Arsene Wenger Is Right to Look to the Future Given Arsenal's History With Liverpool

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he wants his team to "focus on what is in front" of them ahead of Friday's (December 22) clash with Liverpool. This will come as no surprise given their recent results against Jurgen Klopp's team.

Since the German arrived at Anfield in October 2015, Arsenal has not won this fixture but fans have certainly been provided with entertainment. In the past four meetings, the two teams have provided a total of 21 goals in thrilling encounters.

The league position of the two teams increases the importance of this fixture as Liverpool currently sits fourth in the Premier League, only a point ahead of Arsenal in fifth. A win would see the Gunners leapfrog the Reds and give them confidence going into a busy festive period, but recent history is not on their side.

Here, Newsweek takes a look at each of the last four head-to-heads and recaps the drama ahead of Friday's game at the Emirates Stadium:

August 27—Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0

Earlier this season Liverpool inflicted a crushing defeat on the Gunners at Anfield, with Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge all getting on the score sheet.

The game was a fine example of Klopp's attacking style and Liverpool gave a glimpse of the exciting football that has led to a top four spot over the festive period.

Arsenal had no reply to the high press and sharp moves that created havoc for the defense, and goalkeeper Petr Cech said after the game it was one of the worst experiences he has had as a player.

Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger
Jurgen Klopp, left, and Arsene Wenger at Anfield, Liverpool, January 13. Klopp's record against Arsenal will worry Wenger. Alex Livesey/Getty

March 4—Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1

This game saw Liverpool go two goals ahead by half time and seal the win through a searing counter attack finished off by Georginio Wijnaldum after Arsenal threatened a comeback.

Firmino netted within the first ten minutes, and when Mane doubled the Reds' lead it looked to be a comfortable win for the home team.

Danny Welbeck pulled one back to give the Gunners hope, only for a brilliant Liverpool break to secure the win late on in the game.

August 14, 2016—Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4

It was only the opening weekend of the season but the two clubs had already produced one of the most exciting games of the year.

In a thrilling contest packed with action, Liverpool ran out the victors after a five-goal second half.

Theo Walcott opened the scoring just moments after he had a penalty saved, but Philippe Coutinho equalised just before half-time with a stunning free kick.

Then came a period of 14 minutes that saw two brilliant Liverpool team goals finished off by Adam Lallana and Coutinho, and an incredible individual goal by Mane that looked to have the game finished.

However, only a minute later Arsenal struck back with a great goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then again through Calum Chambers to spark hope of a dramatic comeback.

The Gunners ran out of time though and Liverpool claimed the three points in a game to remember for the Reds.

January 13, 2016—Liverpool 3 Arsenal 3

This was the closest Arsenal came to a win in the last five meetings between the two clubs in a great back and forth battle.

The first 20 minutes saw Firmino open the scoring for Liverpool, only for Aaron Ramsey to equalize, then Firmino again to put the Reds ahead with a brilliant curling effort from outside the box.

Arsenal responded just six minutes later through a corner poorly defended by Liverpool, putting the Gunners level going into half-time.

Olivier Giroud's sharp turn in the box and neat finish gave Arsenal the lead, which they held until the final minute of the game when Joe Allen volleyed home to steal a share of the points.