While most Gooners would’ve bitten your hand off for a draw in advance of last week’s encounter, there was no escaping the huge sense of disappointment, coming away from Wembley, having failed to capitalise on such a prime opportunity to silence our increasingly noisy neighbours.
I’d love to be able to blame our humiliating annihilation on the numbskull responsible for dressing us in a green kit, upon a grass pitch, but frankly that’s a feeble excuse. Saturday’s demolition served as a timely reminder of the enormity of the task facing Unai Emery.
With football’s powers that be seemingly intent on garroting their golden goose, with increasingly relentless, wall-to-wall live TV coverage, it's somewhat of a relief that unlike our disappointingly underwhelming midweek cup win, an Arsenal v Liverpool Premiership outing, under the floodlights, remains a sufficiently portentous encounter to set Gooner pulses racing and pack out the Emirates.
An emphatic first win of the New Year does not definitively prove there is a bright future for Arsenal without Alexis Sanchez but manager Arsene Wenger confirmed his players had been destabilised by the uncertainty over the Chilean’s transfer to Manchester United.
“We’ll be punished if we play like this on Saturday.” It’s not often the crowd at the Emirates grumbles in agreement, but that was the general sentiment in N5 just before 9pm last Wednesday.
In the 15 excruciatingly long years between 1991 and 2006, Manchester City registered not a single victory over Arsenal. To say the Gunners had become a bogey team was to underestimate the state of affairs quite radically.