Sometimes a game plays to the storylines. Arsenal vs Liverpool was one of these affairs.
Liverpool was dangerous but too open at the back as Arsenal attacked Trent Alexander-Arnold and its recently-maligned right side.
Arsenal was fluid and beautiful but capable of being broken down by a dangerous, explosive side.
That, indeed, is what Liverpool is capable of being even on its bleaker days.
So how did the individuals perform in this scrap between would-be Premier League contenders?
Arsenal player ratings out of 10
Aaron Ramsdale: 6 — Two saves and nine recoveries… and a heck of a lot of it “Get it out of here” passing.
Takehiro Tomiyasu: 8 — Spectacular play regardless of who was on his side. Effective going forward and especially strong against Mohamed Salah. Almost worthy of “in his pocket” banter.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 5.5 — Some woozy work from a man whose gone from the man to the second-best CB in the team.
William Saliba: 6.5 — Solid and improving in comfort every week. Not great on second Liverpool equalizer.
Ben White: 7 — He’s a center back playing right back but you’d hardly know it.
Granit Xhaka: 7 — Not a great day of playing football but boy did he play the game well. Jordan Henderson forgot about almost anything but the Swiss midfielder.
Thomas Partey: 6.5 — Solid but should he have been sent off for raking his cleat against the back of a prone Luis Diaz?
Gabriel Martinelli: 8 — Splendid work from a player who seemingly has an unending supply of turbo.
Martin Odegaard (Off 82′): 7.5 — What an assist to Martinelli.
Bukayo Saka: 9 — Almost perfect. The penalty may have been actually perfect.
Gabriel Jesus (Off 90’+2): 8 — Signing of the season in a non-Erling Haaland world.
Kieran Tierney (On 82′): 7
Eddie Nketiah (On 90’+2): N/A
Fabio Vieira (On 90’+4): N/A
Liverpool player ratings out of 10
Alisson Becker: 6.5 — Four saves and 14 recoveries as it really could’ve been worse for Liverpool
Kostas Tsimikas: 6.5 — An obvious downgrade from Andy Robertson going forward, he’s shown enough on the defensive side to prove Liverpool’s fullback depth… on one side.
Joel Matip (Off 69′): 5.5 — Passed well and managed six clearances.
Virgil van Dijk: 6 — Poor if compared to his borderline Ballon d’Or nominee self, but really just an okay day for a mortal CB.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Off HT): 3.5 — Even Jurgen Klopp can’t justify the way the English back was cut up by Arsenal, but his halftime hook was about a twisted ankle, not poor performance.
Jordan Henderson: 4.5 — Okay going forward but got stuck into nothing but extra curriculars. Lost track of the comeback bid with Xhaka living in his head.
Thiago Alcantara: 5.5 — Gave away decisive penalty to ruin what had been a “not his fault” performance.
Luis Diaz (Off 42′): 5 — Left through injury and did pick up an assist to lift rating above poor. Committed three fouls, drew one, won 1-of-6 duels.
Diogo Jota (Off 81′): 7 — Incisive and relentless even when put inside.
Mohamed Salah (Off 69′): 4.5 — 27 touches? The struggling Egyptian was absolutely shut down by Arsenal
Darwin Nunez: 6.5 — The goal was very, very nice, but just 20 touches and five offsides shows that work ethic — or at least mindfulness — needs to mature quite a bit.
Roberto Firmino (On 42′): 7 — Still starting quality and he’ll get some more if Nunez doesn’t find comfort.
Joe Gomez (On HT): 6.5 — Pretty good but, like Tsimikas, the team loses so much going forward when TAA comes out (and he had to, really).
Fabinho (On 69′): 6.5 — Klopp lifted Thiago for the center mid but the might’ve been better served removing Henderson.
Ibrahima Konate (Off 69′): 6
Harvey Elliott (Off 81′): N/A