6 talking points from Liverpool's 2-0 FA Cup win at Arsenal

Liverpool are through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after an impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.

The home side started the first 45 on top, creating a lot of early chances, with Kai Havertz being particularly wasteful, Martin Odegaard hitting the crossbar from close range and Ben White drawing a superb save from Alisson.

The Reds, meanwhile, also rattled the bar via Trent Alexander-Arnold.

However, after coach Jurgen Klopp tweaked his side’s shape after the break, the Reds started to come into the game much more.

Darwin Nunez, cutting in from the left, flashed a shot just wide of the far post, before Luis Diaz brought an excellent save from Aaron Ramsdale.

But as the Gunners continued to be profligate in front of goal, Liverpool remained in the game and, in the 80th minute, found the breakthrough when Jakub Kiwior flicked Alexander-Arnold’s freekick past his own goalkeeper.

Then, as the Gunners pushed for the equaliser, Luis Diaz sealed the win in stoppage time, excellently finishing off a wonderful counter-attacking move.

Here are six talking points from the game.

1) Fantastic spirit… again

Liverpool were massively under the cosh at times at the Emirates, but managed to keep their wasteful opponents at bay despite missing two key members of their spine in the shape of Virgil van Dijk and Wataru Endo.

Much like in the 2-1 win away at Newcastle, Jurgen Klopp managed the game perfectly. His side stayed in the game for as long as possible and managed to seal the victory with two late goals.

The team really dug in and showed the spirit they’ll need if they’re to go the distance this year.

2) A Salah-shaped hole

In what was the first game after Mohamed Salah’s departure to the African Cup of Nations, Liverpool certainly missed their Egyptian King.

For the opening half-hour, the Reds’ set-up just didn’t look right. Harvey Elliott started on the right, while Cody Gakpo played as part of the midfield three, with the shape occasionally converting into a 4-2-4.

Not only was the pressing lacking intensity from the right, there was also precious little movement in behind on that side, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, in particular, becoming frustrated at not being able to play his characteristic pass into that right-hand channel.

Klopp changed it up after the break, employing Luis Diaz on the right, Darwin Nunez on the left, and Gakpo (and later Diogo Jota) down the middle.

This coincided with the Reds’ best spell of the game from an attacking perspective, with Elliott looking much more at ease operating from the centre.

Going forward, especially after his goal, we may well see Diaz more from the right during the coming month.

3) Quansah, in at the deep end

In the absence of the ill Virgil van Dijk, Jarell Quansah was given the nod as the left-sided centre-back alongside Ibrahima Konate.

He was thrown in at the deep end, and, on the whole, he swam.

As Arsenal flew out the traps, the youngster initially struggled, particularly with the ball at his feet. The Gunners seemingly deliberately left him as Alisson’s only out-ball, then forced him onto his much weaker left foot and, more often than not, he then gave the ball away.

However, in the second half, he grew massively in confidence and asserted his authority on the Liverpool defence with some much more front-foot defending. He was aggressive both in the tackle, and even in carrying the ball out.

Between man-of-the-match Konate and the once again excellent Joe Gomez, he didn't look out of place at all. In fact, he looks very much a Liverpool player.

4) Three different Endo replacements

Despite a difficult start to life on Merseyside, with Wataru Endo also now away on international duty, Liverpool are going to have a tough time replacing him.

Alexis Mac Allister’s return to fitness is very timely: even if he’s not the most natural fit for the lone ‘six’ role.

The Argentinian started the game there and showed some excellent touches and neat passing, but his usual shortcomings in that area of the engine room became apparent when he was bundled off the ball by Declan Rice in the 29th minute, presenting Kai Havertz with a chance.

Curtis Jones then took over in that position when the Argentinian was hooked after an hour, but when he too was withdrawn, it was Alexander-Arnold who filled in there.

With Mac Allister still coming back from injury, we can likely expect this type of rotation to continue.

5) Brilliant cameos

With the scores level at 0-0, Klopp made a surprise switch by introducing both 20-year-old Conor Bradley and 18-year-old Bobby Clark.

However, neither were fazed by the occasion and, in fact, looked excellent.

Bradley, in particular, was fantastic in his one-on-one battle with Gabriel Martinelli, just as the Brazilian seemed to have Alexander-Arnold on toast.

Offensively, too, he snuck his way into the penalty area and nearly got an assist.

Clark, meanwhile, was very combative in midfield and showed excellent game intelligence to give away a tactical foul to thwart a dangerous counter-attack.

6) "Space purple"

It was a clash between two titans of English football, but there was nothing traditional about the colours on show on Sunday.

Liverpool wore their third kit, officially a “space purple”, despite Arsenal wearing all white at home for the first time in the club's history as part of the No More Red campaign against knife crime and youth violence.

An excellent cause, of course, but very jarring on the eye.

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