Saturday's humiliating defeat at Anfield was an unwelcome, irritating occurrence. The question rattling around my head was "Why?". It doesn't make sense that a team that has spent 130 days on top of the Premier League and has one of the best defensive records in the league, should find themselves 4-0 down after just 20 minutes.
After the match, Wenger stated, "Only our supporters were good." He was right. Holding no punches, Arteta was (and is) second rate, Özil was pathetic (by his own high standards) and Monreal has no place in the starting line-up. Gibbs is not injured and should be starting. I hate to criticise Giroud, but even the usually tireless Frenchman was idling for much of the match.
In short Arsenal weren't up for it, and Liverpool - spurred on by the home support - very much were.
Therein lies the lesson which we can take into our game versus Manchester United. The game at Anfield showed the power of home ground advantage to cancel out differences in history, and league standings. Win, lose or draw, Liverpool have always performed better against Arsenal when playing at home. Its usually been the same for Arsenal when playing United. Regardless of the result, our performances versus the Red Devils at the Emirates have been praiseworthy. When we've lost, its usually a lack of luck in the final third.
I have no doubt that despite being thrashed by Liverpool, Arsenal are the better footballing side. The difference on the day boiled down to commitment, focus and desire. Home support certainly played a role.
We're undoubtedly better than United this season, so the chances of us taking a page from Liverpool's book and thrashing United at the Emirates are high, IF we apply the same determination and belief that Liverpool did at Anfield.
Guest Post By Matthew Hurlow
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