Liverpool’s struggles during their 3-2 defeat at Arsenal were probably best illustrated through Mohamed Salah’s continued poor form, as Takehiro Tomiyasu bossed him during a Premier League thriller.
The Japanese defender made his first start in the Premier League since the end of last season, when injury curtailed the final few weeks of his campaign.
Tomiyasu was started out of position on Sunday by Mikel Arteta in a clear attempt to nullify Salah, with Oleksandr Zinchenko missing through injury and Kieran Tierney named among the substitutes.
However, Arteta’s decision to start Tomiyasu proved to be the right one as the Japanese international had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt and kept Salah, last season’s PFA Player of the Year winner, throughout until the Egyptian was replaced by Fabinho late on.
Tomiyasu stopped Salah in his tracks time and time again as Liverpool attacked, particularly in the first half where Jurgen Klopp’s men had a lot more of the ball, despite being 2-1 down at the break.
This performance was quite the contrast to last season when Arsenal faced Liverpool at Anfield, when Salah terrorised young left-back Nuno Tavares and got himself on the scoresheet as Liverpool demolished the Gunners 4-0. It just goes to show how far this Arsenal team have come.
And his highlights made for impressive viewing, as the video compilation below shows.
Tomiyasu 🇯🇵冨安健洋 vs Liverpool (09/10/2022)#ARSLIV #LiverpoolFC #PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/lGdfSP3tMJ
— ZedComps (@love4thegunners) October 10, 2022
The fan reaction to Tomiyasu’s performance has been very positive too.
One fan tweeted: “Takehiro Tomiyasu take a bow.”
While another chimed in with: “Takehiro Tomiyasu was Arsenal’s unsung hero vs Liverpool.”
There will certainly be some difficulty now for Arteta when it comes to choosing his next starting XI. Should he go back to the more experienced left-backs like Tierney and Zinchenko, or should Tomiyasu’s performance against Liverpool nail down that starting left-back slot for him?
Tomiyasu will be hoping to cement his place in the starting XI (Image Credit : Alamy)
Tomiyasu’s solid defensive performance lay the foundations for an impressive Arsenal victory over Liverpool which kept Arteta’s side at the top of the Premier League.
Bukayo Saka scored twice to add to Gabriel Martinelli’s opener as Arsenal held off Liverpool twice fighting back through Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino to secure all three points.
The collective performance was testament to the hard work the Gunners have clearly been putting in on and off the pitch.
There’s a great mood around the club at the moment and committed performances like Tomiyasu’s are exactly why.