‘There was only one team trying to win’: Liverpool draw United blank to send Arsenal top as legend slams ‘arrogant’ Reds
After leading the Premier League for 248 days last season without going on to win the title, Arsenal look set for another substantial challenge.
Mikel Arteta’s team moved back to the top of the table on Sunday (Monday AEDT) after a 2-0 win against Brighton.
And the Londoners will remain in first place ahead of their visit to Anfield on Saturday after Liverpool were later held at home by Manchester United in a 0-0 draw.
The derby, which had been labelled as Erik ten Hag’s last chance to turn United’s season around, was a game of attack v defence, with Liverpool managing 34 shots – but no goals.
Diego Dalot was sent off late for two dissents in as many seconds, but the visitors held on to salvage a much-needed point.
Their lack of ambition sparked a post-match war of words between home captain Virgil van Dijk and United legend Roy Keane.
“We had most of the ball and created most of the opportunities,” said the Dutchman.
“There was only one team trying to win. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. That is why it is frustrating because we want to win every game. Especially when you play against a team like them.”
Former United captain Keane retorted:
“There’s a lot of arrogance coming out of him, dissing Manchester United like that. He needs reminding that he is playing for a club that has won one title in 30-odd years.
“Manchester United are in a difficult place, just like Liverpool have been in a difficult place for many years. So maybe that arrogance backfired on him today.”
“He needs to remember where he is coming from. One title in 33 years?
“He said Man United were buzzing and one team came to play. I’ve come to Anfield many times with Manchester United where Liverpool were in a tough place and they were happy with a draw.
“The bottom line is that the most important stat is the scoreline. Liverpool had chances and didn’t take them. That’s their own fault.”
Arsenal made the most of defending champions Manchester City’s surprise draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday — and the weekend got even better for Arteta as Liverpool dropped points as well.
Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz both scored in the second half at Emirates Stadium to extend Arsenal’s advantage over fourth-place City to five points.
Arsenal are also one point in front of second-placed Liverpool, after Jurgen Klopp’s men failed to convert any of their 34 shots on goal and saw their 100 per cent home record ended.
Aston Villa may well be surprise challengers too if they can continue their outstanding early-season form.
Trailing 1-0 at Brentford after Keane Lewis-Potter’s first-half goal, Unai Emery’s team came back to win 2-1, with Ben Mee’s red card for the Bees in the 71st minute a turning point.
Alex Moreno levelled the score for the visitors six minutes later before Ollie Watkins found the winner in the 85th.
Villa had Boubacar Kamara sent off in the seventh minute of stoppage time, but held on to make it five wins out of their last six games in the league.
Mohammed Kudus is looking like one of the buys of the season after West Ham signed him from Ajax for around $72 million in August.
He struck twice as David Moyes’ team beat Wolves 3-0 at London Stadium.
The attacker had also scored in Thursday’s Europa League win against Freiburg and his double on Sunday meant he now has eight goals in all competitions for West Ham.
Jarrod Bowen also got on the scoresheet for his 10th of the season.
Meanwhile, Luton reported that captain Tom Lockyer was undergoing tests and scans following his cardiac arrest on Saturday. The defender had collapsed on the field during his team’s game against Bournemouth, which was then abandoned.