Battling victories over Newcastle United and Burnley indicated Arsenal had finally found a way to grind out wins, but the 3-1 loss against Liverpool was much more like their brittle old selves.
Prior to the game, Sokratis Papastathopoulos had claimed the Reds were easier to defend against than “lesser” teams but was made to swallow his words in the aftermath of the game.
The towering manner in which Liverpool topped Arsenal over the weekend shows just how much Arsenal still have the same problems from recent years.
The 3-1 scoreline now means Arsenal have conceded 25 goals in their last seven games at Anfield. Not a statistic any Gunner out there will want to see.
However, a rather more worrying statistic has emerged in the wake of Arsenal’s defeat over the weekend.
The Gunners have missed out on Champions League football for the third successive year and while many may blame bad luck/poor defending, the real issue Arsenal must address has to be taken into consideration.
Winning against the “lesser” teams might gather lots of points, but it is stealing points off your rivals and “going above” them that ultimately stands a chance of cutting the distance between rival teams.
Put into context, Arsenal have not won a top-six side away since 2015 and that statistic is a dark summary of the Gunner’s struggles to perform on the road.
Considering the teams in the top six have a higher expectancy to win “lesser” teams, robbing each other off points eventually comes in handy in the course of the season.
Had Aubameyang scored a penalty last season, which would have seen Arsenal win away at Spurs – the Gunners would have all but secured a Champions League spot.
A sterner contest could be explained with title contenders City and Liverpool. The Reds lost only one game all of last season and guess who that was – of course, the only team that could stand them, Guardiola’s Manchester City.
City went on to win the League by a solitary point and had they lost against Liverpool, it could have been the Reds with a double last season.
Imagine having a staggering 97 points and not winning the League, shows how important games against rivals come into play.
Now put Arsenal into the frame and we have a disappointing fact for the Gunners.
Last win at Anfield: September 2012
Last away win vs a Big Six side: January 2015
Last win vs Liverpool: April 2015
Three long winless streaks continue for Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/6vYRst0AS2
— Coral (@Coral) August 24, 2019
Not just against big sides, but the Gunners poor away form even stretches to the so-called “lesser” teams.
Arsenal's away form since December:
— bet365 (@bet365) April 7, 2019
The stat since last December(bar Arsenal’s away win against Newcastle at the start of the season) shows that the Gunners have only won two out of 12 away games and is easily the worst away form in the League.
It’s more disappointing when you realize the two wins came against Blackpool and Huddersfield. Blackpool are currently not in the Premier League and Huddersfield(at the time) were so bad they got relegated at the end of the season.
Further summarized, Arsenal have now failed to win any of their last 23 away league games against fellow ‘big six’ sides (D8 L15) – during this run they have conceded 53 goals while keeping just one clean sheet.
Arsenal have an abysmal away record but can take solace in the fact that their home record is up there with one of the best in the League.
An improvement, even only slightly, might be all it takes to secure the all-important points that might see the Gunners pay tribute to Champions League football after a three-year absence.
Emery will be looking to address the mental issue against fellow top-six sides and will be hoping his side can steal something off United(the next top six side Arsenal play away). in a month’s time.