Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted Liverpool are currently the best team in Europe after they knocked his side out of the FA Cup third round.
The Reds earned a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium despite having a depleted squad, with Mohamed Salah at the African Cup of Nations and Virgil van Dijk absent because of sickness among others.
Liverpool had to dig deep to prove triumphant. Arsenal put the visitors under plenty of pressure in the first half but failed to find the back of the net.
Jürgen Klopp’s troops turned out to be monstrous after the break and got their reward with 10 minutes from time when Gunners defender Jakub Kiwior headed into his own net. Then in stoppage-time, Luis Diaz fired home to seal a comfortable win.
Liverpool are still fighting on four fronts. They are top of the Premier League by three points, while they’re into last 16 of the Europa League and have a Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Fulham on Wednesday.
For that reason, it’s why Arteta – whose Arsenal side are five points behind the Reds in the top flight – believes there’s no better team on the continent at this time.
The Gunners boss said:
“We didn’t take the chances, I haven’t seen any other team in the first six months that have generated what we have done against them in the last two games and we’re not capitalising – not today, in the last few games – that’s why we are not winning games.
“Performance-wise, merit-wise, there is no question, but to win the game actually the results say something very different. When my team plays with that attitude, with that courage, with that desire and do what they’ve done to probably the best team in Europe at the moment in terms of momentum, what can I do? Stay behind them and support them.
“It is frustrating, but what can we do? I cannot tell them to play bad, don’t shoot, Liverpool are going to score an own goal and we’re going to win the game, I don’t know how to create a gameplan like this, it’s impossible.
“Stick with them; if we have 18, next time we have 35, and continuously do that, do that, do that the ball will go into the net. We’ll generate momentum, and we will win a lot of games, that’s for sure.”