Premier League

Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Emirates Stadium
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.

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.

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



Formation 4-2-3-1

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


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


Formation 4-3-3

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


  • 17Sakho
  • 18Moreno
  • 27Origi
  • 28Ings
  • 33Ibe
  • 34Bogdan
  • 46Rossiter
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamLiverpool
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 0, Liverpool 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 0, Liverpool 0.

  3. Post update

    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.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jordon Ibe (Liverpool).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno replaces Philippe Coutinho.

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

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

  11. Booking

    Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

  14. Post update

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

  15. Substitution

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

  16. Post update

    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.

  17. Booking

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

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).

  20. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Calum Chambers.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 24th August 2015

As It Stood

1Man City33008089
4Man Utd32102027
5Crystal Palace32016426
11West Ham31026603
14Aston Villa310223-13
20West Brom301226-41
View full Premier League table

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