Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool on Sunday afternoon was a huge one, more so for the Gunners.
Lose and Mikel Arteta’s men would find themselves eight points behind the Reds in their quest to win the Premier League title.
That’s an almighty way back if you want to be victorious come May. Still, thankfully for those of a Gunners persuasion, they lifted their performance levels to deliver one of their best displays of the campaign to date, winning 3-1.
Bukayo Saka opened the scoring but a mix-up at the back between David Raya and William Saliba stunned the Emirates Stadium on the stroke of half-time.
Liverpool’s own mix-up, involving Alisson and Virgil van Dijk allowed Gabriel Martinelli to give the north Londoners the lead in the second half before Leandro Trossard’s last-gasp effort wrapped up the points.
It was a seismic victory for Arteta and his men who narrowed the gap to two points at the top end of the division. One player, in particular, starred for the Gunners; Jorginho.
9/10 Arsenal star was as good as Jorginho vs Liverpool
Jorginho put in a colossal performance vs Liverpool but another star stood out for Arsenal.
Jorginho’s performance vs Liverpool
Signed for just £12m in the winter of 2023, the Italian’s arrival hardly did much to spark excitement among the fanbase at Arsenal. However, very quickly the £110k-per-week midfielder has become somewhat of a cult hero.
From that crunching late effort against Aston Villa last term to his display versus Liverpool on Sunday, the veteran is quite evidently a man for big occasions.
He was handed the official Man of the Match award for his performance against Jurgen Klopp’s team, having boasted more touches of the ball (70) than any other Arsenal player. It was a superb display that gave Arsenal control, dominance and an element of calmness.
Such a display impressed Gunners icon Ray Parlour too.
Ray Parlour compares Jorginho to Martin Keown
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast on behalf of NetBet Online Casino, the ex-midfielder first revealed his surprise at Jorginho starting the clash:
„It was a bit of a shock when the team came up and it was a situation where you thought, hold on. Certainly, he [Arteta] got it right. He was fantastic in the end, Jorginho. I’m really pleased for him because he’s a really good pro.“
It was a display that typified what the former Chelsea man has brought to the Emirates Stadium after joining a year ago. He is Arteta’s voice on the pitch and that’s a quality Parlour believes is crucial to having in your squad.
He told FFC: „He’s really good around the dressing room. Sometimes you need characters around the dressing room who even though you don’t play on a regular basis, you can keep pushing the lads. We had Martin Keown in the Invincibles who didn’t play many games but he was always in that area where if someone was dropping off he was pushing people. Jorginho is a certain player like that.“
Signed for a measly fee, it could well prove to be one of Arsenal’s biggest bargains of recent years, particularly when you consider the influence he could well be having on the younger members of the squad.
Speaking about what he brings behind the scenes, the Romford Pele added: „He [Jorginho] knows how to win trophies, he knows how to get over the line. People forget it’s a very young squad Arsenal have got. You do need a few experienced heads around the youngsters to help them.
„I could see him being appointed as a coach when he’s older. That’s why Arteta looked at him and thought ‚I can see he’s going to help the youngsters. We will need him at certain periods in the season; there’s no doubt about that. Jorginho will know exactly what his role is coming into the club but if you need me I’ll be ready to go. I’ll train well every day‘.“
Arsenal have been struggling to find Declan Rice’s ideal partner since he signed for the club from West Ham. Kai Havertz has played in the no.8 role, while Emile Smith Rowe even featured there against Nottingham Forest.
However, as was evident versus Liverpool, they may not even need one. After all, the double pivot of Rice and Jorginho worked a treat.