Arsenal v Liverpool: the team and the difficult history between the clubs




On the Arsenal History Society site today: one of the earliest videos of an Arsenal game as Arsenal win 69 years ago on this day.

by Sir Hardly Anyone

There’s an index to previous articles by subject on the home page

The head to head figures for Liverpool and Arsenal don’t look so good from an Arsenal point of view with Liverpool having won 95 to Arsenal’s 82 games and the BBC inevitably makes the point that “Arsenal have only won two of their last 17 league games against Liverpool, with both coming at the Emirates in July 2020 and October 2022.”

In fact this is not the only time we have had a bad run against Liverpool for the fact is that Arsenal only won four of the first 21 games between the clubs (1893 to 1913), so started the run between the two thereafter at a serious disadvantage.

However the historic antagonism between the clubs dates back a very long way: right back to the Liverpool v Manchester United game in the spring of 1915 – which was the start of the Football League’s most serious and most notorious match-fixing scandal.

But although Arsenal were not in any way involved in the match-fixing scandal of the era, (it was very much a northwestern thing) this was of interest to Arsenal and its chairman Henry Norris, since it was he who had first made public concerns about Liverpool’s match-fixing following his visit to a game involving the side in the spring of 1913, after which instead of the League (probably following suggestions from the north western clubs)  investigated Henry Norris, and warned him against making any such further allegations!  

By Henry Norris was of course too busy with working in his newly appointed role overseeing recruitment for the army (it was before conscription started, but the planning for conscription was well underway, and was in fact the area that Norris was himself first detailed to work in and make fit for purpose) to become involved in the issue again, but he would certainly have noted the match on Good Friday 1915.  Manchester United were threatened with relegation, yet they won in the most ludicrous circumstances.  You can read more and see the implications for the league table in our article on April 1915.   Allegations of match fixing were in almost every newspaper the following day.

Of course that was now over 100 years ago and today’s game will be the 200th between the two clubs with the media matking much of the fact that “Arsenal have only won two of their last 17 league games against Liverpool, with both coming at the Emirates in July 2020 and October 2022.”  The last three league games however have resulted in a win for Arsenal and two draws.

And it is true that Liverpool do score a lot against Arsenal – undoubtedly because Arsenal always like to push forward and give entertainment.  Arsenal indeed scored 13 more goals than Liverpool last season.  Liverpool have won six of the last 13 games between the side, Arsenal have won four – so not quite the imbalance the media like to portray.

And it is rather good that we have Martinelli back and scoring goals.   For Martinelli has six goal involvements against Liverpool, scoring four and setting up two – more than against any other club.

So to the team…

The Standard goes with


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Odegaard, Rice, Havertz;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Football London now publishes a whole raft of starting line ups one of which is


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Rice, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;

Saka, Martinelli, Jesus.

Sports Mole goes with the same as the Standard, and no one is seemingly looking much further afield than that.

We’re off to London – back tonight or tomorrow, all depending on how we feel.

7 Replies to “Arsenal v Liverpool: the team and the difficult history between the clubs”

  1. I hope we have a better referee than the Women had at lunchtime. Three penalty decisions all of them wrong. Two not given for Arsenal and one given to West Ham when the Arsenal player never entrred the penalty area. A display of puer Mime Dean logic.

  2. A big win!! Some not so classic goals…. we scored 4 times alas one against ourselves…. and what a goal from Leandro Trossard…. first sending two Liverpool players in the stands with a great move and then he only had one option and one thing on his mind: just shoot it between the sticks… we had our new years reception of Arsenal Belgium in our pub and it was party time…. really enjoyed it!

  3. It was a great game and we played much the better football. It is very odd indeed how negative all the Sky Pundits were. They spent half an hour going on about how poor Liverpool were and a few on the fact that we played ok. In fact, as the stats show, we played them off the park. The commentary and post match analysis had an agenda which didn’t in any way match the facts. Between them and other parts of the media, they had written Arsenal off. Well how funny to watch them confused and not knowing what to say after their great Liverpool were thrashed comprehensively by the Team which had played the better football against them these last 4 games. Is there no end to the bullshit and cronyism that they have? What a load of bollocks, quite honestly.

  4. We have outplayed Liverpool in all 3 matches this season (as Herr Klopp graciously acknowledged) and finally got the win which the performance merited.

    This result clearly did not meet the Sky etc. agenda – hance the anguished attempts by the commentators to find excuses for Liverpool. Red card was beyond doubt – would Taylor have issued it if there had been the slightest doubt? -Certainly not. All the fuss about the game turning on rare Liverpool mistakes ignores the fact that Liverpool’s goal was itself a gift from our defenders.

    Also, what about the penalty which should have been given when Havertz was brought down?

    Funny that the media haters (ex-Liverpool and Man U pundits have to criticise Arsenal for celebrating. Richard Keys says Arteta lacks dignity. Keys surely is the last person to talk about dignity after his disgraced exit from Sky.

    Now the narrative has switched to Man City being the true beneficiaries of our win yesterday.

    Well done Arteta and the players!

  5. Fantastic win, utterly deserved.

    You have to give credit to Anthony Taylor though, he gave Liverpool every chance. Just 11 fouls by us and he managed to dish out six cards, including the whole of our back four. The Spuds managed 14 fouls for zero yellow cards Saturday while Luton managed 16 fouls for two cards. Man U ten fouls for zero cards. Funny also that Liverpool fouled Chelsea 15 times last week and only picked up two cards.

    Well give a shout to Tony who called this in an article just a couple of days ago. “HOW LIVERPOOL COMMIT MANY MORE FOULS THAN ARSENAL, BEFORE GETTING A CARD”. And yet again, the media say nothing!

  6. The Liverpool goal took me back to Swindon’s first goal in March 1969 at Wembley. Saliba and Raya at fault yesterday. Van Dijk didn’t attempt to close Trossard down and has either lost his pace or never smelt the danger. Klopp bleating about decisions not going their way – must have missed him complaining about the 2 penalties coward Tierney failed to award Chelsea last week. Pity we ruined the start of Klippity’s farewell tour!!!!!

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