Three key Arsenal players who under-performed against Liverpool

Giroud V Stoke

Arsenal suffered a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, but who were the key under-performers for Arsene Wenger's side?

Mesut Ozil

An obvious but necessary place to start given that the German play-maker made two errors that led to Liverpool goals.  

In truth, Ozil has not been anywhere near his best for some time, but against Liverpool he looked devoid of confidence and was replaced shortly after half-time.

As you can see from the table below, Arsenal have conceded six goals in the Premier League this season as a result of an error from one of their own.  But Ozil is the first to make two such mistakes in little over an hour.

PlayerMatchMatchdayError Lead To GoalMins
Mesut Özil Liverpool vs Arsenal 25 2 61
Santiago Cazorla Aston Villa vs Arsenal 21 1 90
Mathieu Flamini Man City vs Arsenal 16 1 72
Wojciech Szczesny West Ham vs Arsenal 18 1 90
Jack Wilshere Man City vs Arsenal 16 1 90

Olivier Giroud

The French striker was soon on Twitter to apologise for his performance on Saturday, and you can understand why when you see a striker have just two scoring attempts prior to his subsitution.

On top form in the league, Giroud has had six scoring attempts against Aston Villa, and has recorded five attempts on five separate occasions.  But against the Reds, he was clearly not at his best, and he was replaced by Lukas Podolski shortly before Ozil joined him on the bench. 

PlayerMatchMatchdayTotal Scoring AttMins
Olivier Giroud Arsenal vs Aston Villa 01 6 90
Olivier Giroud Cardiff vs Arsenal 13 5 90
Olivier Giroud Arsenal vs Stoke 05 5 90
Olivier Giroud Sunderland vs Arsenal 04 5 89
Olivier Giroud Crystal Palace vs Arsenal 09 5 90
Olivier Giroud Arsenal vs Spurs 03 5 90
Olivier Giroud Aston Villa vs Arsenal 21 4 90
Olivier Giroud Arsenal vs Everton 15 4 90
Olivier Giroud Arsenal vs Norwich 08 4 78
Olivier Giroud Man City vs Arsenal 16 3 76
Olivier Giroud Newcastle vs Arsenal 19 3 86
Olivier Giroud West Ham vs Arsenal 18 3 85
Olivier Giroud Arsenal vs Fulham 22 3 90
Olivier Giroud West Brom vs Arsenal 07 3 85
Olivier Giroud Arsenal vs Southampton 12 3 90
Olivier Giroud Liverpool vs Arsenal 25 2 60

Santi Cazorla

It may seem somewhat harsh to name the Spaniard in this list given his recent fine form.  But it is exactly because of that form that he is included.

Arsenal's Player of the Month for January was exactly the type of player needed to inspire victory - or at least a better showing - on Saturday.  With the Gunners in desperate need of chances, Cazorla's recent goal-scoring run came to an end, as did his ability to create for his teammates.

Twice this season he has made six key passes in Premier League matches.  Against Liverpool, that figure dropped to just two.

PlayerMatchMatchdayKey PassMins
Santiago Cazorla Fulham vs Arsenal 02 6 90
Santiago Cazorla West Ham vs Arsenal 18 6 90
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal vs Fulham 22 5 90
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal vs Spurs 03 3 90
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal vs Hull 14 3 90
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal vs Liverpool 10 3 84
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal vs Cardiff 20 2 90
Santiago Cazorla Liverpool vs Arsenal 25 2 90

 

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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