It’s the morning after Liverpool’s 0-0 spirited draw with Arsenal, and we round-up the best newspaper reaction from the Emirates showdown.
It was very much a game of two halves in north London, as the Reds bossed the first-half then saw off a Gunners onslaught after the break.
These are matches that Brendan Rodgers simply hasn’t been earning points from in the past, so the dogged nature of the performance can only bode well going forward.
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The football was superb at times too, with eye-catching performances going forward from the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Christian Benteke, among others.
All in all it was a night to feel very positive as a Reds supporter; here is how the morning papers saw the game.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo understandably heaped praise on the performance:
This was the night that proved there is real substance to Liverpool’s revival.
Having unconvincingly seen off the challenge of Stoke and Bournemouth, Brendan Rodgers’ side passed their first truly significant test of the campaign with flying colours against Arsenal in the capital.
A solid start to the campaign is now a mightily impressive one with seven points out of nine providing the perfect platform to launch a top-four push. The memories of that dismal spring are slowly being banished.
The Daily Telegraph‘s Jeremy Wilson lauded the display of Coutinho, who looked the most talented player on the pitch from start to finish:
Brendan Rodgers deserves credit for seemingly strengthening this summer while losing both his most saleable asset and iconic player but the best Liverpool deal of the year was surely back in February when Philippe Coutinho agreed a contract until 2020.
The Liverpool crowd seeks heroes, rarely more than now after the departures in successive summers of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, but Coutinho again showed why he can become the next talisman of Anfield.
Jack Lang of the Mirror was another who couldn’t help but gush over the Brazilian’s brilliance:
The YouTube compilations may suggest otherwise, but Coutinho has not yet achieved superstar status at Liverpool. His first two and a half seasons were peppered with instances of sublime skill, but also marked by inconsistency. He may have been nominated for Footballer of the Year last term, but he has spent much of his Liverpool career in the shadow of other players: Luis Suarez to start with, then Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling.
This season is still young but there is growing evidence that Coutinho is ready to go to the next level. He was arguably the most dangerous player on the park at the Emirates, evading the Arsenal defence time and again with those dancing feet. If he can keep this up – and it is easy to forget that he is still just 23 – he will be some force.
Dominic Fifield of the Guardian felt there was a better balance to the Liverpool side with the changes Rodgers made:
Liverpool had arrived with their own injury problems –Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana were out of contention – but there was actually a better balance to their set-up revolving around Milner’s industry, Lucas Leiva’s bustle and the creative fulcrum that was Coutinho, particularly in the first half.
It will be interesting to see if Lucas is now retained beyond the transfer deadline. Certainly, the fact this lineup boasted progressive full-backs in Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez, ever eager to provide natural width in an otherwise rather cramped system, bodes well while the ball can be belted upfield to Benteke in the belief, rather than hope, it will stick.
They remain a team in transition but this draw was arguably more promising than their victories against Stoke and Bournemouth.
Finally, EPSN‘s Steven Kelly focussed on the excellence of Joe Gomez, who was once again magnificent at left-back:
There were fine performances all over the pitch but there must be a special mention for young Joe Gomez, who gave a performance of stunning maturity.
Some of his interceptions and clearances were first class and a few runs forward took the breath away. His yellow card was the one blot, as it was his third already this season and any ban would mean Liverpool would be left missing his services already. A real find.
It’s certainly a case of “so far so good” for all of manager Brendan Rodgers’ newest recruits and just as at Stoke on the opening day, the club has wiped out the memory of its last dismal visit to a football ground (Liverpool lost 4-1 on April 4) with its latest performance there.
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> Video: Brendan Rodgers’ post-Arsenal press conference – “Our performance level is growing