Steven Gerrard: Liverpool must win midfield battle to beat Arsenal

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes the Reds must gain an advantage in midfield against the Gunners on Saturday

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard Photo: Back Page Images

Steven Gerrard believes the key to Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool in November was their midfield dominance ahead of the Gunners’ trip to Anfield on Saturday.

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Gunners midfielder Santi Cazorla opened the scoring at The Emirates before Aaron Ramsey landed a breath-taking long-range finish past Simon Mignolet to seal three points over their rivals.

I think that in the middle of the pitch was where we lost the game down there

Steven Gerrard

Liverpool are expected to field Gerrard and Jordan Henderson in centre-midfield on Saturday, with Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling likely to occupy the wide positions.

And the Liverpool captain Gerrard feels the Reds must emulate their dominant midfield performance in a 4-0 win against Everton when Brendan Rodgers’ men take on the Premier League leaders.

“I think what we learned from that match was if you don’t play well in the big games, more often than not, you won’t get the points or the result that you’re looking for,” Gerrard told Liverpool’s website.

“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say that the opposition were better on the day – and Arsenal played really well.

“They were at home, it was a very difficult game for us and we’re hoping that the roles reverse this time round. We’re at Anfield and our form is really good there. We’re really confident we can get the result we want.

“I think that in the middle of the pitch was where we lost the game down there. I have to admit that our midfielders were not on our games on the day. I think we were outnumbered in the middle.

“What you have understand is that when you play Arsenal, they don’t really play with wide-men who hug the touchline, they have wide men who come in and try to outnumber you in the middle of the midfield.

“So at times they had up to five men in there. They had Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and then they had a forward dropping in as well. So it’s important that we try and get the numerical advantage at Anfield in the game tomorrow.

“That’s how we beat Everton – we had superiority in the middle. We were too aggressive for them and we dominated the middle of the pitch. If you do that in big games, then more often than not, you win them.”

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