Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0: How Benteke, Cech and other summer signings performed

Ross Cannon examines how Christian Benteke and Petr Cech performed in a goalless draw between Arsenal and Liverpool

By Ross Cannon


Petr Cech The veteran goalkeeper dispelled any anxiety surrounding his shaky start to his Arsenal career with a fine first-half, with two brilliant saves coming at the end of the half. The first was to keep out Christian Benteke from close range, as Petr Cech parried the Belgian’s side-footed attempt at full-stretch. In truth, Benteke should have found the back of the net. The second was a fantastic fingertip save to push the ball onto the Arsenal woodwork from a Philippe Coutinho shot. The Brazilian’s curling effort looked to be on its way into the corner of the net, but for the fingernails of Cech. Arsenal’s second-half dominance saw resulted in little action for Cech, who picked up his and Arsenal’s first clean sheet of the season. 7/10


Nathaniel Clyne The England right-back has continued his Southampton form with his constant and consistent marauding forward style of play. The 24-year-old played the wing-back role to great effect, forcing a corner from a deflected cross on 25 minutes. The second-half saw less opportunities for the Clyne to bomb forward but the ex-Southampton man defendly stoutly and is adapting well to life on Merseyside. 6

Joe Gomez The 18-year-old was fired into the limelight by Brendan Rodgers on the first day of the season against Stoke, and Joe Gomez has impressed ever since. Assured, confident and calm on the ball, not something you associate with players so young, but Rodgers’s faith in the youngster has paid dividends. The Londoner looked comfortable with every and every Arsenal player who came down the Liverpool left hand channel, only being beaten for pace once by substitute and speedster, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. 7

James Milner The Liverpool captain played a selfless role on the right-hand side of a midfield trio alongside Lucas Levia, Emre Can and Roberto Firmino who was later substituted. With Steven Gerrard now departed and Jordan Henderson unavailable due to a foot injury, it was up to the vice-captain to marshal his troops. James Milner was vocal as ever and acted as a solid defensive screen on the right-hand side of the Liverpool midfield. 6

Roberto Firmino The £29m man made his way into Brendan Rodgers starting XI for the first time this season, with Jordan Ibe dropping to the bench and it was lacklustre full debut from the Brazilian. The 23-year-old did do his part defensively, helping out Clyne on the right flank, but the winger failed to get to grips with the game and impose himself as an attacking force. By the 63 minute the ex-Hoffenhaim man was chasing shadows and was promptly removed by Rodgers, with Ibe coming on from the bench. 5

Christian Benteke While fellow front-man Balotelli seemingly on his way out of the club, Benteke looks set to be Liverpool no1 centre-forward, but the Belgian failed to take of advantage of Arsenal’s defensive woes. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny were ruled out of the game, which left the untried and untested pairing of Gabriel and Calum Chambers to play the centre-back partnership. The towering centre-forward teed-up Coutinho on the edge of the box with three minutes gone, but the Brazilian could only rattle the woodwork. Benteke attempted to bludgeon his was through time-and-time, but the Arsenal defence stood firm. A stream of constant long balls from Mignolet to Benteke failed to pay any dividends for Rodgers once again. 5

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