Arsenal’s future is unlikely to be this brand of intense resilience so the familiar mistakes that led to Liverpool’s goal still resonate

In a mixing studio somewhere deep in the Premier League’s plague bunker, a young sound engineer was, one suspects, given only a moment’s pause. Just what crowd effect do you play after an error by Virgil van Dijk? The Ride of the Valkyries? The gathering rainclouds of impending apocalypse? Perhaps sensibly, they went with the safe option of an Arsenal cheer, which managed to convey most of the home team’s elation but very little of the seismic shock, the existential befuddlement: like being told there’s no such thing as Belgium, or that potato waffles are actually made of fur.

For some time after conceding their unexpected equaliser, you could glimpse a similar wild psychosis in Liverpool’s players, the baffled stupor of a team who had just had the very fabric of their reality ripped from around them. Shortly before half-time, their garlanded goalkeeper Alisson made an even worse error to gift Arsenal the lead. And though they recovered their moorings, reasserting their supremacy and putting Arsenal under increasing pressure as the second half went on, it was ultimately that sort of night: one on which new, screwball visions of the future fleetingly presented themselves.

Related: Arsenal's Lacazette and Nelson make Liverpool pay for defensive lapses

Related: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool: Premier League – live!

Continue reading...