Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal
Report and highlights as Liverpool overwhelm Arsenal to go three clear at the top
Last Updated: 24/08/19 10:22pm
Liverpool maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season and moved three points clear at the top of the table with a 3-1 win over Arsenal at Anfield.
Joel Matip’s header late in the first half gave the home side the lead before Mohamed Salah took the game away from the Gunners with two goals early in the second period.
Salah converted from the spot after winning the penalty himself, then scored a fine solo goal to secure the points, although Arsenal substitute Lucas Torreira did pull one back late on.
Liverpool: Adrian (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (8), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Fabinho (8), Henderson (8), Wijnaldum (8), Mane (7), Firmino (8), Salah (9)
Subs: Milner (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (NA), Lallana (NA)
Arsenal: Leno (6), Maitland-Niles (5), Luiz (4), Sokratis (6), Monreal (5), Guendouzi (6), Xhaka (6), Ceballos (5), Pepe (6), Aubameyang (5)
Subs: Torreira (6), Lacazette (NA), Mkhitaryan (NA)
Man of the match: Mo Salah
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How Liverpool blew Arsenal away
In a match that pitted first against second, the Gunners had their chances in the first half with Nicolas Pepe, on full debut, spurning a one-on-one chance with the score still goalless.
But while Unai Emery’s team were a threat on the counter-attack, the visitors invited pressure from the outset as they attempted to play out through Liverpool’s pressing.
Fabinho and Jordan Henderson returned to the Liverpool line-up to face Arsenal, replacing James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Arsenal brought in Nicolas Pepe for his first start with Alexandre Lacazette dropping out. Granit Xhaka also came in for Reiss Nelson.
Attacking the Kop end, Jurgen Klopp’s side swamped the visitors from the kick-off but had no clear-cut chances until Matip connected with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right-wing corner.
The result was still in the balance at the break but that changed when David Luiz pulled Salah back to prevent him latching onto Roberto Firmino’s clever through-ball.
Salah’s finish from the spot was emphatic but it was nowhere near as spectacular as his second that extended Liverpool’s lead just before the hour mark.
The Egypt international skipped clear of David Luiz in the right channel and powered through on goal before tucking the ball into the far corner of Bernd Leno’s net with his famed left foot.
From that point onwards, it was about damage limitation for Arsenal as Liverpool went in search of repeating the five-goal haul that they achieved in this fixture last season.
Emery will be encouraged Torreira was able to tuck one away with five minutes to go to restore some pride but this was Liverpool’s day. No clean sheet but three big points.
Jurgen Klopp: “It was an outstanding performance full of power, full of energy, full of passion. I think that’s what you need to have against a good team like Arsenal.
“We were a bit surprised by the system that they played. We couldn’t prepare for that – that they would play a diamond. But we adapted to that and had constant crosses.
“Overall, we were really in charge of the game. We should have controlled it better, should have kept the ball better, because they didn’t attack us really.
“We are not Disneyland. We don’t have to excite everyone in every section of the game. It was intense so the decision-making could have been better.
“But apart from the really big chance they had where Hendo (Jordan Henderson) missed the pass and there was a sensational save from Adrian I was really happy with the game. We completely deserved it.”
Unai Emery: “We made the first half thinking that we could have space on the transition and we made that. We had chances to score.
“Afterwards, we wanted to counter more with the ball, breaking their pressing, but we struggle because they are a very big team at doing that.
“We did defend deep but it was not without the possibility to score. In the first half, maybe the best chance was for us with [Nicolas] Pepe.
The key was the second goal. But afterwards our reaction was good because we kept doing our work. The impact of the substitutes was good.
“Some players like [Joe] Willock also took a good step today. I can be positive about that. We finished 3-1 but also pushing and that is the spirit that I want.”
- Liverpool have won 12 consecutive Premier League games, their best-ever winning streak in the competition.
- Since Jurgen Klopp took over in October 2015, Liverpool have scored 26 goals in eight Premier League games against Arsenal – the most one side has netted against another in the competition in that period.
- Only Everton at Arsenal (64) have conceded more away goals against a single opponent in the Premier League than Arsenal at Liverpool (62).
- Arsenal have now failed to win any of their last 23 away league games against fellow big-six sides – during this run they have conceded 53 goals while keeping just one clean sheet.
Liverpool now go to Burnley on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 5.30pm, while Arsenal host Tottenham in the north London derby on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30pm, with Jose Mourinho in the studio from 1pm.
Burnley vs Liverpool
August 31, 2019, 5:00pm
Arsenal vs Tottenham
September 1, 2019, 4:00pm
Source : Sky Sports