Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool can increase Arsenal’s troubles with their first win at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night and admits Rafael Benítez’s team must not squander the initiative provided by victory in the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool returned to the top four for the first time since October with Saturday’s 10-man defeat of Everton and can close the gap on Arsenal to just two points with victory at the Emirates.
They have not won at Arsenal in 10 years, when Titi Camara scored in a 1-0 win at Highbury, but head to London on the back of 17 points from a possible 21 and four consecutive clean sheets. Liverpool’s recent displays have been spirited rather than scintillating but Carragher believes confidence has been restored by the manner of victory in the 213th Merseyside derby and that, even with Arsenal and Manchester City away to come, Benítez’s side can strengthen their claims to Champions League qualification.
“In one sense it is more than three points because everyone was buzzing in the dressing room on Saturday, but that can quickly change if we don’t build on the result,” said Carragher. “It’s important that we keep the feelgood factor that we’ve got until after the Arsenal game, and if that is to happen we’ll have to make sure we get a good result.” Sotirios Kyrgiakos will start a three-match suspension tomorrow as a result of his dismissal in the derby but Steven Gerrard, echoing Carragher’s sentiments, believes the Everton result can be the foundation for an improved run of form.
Liverpool are unbeaten in the last seven games, while back-to-back defeats by Manchester United and Chelsea have left Arsenal nine points off the pace in the title race.