By 90Min
August 28, 2019

Liverpool defender Joel Matip has revealed Arsenal were difficult to play against on Saturday due to their deep defensive positioning, despite the Reds ultimately prevailing 3-1.

A thumping header from Matip and two goals from Mohamed Salah were eventually the difference, but the first half was a tight affair, with Arsenal defending well and causing problems on the counter attack through new £72m signing Nicolas Pepe.

Speaking on how Jurgen Klopp’s side eventually turned the game in their favour, Matip told the club’s official website: “We tried it over 90 minutes to come through. We had to be patient and the result was good, we won at home against Arsenal, that's always good.

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“They were standing with two deep rows and with their speed in the front it was really difficult to come through, because they were standing by their own box. But in the end it worked.

"We tried to push but it was not easy to come through. We did it not too bad but against a high-quality team like this it's hard for every team.”

Whilst the defender's header gave Liverpool the lead just before the interval, they had struggled to break through in open play. However, they found more joy in the second half, with Trent Alexander-Arnold since revealing what Klopp said at half time.

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As stated in the Mirror, the 20-year-old said: “The gaffer showed us a bit of footage at half-time and we could stretch them, with Mo, Bobby [Firmino] and Sadio [Mane], and get it into feet.

"They probably set up knowing that we were going to cross it, they were ready. Against other teams we try to create the yard and cross it from in front.

“The gaffer said to us at half-time, if we get a runner down, we can get the ball down the outside. For Salah's first, [Jordan] Hendo takes the ball out the way and I'm able to play it into Bobby and we got the pen.

"That was the idea, to drag a centre-half out and not allow them to stay in and head the ball away."

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Even though Unai Emery’s side were beaten in the end, the fact Liverpool found it difficult to break through will please Arsenal supporters, who are so used to their side lacking organisation and being defensively frail when they travel away from home in the Premier League. 

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