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Three talking points from Arsenal’s defeat vs Liverpool

Arsenal failed to extend their five-match winning streak in the Premier League as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners went into the game with a one-point lead over Manchester United with three games in hand. They had the chance to extend their slender advantage.

It was not meant to be. The north London club were lively in the opening half, but the Reds eventually scored after the interval through Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino.

Here are three talking points from the Gunners’ first defeat since January.

Gabriel Martinelli’s sublime display

Martinelli was not able to find the back of the net, but had a tremendous all-round game for the Gunners. The Brazilian exhibited a superb work rate over 90 minutes, and got the better of Trent Alexander-Arnold on the left flank on numerous occasions.

He registered three take-ons and won four ground duels, but more than that, it was his confidence on the ball and trickery which mesmerised the home faithful. There are no surprises that he has earned a maiden Brazil call-up. At 20, the Gunners have a potential world-beater on their hands.

Failure to capitalise on chances

The Gunners restricted the Reds to just three shots on target, but two of those found the back of the net. On the contrary, they could not replicate the same on the opposite end. Early in the second half, a poor back pass from Thiago handed possession to Alexandre Lacazette.

The Frenchman put the ball on the plate for Martin Odegaard to score, but his extra touch on the ball allowed Allison to cover up and make a superb save. Towards the end, Martinelli hit an effort just wide of the far post. Things could have been different if they took their chances.

Champions League destiny in their hands

Despite the 2-0 defeat, the Gunners remain fourth in the league standings. They have a one-point advantage over United with two games in hand. Those two fixtures will be against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur on the road where they have generally struggled over the years.

It has recently been confirmed that they will face the Blues on April 20, just three days before the home game against United. That could be a pivotal phase in their pursuit of Champions League football. Their focus for now will be on returning to winning ways against Aston Villa before the international break.

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