Granit Xhaka has called on his Arsenal team-mates to move on from Saturday’s Liverpool defeat as a north London derby with Tottenham awaits them.
Xhaka, who replaced an in-form Reiss Nelson in the line-up, helped Arsenal get off to a promising start at Anfield. They threatened Liverpool in a tightly-contested first-half, and had chances to score.
Ultimately, the Gunners simply couldn’t break through with Joel Matip’s header giving Liverpool the lead heading into the break. A David Luiz blunder then allowed Mohamed Salah to double the hosts’ lead in the second-half before the Egyptian scored a penalty later on.
Substitute Lucas Torreira did pull one back in the 85th-minute for Arsenal. At that point, however, it was nothing more than a mere consolation goal.
Rather than dwell on their first defeat of the season, though, Xhaka wants the team to focus on Sunday’s derby against Spurs.
“We have nothing to take from this game or other games because it’s a derby and we know how important it is for the fans, the club and for us,” he told Arsenal.com.
“We have shown in the last few years that we can have very good games against them. Let’s start getting ready this week so we’re ready to play against Spurs.
“[Liverpool] have a good team, a great team of great players and it’s always difficult here. It’s not only for us, a lot of teams find it difficult when they come here. It’s one game and we’ve lost today but we have to be positive for the next few weeks.”
Although there were some positives for Arsenal to take from the Liverpool match. The most notable of all was club-record signing Nicolas Pepe’s impressive first start for the club.
The Ivory Coast international linked up well with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and had a chance to score in the first-half.
“We have very good players, not only these two, all over the team,” continued Xhaka.
“We can do something special this season but we have to work a lot to improve things. After, we will see at the end of the season.
“I think the second half was much better than the first half. We had a few chances in the first half to score one or two goals. If we’d have done that, it would have been a different game. We can speak a lot but we lost the game.
“We didn’t have a bad game in my opinion because we defended well and Liverpool didn’t have a lot of chances. We had shots as well but they’re a good team. Let’s look forward.”
The Arsenal and Spurs match will be played at the Emirates Stadium next Sunday.