Arteta wants Arsenal to take a different approach against Liverpool

Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to take a different approach against Liverpool in top four clash on Saturday night despite his team beating Jurgen Klopp’s champions with just 31 per cent possession last year

  • Arsenal take on Liverpool on Saturday night in crucial game in the top four race
  • Gunners are ninth at present but can close to within a point of Reds in seventh
  • Mikel Arteta’s side got the better of Jurgen Klopp’s champions last season
  • They achieved this despite seeing very little of the ball at the Emirates Stadium
  • But Arteta wants his team to adapt to the challenge of Liverpool this time around 

Mikel Arteta wants to see Arsenal approach their fixture with Liverpool in a different way to last season – even though his side were victorious against the Premier League champions.

The Gunners came from behind at the Emirates Stadium to win the corresponding game 2-1 last year.

Both goals resulted from Liverpool mistakes as Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker errors were capitalised on by Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson.

Mikel Arteta wants his Arsenal side to show they can match the challenge of Liverpool 

Arsenal beat champions Liverpool 2-1 at the Emirates in the closing stages of last season

But Arteta has been looking to implement his own philosophy on the team this season, albeit with varying success, and that will not change when Liverpool head to north London on Saturday.

Arsenal were victorious despite having just 31 per cent possession – with similar statistics in wins over Manchester City and Chelsea delivering Arteta an FA Cup in his first season in charge.

‘I think the game dictates that,’ the boss said when asked if Arsenal will play their own way against Liverpool this time around.

‘I think sometimes you have to adapt to the opponent because they’re just better than you and sometimes you can make the opponent adapt.

Alexandre Lacazette takes the ball around Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker to score last July

Reiss Nelson scored what proved to be Arsenal’s winner in last season’s Emirates encounter

‘We’ll see, depending on what they are able to do and what we are able to do as well. Obviously, the intention and the game we want to propose is different to the one that we played last year.

‘When you play against top-quality sides, sometimes you have to be able to adapt your game to get the results that you need.’

If Arsenal can repeat their victory from last season they will move to within a point of Liverpool in the table.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have struggled in the fight to retain their Premier League crown but Arteta admits he has been impressed with the evolution at Anfield since the German arrived in 2015.

Klopp and Arteta share a joke on the sidelines before Arsenal’s win over Liverpool last season

‘I don’t like to compare different projects – I think what they’ve done is remarkable,’ he added when asked if his task at Arsenal is similar to Klopp’s at Liverpool.

‘It’s been really intelligent. The way they managed resources and the way they have maximised resources has been exceptional.

‘They’ve done it really, really well and now it is about sustaining that. We are in different phases of that project right now but we know exactly where we are and where we want to be and in the first one of two phases.

‘We had some priorities that we had to address to be in a position to now evolve the squad, evolve the team and start to compete on a different level and this is where we are.’

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