drops back into his half space and draws in Bellerin, then runs into the space behind the Arsenal right back before hitting his cross. Leno’s lack of authority in the box helps create the opening for Milner, and the goal is definitely against the run of play.
  19. Emery makes his first sub with Iwobi comes on for Mkhitaryan to add pace and directness as Arsenal search out the winner. Ramsey comes on for Aubameyang soon after, who disappeared in the second half after a dominant first 45 minutes.
  20. Van Dijk again gets close on a header. Two questions: how is he getting so far? And surely these chances coming against Arsenal’s dominance will come back to hurt Liverpool?
  21. Mane’s acceleration is beautiful to watch.
  22. Likewise, Iwobi’s acceleration created a chance after he beat Alexander-Arnold and sent in a cross. Iwobi’s substitution changed the geometry for Arsenal as they are finding a lot of space on the left side as well.
  23. Speaking of aesthetics, Xhaka’s left foot diagonal balls from his right half space are so cleanly struck.
  24. Welbeck comes on for Klasinac, who’s had an excellent game and gave Alexander-Arnold no space to work with. Now Iwobi moves to...left back?
  25. That’s incredible patience from Lacazette to evade Alisson’s challenge and compose himself to hit an accurate strike to equalize the match. Iwobi - as a left back - started the sequence with a great ball from the left half space. And going further into Emery’s tactics, I guess we can credit Welbeck with a dummy run that frees Lacazette.
  26. Arsenal end the match with three defenders and seven players in the attacking third. Fabinho’s potential red card is the only excitement of injury time, however.
  27. Arsenal should feel let down by the 1-1 draw with their chances and possession, but Liverpool have a case for expecting more despite being outplayed. After all, not only did they have a goal wrongly ruled out, van Dijk did have a couple chances to score. In that sense, it was a classic counter attacking performance from Klopp’s side. 
  28. The big takeaway was how much each side - though Arsenal especially - relied upon attacking on the wing. Not an out and out winger, Mkhitaryan still found a lot of space behind Robertson through combination play while creating dangerous chances that would be finished on another day. Xhaka especially was dominant as he made the most passes, ball recoveries and tackles on the field for one of the individual performances of the season. Arsenal showed that midfield steel along with their usual attacking pace, and yet, Liverpool will still feel as if they missed a chance to steal a result as these are the undeserved points they need to keep up with Manchester City in the title race.