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Liverpool’s “brilliant, hard-fought win” over Arsenal hailed as “significant” moment

Liverpool battled impressively to overcome Arsenal in the FA Cup third round, with those in the media lauding their winning mentality.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men were under the cosh for almost the entire first half at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, but they managed to get through that period.

The Reds then produced a smash-and-grab second half showing, as a Jakub Kiwior own goal and a Luis Diaz strike sent them into the fourth round.

Here’s the best of the media reaction to Liverpool’s win.

 

Liverpool really displayed their winning edge…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Díaz (3rd from R) celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

David Lynch hailed the mental fortitude on show by the Reds, following a poor start:

“Liverpool obviously fortunate at times today but a) they also improved as the game went on and b) it’s Arsenal away from home!

“If you can’t dominate, then show resilience, and this team has that in spades. A truly brilliant, hard-fought win.”

On X, Neil Jones described it as a “significant win” in Liverpool’s season:

Oliver Holt of the Daily Mail felt similarly, even though the game may not have felt huge in the lead-up to kickoff:

“Sometimes, the importance of a match like Arsenal-Liverpool is laced with questions about the significance of the game beyond the desire to avoid a replay.

“Those questions hung over this game, too, but by the time it was over, it was hard to doubt its significance for both sides.

[…]

“Their win, achieved despite the absence of their talisman Mo Salah, who is away at the Africa Cup of Nations, moved them into the fourth round draw and provided another huge boost to their confidence.

“The impetus in a season that once felt as if it would belong to Aresenal has shifted north to Merseyside.”

Lewis Steele said Klopp’s tactical alternations were a key reason for the victory:

BBC Sport‘s Phil McNulty lauded Liverpool’s win, considering they did it without both Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah:

“Liverpool were missing two of their superstars in the meeting of the Premier League title challengers in this FA Cup tie – but they impressively overcame the absence of Van Dijk and Salah.

“They were grateful for Arsenal‘s poor finishing in the first half but Klopp’s side were always in the game and, even without Salah, they possess menace in their forward line and that was increasingly in evidence as the game went on.

Ibrahima Konate in particular stood out – proving he can produce commanding performances even without Van Dijk alongside him – while young defender Jarell Quansah continues to impress in the absence of Joel Matip.”

 

This is a season that is growing in momentum by the week…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are thriving across several competitions – something that the Guardian‘s David Hytner focused on:

“Liverpool’s joy knew no bounds. There had been the sense that this FA Cup tie was more important for Arsenal, given the form that they had taken into it – three Premier League defeats in five.

“The need for them to recover momentum was greater. Liverpool, sitting pretty at the top of the table, had the security of their shot at Carabao Cup glory; they face Fulham in their semi-final first leg at Anfield on Wednesday.”

The Telegraph‘s Jason Burt questioned how much of a psychological impact this result could have on Arsenal:

“The importance of this win for Liverpool may not be felt until May. Not necessarily in the FA Cup but in the context of the Premier League title race.

“For the second season in a row Arsenal have gone out of this competition to what was, at the time, their closest rivals.

Manchester City knocked them out in the fourth round of that campaign, and will of course have a say this time round, and a weakened Liverpool have done so now.

“It will lead to angst and soul-searching at Arsenal as to the wastefulness of their attack – with Kai Havertz a husk of a centre-forward as he spurned chance after chance – and while Liverpool were hardly deadly they are in the hat.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Díaz (3rd from R) celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Finally, This Is Anfield‘s Lynch wondered if another 63-game season be on the horizon for Liverpool:

“In the build-up to this game, much was made of the fact that a draw resulting in a replay would be the worst possible outcome. But too many took that to mean that Klopp would simply throw in the towel, naming a team guaranteed to suffer a defeat that would remove the FA Cup from his list of concerns for the season.

“The German did, of course, make some changes, but he still put out a team capable of – and, judging by their performance, hellbent on – securing passage to the next round.

“That should put to bed any notion that Liverpool won’t be giving everything to keep making their way to the latter stages of this competition, even with fixtures piling up.

“With that in mind, Reds supporters should prepare themselves for another four-fronted tilt for honours and the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it.

“Are we in for another 63 game season…?”