Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool: OH MY GOD, EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!!!!

Photo: Reuters

Everybody panic!!! Or, you know, act like an adult and don't. Either/or.

Look, I'm not going to insult anyone's intelligence and claim that yesterday saw a vintage performance from the men in red and white. Hell, that first half was as utterly dreadful as anything I've seen from this team since Denilson handed Wayne Rooney a written invitation to come on in and have a go at goal.

Also, I hate dropping points to these guys as much as anyone...especially given that their NYC supporters knocked us out on penalty kicks in the semifinals of this year's Supporter's Cup.

But, the drivel that it is being written and spoken about our team out there is more than a sane person can take. The more I read, the more I'm amazed that people who are paid to commentate on this sport seem to have little-to-no idea of what they're actually watching.

For example, the common theme among many of these columns is that there wasn't enough help for Francis Coquelin in the center of the park. Sure, there were several last-ditch saving tackles from the man himself, as well as Gabriel (who recovered from a shaky start to have a massive second half). But, the vast majority of Liverpool's chances came from simple giveaways just outside of our penalty area. Explain to me again how exactly a central midfielder is going to prevent that?

Naturally, Calum Chambers is taking pelters for his performance, as he was responsible for most of the aforementioned giveaways. I get it, he looked like he won a "Play center-half for Arsenal" fan contest out there. But, this is another instance where people just don't think - they forget that this game involves humans who have annoying human things to contend with. A good back four plays together a lot, because you need that understanding and positional awareness of where everyone's going to be. It also helps to know going in that you're playing that day. A completely new center-half pairing matched with fullbacks who bomb forward was always going to present a challenge. Perhaps Chambers could have handled it better, but I guarantee you that this performance does not define him as a player.

And, for all the tut-tutting about how Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal should have sat back, please then explain the tactical value in letting Nathaniel Clyne - a fantastic attacking fullback - and Joe Gomez (who arguably could have been Man of the Match) dominate that space?

Anyway, the giveaways happened, and Liverpool had their chances...but so did we. Coutinho smashed one against the bar, and Alexis Sanchez headed over when he should have hit the target. Meanwhile, there was also the small matter of Aaron Ramsey scoring a perfectly good goal off a feed from Santi Cazorla. Sadly, the lino bottled the decision...swings and roundabouts, I suppose.

I don't know if it was a function of being denied the goal or what, but our boys went to pieces for the rest of the half. The visitors' midfield did well to harry our defenders (Chambers especially) into mistakes, which they converted into chances more often than not. Thankfully, Petr Cech was there to make a mockery of the bellends who moaned about one iffy performance earlier in the year. First, he displayed world-class anticipation and reflexes to deny what should have been a simple tap-in for Christian Benteke, and then made what I feel was an even better save to fingertip a wicked, swerving drive from Coutinho onto the post and away to safety.

The first half thus ended 0-0, but it could have been anything from 1-0 us to 3-0 them. It was wacky and awful and exhilarating and bizarre.

I can't say I know what Brendan Rodgers was thinking with his second-half tactics, though. The Scousers sat much deeper from the restart, obviously intending to soak up pressure and hit us on the break. But, why would you do that when we were such a defensive shambles earlier on?

Whatever the reason, it let us back into the game and we frankly monstered them from then on. Sadly, we were lacking a final ball on most occasions, and the finishing (especially from Alexis in the 60th minute) let us down otherwise.

Cazorla, other than the pass for what should have been Ramsey's goal, was absolutely dreadful. His passing was horrendous and he kept running into cul-de-sacs, but there'll be much better from him to come. Mesut Ozil worked his socks off and had the right ideas, but the execution just didn't come off for him. Alexis is still clearly off the boil from his Copa America exertions. Rambo was a half-tick on the metronome off from everyone else. Olivier Giroud got into good positions but just didn't get any service.

Also, the subs were a little weird. We all know by now that Theo Walcott's value comes from running behind defenses, but he only came on once Liverpool were playing 10 center-halves. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn't have enough time to settle in - I'll never understand subs after the 75th minute for anything other than time-wasting purposes. I also thought Ramsey and Cazorla should have come off instead of the excellent Coquelin and Giroud, who still had an aerial threat to offer.

Still, the last 10 minutes saw several chances for us to win. A Ramsey shot skittered off a defender and wrong-footed Simon Mignolet, but the Belgian recovered fantastically well to parry it away. Martin Skrtel was then fortunate not to put through into his own goal, and Mignolet was again the Scouser savior in injury time off an effort from Oxlade-Chamberlain.

This one really could have been 5-5 on another day.

All of this said, I refuse to lose my mind three goddamn games into the season. I'm not going to lose my mind because we're not going to sign the 0.5 goals/game striker from Madrid to replace our 0.42 goals/game one. I'm not going to lose my mind when many of the players are actually playing pretty well, and things just aren't working out at the moment.

We're going to be fine. Fuck's sake.

The Modern Gooner Player Ratings:

Cech 9, Monreal 7, Chambers 4, Gabriel 7, Bellerin 7, Coquelin 9 (Oxlade-Chamberlain N/A), Cazorla 5, Sanchez 6, Ozil 6, Ramsey 6, Giroud 7 (Walcott 6)

Man of the Match: In a wild, open game like this one, there's no shortage of candidates. Gomez was brilliant for the visitors, both keepers played blinders, and Benteke was a threat all day. But, I have to stump for Francis Coquelin, as we'd have been blown away in the first half without him.

Sean Swift is a contributing writer to the Modern Gooner and is honestly tired of the doomers' bullshit. You can follow him on the Twitter machine at @thefallen29.