Arsenal had the chance to create a historic moment at Anfield on Sunday. A moment that would have been replayed for years to come, no matter how this season ends up turning out.
Let me set the scene for you…
The game is level in the 95th minute at a ground Arsenal haven’t won at in 11 years. Aaron Ramsdale pulls off one of the best saves you will ever see. He had only a 16% chance of saving it. That’s how good it was.
Still in shock at this save by #Ramsdale!
So many GKs would give up on it but not #Rambo!
— John Harrison (@Jhdharrison1) April 10, 2023
From one end of the pitch to the other in a second, Arsenal were on the counter in the last minute of the game, with a three on one situation. It was Martinelli, Trossard and Saka against Robertson.
Trossard flicks the ball back to Martinelli who has the pitch open for him to find Saka. Arsenal fans all over the world were shouting at the Brazilian to make the pass. He slows down, looks to compose himself and finally plays it.
Genuinely thought this was it, could’ve been the goal that led to the title. pic.twitter.com/JoYueS7q65
— James. (@afcjxmes) April 9, 2023
Saka is though on goal, well for a split second that’s what every Arsenal fan thought, until Alisson appeared out of nowhere to intercept it. Martinelli overhit the pass and the chance was gone. The historic moment was gone.
It wasn’t meant to be and some fans, including myself, are struggling to believe how Arsenal have left Anfield with only a point. However, I hope what I write next will help put some context to the situation…
Arsenal were lucky to find themselves in that position in the 96th minute regardless…
There have been so many moments I can speak about this season which have put Arsenal in the position they currently find themselves in. Of course you need the ability and the right mentality to win the Premier League, but you need more than just that. Some of what you need is out of your control, e.g luck.
Good luck? Jorginho’s shot bouncing in off Emi Martinez’ head to win at Villa Park. Arsenal somehow pulling off the 1-0 victory at Elland Road earlier on in the season. Reiss Nelson’s last minute winner against Bournemouth.
Back luck? VAR forgetting to draw the lines against Brentford at home. Gabriel Martinelli’s opening goal being ruled out at Old Trafford. Martinelli overhitting the pass to Saka in the last minute at Anfield.
Luck or bad officiating, however you want to put it, these things typically even themselves out across the 38 games. Although the moment could have been one that would have been remembered forever, Arsenal were extremely lucky to find themselves in that position in the 96th minute regardless.
Liverpool fans would have also been leaving Anfield on Sunday thinking they should have won the match. If it wasn’t for the Arsenal number one then Arsenal could have easily left Merseyside with notice. So if both teams will be thinking they should have won it, maybe that means a draw is a fair result?
One moment, even as special as that could have been, doesn’t define a match.
One match doesn’t define a season, just like one moment doesn’t define a match.
Arsenal didn’t drop points because Trent nutmegged Zinchenko. Arsenal didn’t drop points because Martinelli overhit the pass. Arsenal didn’t drop points because Xhaka lost his temper for a split second.
Many actions & many moments define a football game, often than not it’s defined by the smallest of margins, as we saw at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool have only lost one game at Anfield in the league this season and there’s a reason for that. It’s a horrible place to go, so for Mikel Arteta’s side to produce the performance they did, especially in the first 30 minutes, it will give the players an enormous amount of confidence which could be vital for trips to the Etihad and St James’s Park still to come.
What could have been..
So thinking about what could have been at Anfield is the same for any game Arsenal have dropped points in this season. What could have been at Old Trafford if Martinelli’s goal was given. What could have been against Brentford if VAR done it’s job properly.
Arsenal still remain top of the table with eight games left to play and the only thing that matters now is beating West Ham and Southampton before the trip to the Etihad at the end of the month.
So to sum it up, Arsenal could have won at Anfield but they also very easily could have lost if it wasn’t for Ramsdale. Ultimately one moment doesn’t define a match, regardless of how special that moment could have been.
Onto West Ham it is…