Premier League
Arsenal0Liverpool0

Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech saves from Liverpool striker Christian Benteke
Petr Cech moved to Arsenal from Chelsea for £10m

Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season as they played out a thrilling goalless draw with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

In a game littered with chances, brilliant goalkeeping and defensive mistakes, it was almost beyond belief that neither side could carve out a victory and deliver an early psychological blow among the contenders at the top of the table.

Liverpool dominated the first half but found Petr Cech in magnificent form as the former Chelsea goalkeeper saved miraculously from Christian Benteke and turned Philippe Coutinho's shot on to a post.

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Arsenal boss Wenger criticises referee after Liverpool draw

Coutinho also struck the bar in the third minute - and while Arsenal's opportunities were few, they were furious that Aaron Ramsey's early strike was ruled out for offside.

Arsenal regrouped and dominated much of the second half, Alexis Sanchez hitting the post and Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet producing a fine reflex save from Olivier Giroud.

The Reds will be delighted with a third successive clean sheet on the back of victories against Stoke City and Bournemouth, while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be equally pleased by the character shown by his side after a difficult first half.

Cech shows his worth

When Arsenal bought Cech for £10m from Chelsea in June, the instant wisdom was that his presence alone could be worth an extra 10 points to the Gunners.

Time will tell, but this was the night when the 33-year-old showed just how important a signing he could be as the Gunners try finally to mount a serious Premier League title challenge.

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Cech was man of the match - Rodgers

Cech was castigated to an exaggerated degree after a poor debut in the home defeat by West Ham, but he was magnificent here when Liverpool laid siege to his goal in the first half.

He spread himself brilliantly to turn away Benteke's close-range effort when it seemed certain the Belgium striker would score, then showed he still retains the old athleticism to stretch and tip Coutinho's curling shot against an upright.

If any Arsenal fans harboured doubts about his purchase, this was a display to dispel them.

Coutinho plus Benteke equals danger

When Liverpool almost won the title in 2014, it was spearheaded by the superb attacking triumvirate of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.

Liverpool floundered last season with Suarez at Barcelona, Sturridge injured and Sterling disaffected and out of sorts before his £49m move to Manchester City.

While there can be no comparisons with that trio, there are so many signs of promise in the understanding already established between Coutinho and £32.5m summer signing Benteke.

Coutinho's darting runs and fast footwork are dangerous on their own while also looking for an outlet in Benteke, whose easy movement shows he is so much more than a big target man.

They have shown Liverpool can offer a different type of threat this season - and manager Brendan Rodgers will face an intriguing conundrum when Sturridge finally declares himself fit.

Will either of these teams be title contenders?

Top four is more realistic for both and they don't look like threatening Manchester City on this very early evidence.

Liverpool, however, will be delighted at maintaining their recovery from the trauma of last season, with a third successive clean sheet and more signs that confidence is slowly returning.

BBC Sport pundit Steve Claridge said Arsenal were lop-sided in commentary and, with the direction of play from right to left, this heatmap shows their main threat was from the left flank
BBC Sport pundit Steve Claridge said Arsenal were lop-sided in commentary and, with the direction of play from right to left, this heatmap shows their main threat was from the left flank

Arsenal showed great spirit to recover from a first half in which their defending was horrendous to have the better of the second.

It should be placed in context by the fact they were robbed of their first-choice central defensive partnership of Per Mertesacker through illness and Laurent Koscielny with a back injury.

Man of the match: Petr Cech

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech
A magnificent performance from a goalkeeper who remains world class - he made eight saves and constantly rescued a weakened Arsenal defence.

Post-match reaction:

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

"We scored a regular goal that was disallowed, I don't believe I can do something about it. At the end of the day, the referee cancelled out a regular goal. Like it or don't like it, it is a fact.

"We had chances, but we couldn't finish them off. When you play at home and don't win, people always find problems.

"It is not the result or the complete performance, but we came back in the second half."

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech:

"It is a shame we couldn't snatch the three points, but the game was so crazy - 0-0 we can take. First half, we scored a goal and it was ruled out for offside. That could have changed the game.

"We could have won the game, we could have been losing after the first half."

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers:

"I thought we were very good. First half, Petr Cech was the man of the match.

"Second half, we were always a threat going forward. The players worked ever so hard."

The stats you need to know

  • This game was the first time both Mertesacker and Koscielny have missed a Premier League game for Arsenal since April 2012 versus Wigan
  • Liverpool are the fifth team to start a Premier League game with three or more Brazilians in their XI, after Middlesbrough, Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea
  • Cech kept only one clean sheet in his final nine Premier League appearances against Liverpool for Chelsea
  • Liverpool's possession figure of 34% is the lowest they have recorded in the top flight under Rodgers
  • Arsenal have failed to score in five of their last six Premier League home games
  • Arsenal have failed to score in their opening two league home games for the first time since August 1979

Pundit analysis

BBC Radio 5 live's Steve Claridge: "What you can take from this is that if Arsenal are expecting to get into top four then why can't Liverpool, because both teams were equally as good as each other.

"Mesut Ozil is the weakest link for Arsenal. He doesn't do enough on the ball and he doesn't do anything defensively."

What next?

Arsenal face a trip to Newcastle in the Premier League in Saturday's 12:45 BST kick-off, while Liverpool host West Ham on the same day at 15:00 BST.

Social media reacts

Mesut Ozil
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is happy enough with the result
Nathaniel Clyne
Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne is another satisfied customer

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 21Chambers
  • 5GabrielBooked at 65mins
  • 18Monreal
  • 34CoquelinSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 82'minutes
  • 19Cazorla
  • 16Ramsey
  • 11Özil
  • 17Sánchez
  • 12GiroudSubstituted forWalcottat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Debuchy
  • 3Gibbs
  • 8Arteta
  • 13Ospina
  • 14Walcott
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 20Flamini

Liverpool

  • 22MignoletBooked at 85mins
  • 2Clyne
  • 37SkrtelBooked at 61mins
  • 6Lovren
  • 12GomezBooked at 79mins
  • 7Milner
  • 21LucasSubstituted forRossiterat 76'minutes
  • 23CanBooked at 66mins
  • 11FirminoSubstituted forIbeat 63'minutes
  • 9Benteke
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forMorenoat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 17Sakho
  • 18Moreno
  • 27Origi
  • 28Ings
  • 33Ibe
  • 34Bogdan
  • 46Rossiter
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
60,080

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home19
Away15
Shots on Target
Home5
Away8
Corners
Home7
Away8
Fouls
Home2
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 0, Liverpool 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 0, Liverpool 0.

Attempt missed. Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

Attempt saved. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Theo Walcott.

Calum Chambers (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordon Ibe (Liverpool).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno replaces Philippe Coutinho.

Attempt missed. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

Booking

Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Francis Coquelin.

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joseph Gomez.

Booking

Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Calum Chambers.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Francis Coquelin.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Jordan Rossiter replaces Lucas Leiva.

Hand ball by Emre Can (Liverpool).

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Theo Walcott replaces Olivier Giroud.

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

Attempt saved. James Milner (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emre Can.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.

Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Nacho Monreal.

Booking

Emre Can (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

Booking

Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal).

Christian Benteke (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).

Attempt blocked. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a cross.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 24th August 2015

View all Premier League results

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City33008089
2Leicester32107437
3Liverpool32102027
4Man Utd32102027
5Crystal Palace32016426
6Swansea31205325
7Everton31115414
8Norwich31115504
9Arsenal311123-14
10Chelsea311157-24
11West Ham31026603
12Watford30302203
13Bournemouth310245-13
14Aston Villa310223-13
15Stoke302134-12
16Tottenham302134-12
17Newcastle302124-22
18Southampton302125-32
19Sunderland301248-41
20West Brom301226-41
View full Premier League table

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