Declan Rice was magnanimous in his verdict on Liverpool after he helped Arsenal to defeat the Reds 3-1 on Sunday.
The Gunners seized upon an uncharacteristically sloppy and error-strewn display from Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Emirates Stadium to avenge their FA Cup defeat from four weeks previously, closing the gap on us to two points at the top of the Premier League table.
Speaking to bEIN SPORTS after the game, the 25-year-old was still highly complimentary of LFC despite the poor result and off-colour performance.
Rice said: “They’ve been the best team in the league if you look on paper. You look statistically, this is only their second loss today.
“We knew how big today was going into the game, the momentum we needed from everyone – staff, players and fans – and it transmitted on to the field today. You could see for 90 minutes it was a team that would do anything to win a football match. In the end, we came out victorious.”
It was a classy admission by the England midfielder, whose comments show how huge a scalp this feels for Arsenal, and how much respect he and his team have for Liverpool amid the duo’s top-of-the-table rivalry.
As damaging and galling as the result was yesterday, it must be remembered that the Reds still sit top of the league and have the opportunity to land a direct hit on Manchester City next month, thus potentially making our own massive statement in a compelling title race.
You can view Rice’s comments below, via @beINSPORTS_EN on X (formerly Twitter):
“Mikel told us to stay calm and we’ve got some great characters in the team who were telling us to push on”
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) February 4, 2024