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Having been torn to pieces in their humiliating 4-0 defeat at Liverpool, a similar fate befell Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in the post-match post-mortems.
Wenger’s players were variously described as “lazy”, “pathetic”, “arrogant” and “disgraceful”, while the manager himself is under scrutiny once again just three months after signing a new two-year contract.
“Last season, I called them ‘cowards’,” former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said on Sky Sports after Sunday’s match.
“And afterwards maybe I got a little bit of criticism. Maybe that’s a bit too strong and you can’t say that on live TV, but I’ll say it again –- cowards.”
“How can you play like this in a big game for so many of Arsenal’s players?” asked former Manchester United captain Gary Neville.
“Forget not turning up, forget not playing well, but just the general attitude or lack of respect for the shirt from three or four of them in not running back and not bothering is disgraceful.”
Arsenal great Thierry Henry, analysing the game for Sky Sports, confessed: “At one point I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to watch the game anymore. It’s too much to take.”
While it was Arsenal’s defensive shortcomings that were exhibited at Anfield, the player who featured on almost all the British newspapers’ sports pages was star forward Alexis Sanchez.
The Chile international was despondency personified as he traipsed to the dugout following his 62nd-minute substitution.
After the game, he took to Instagram to post a caption-free picture of himself sitting on his haunches on the Anfield pitch and dejectedly gazing at the ground.
Sanchez has been repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester City and Henry said none of Arsenal’s players could be blamed for casting glances elsewhere.
“Everything that you see on the day has been happening for the past 10 years,” said the Frenchman.
“We talk about Sanchez and is he staying, but they are not going to want to be part of this team. That is why players are not renewing their contracts. They can see something is wrong.
“The word I have used for a long time — comfort. Everyone is comfortable at Arsenal. It’s not the same pressure you have at a big club. Everything is… nice.”
The Daily Mirror branded Arsenal “a lazy, arrogant, broken team with no ideas and no hope” and directly blamed Wenger, who last led Arsenal to the title in 2004.
The Sun called Arsenal “lazy” and “pathetic” and said their torment at the hands of Firmino, Salah and Sadio Mane represented “a new low”.
The Times called it “unacceptable, unwatchable, unforgivable”.