Chelsea’s defeat at home to West Brom has opened the door for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s men managed to win and move up to fifth place, just two points behind Thomas Tuchel.
The only surprise is that Liverpool took so long to realise their superiority.
They finally got the breakthrough they deserved in the 64th minute when Diogo Jota headed past Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno after a brilliant pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold, three minutes after replacing Andy Robertson.
Not only was it a decisive moment in the match, it was also a timely reminder of Alexander-Arnold’s quality at a time when England boss Gareth Southgate believes he can do without him, despite Euro 2020 on the horizon.
Liverpool extended their lead four minutes later when Mohamed Salah took advantage of a mistake by Gabriel in the Arsenal defence to slide the ball between Leno’s legs.
Jota did it again when he scored his second goal for Alexander-Arnold from close range after eight minutes – but by then the game had become a formality.
Klopp said Liverpool need to show we are really fighting for it when it comes to getting back into the race for a Champions League place.
It was a very important statement. From our point of view, it’s clear that everything that has happened to us this season means that we can’t do anything more, he added.
We need to win our games and the others need to lose, but we need to put pressure on them. We have done that with the result, but we are still not there. We must fight, and we will fight, and that is a statement for us and for no one else.
Alexander-Arnold showed his class
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises Trent Alexander-Arnold after Arsenal win.
The exclusion of Alexander-Arnold from World Cup qualification by England boss Southgate shocked Klopp – and the defender’s performance in north London showed why.
Southgate currently prefers Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Reece James (Chelsea) and Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid). He believes Alexander-Arnold needs to improve his form at the club to qualify for the Premier League champions in a relatively indifferent season.
Klopp is clearly happy with Alexander-Arnold, and it was no surprise to see him display the danger he provides when Liverpool crushed Arsenal.
He showed his excellent play on Jota’s opener, then his energy and understanding when he brought the ball high into the box before the Portuguese striker successfully scored his second.
Klopp said afterwards that he didn’t want to talk about it anymore, but added that Alexander-Arnold had once again shown his class.
If anyone says Trent isn’t [in good shape], I have to say they’re wrong, that’s all. I am not responsible for [Southgate’s] decisions, Klopp added.
It was a performance that was a perfect response to Southgate’s decision to take him out of the game and suggested that England must have serious quality at right-back if Alexander-Arnold is in serious danger of missing out on Euro 2020.
Liverpool and Klopp had a very enjoyable evening. Brazilian Fabinho delivered a masterstroke as the main midfielder and showed what the team was missing by replacing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in central defence, who were all injured.
Klopp’s side may be in bad shape after six consecutive home defeats, but their out-of-shape form is keeping them afloat and these comfortable three points, following the previous win over Wolves, give them real hope of qualifying for the Champions League.
In Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid, Liverpool suddenly looked like a team with a new purpose and momentum.
Laclustre Arsenal will get what they deserve.
Diogo Jota has scored four Premier League goals against Arsenal – more than against any other team in the league.
The only positive about Arsenal’s performance was that they didn’t let Liverpool play to 64 minutes, but that was more due to the Premier League champions’ lack of attacking play than a particularly good performance from the Gunners.
The home team was terrible and I’m glad they didn’t get beat worse. It was a pathetic thing for Arsenal to do.
The only task Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, with his flamboyant new moustache, had to perform all evening was to stop Cedric Suarez, who came on in the second half.
Yes, Arsenal lost their influential left-back Kieran Tierney at half-time, but that was no excuse for what Mikel Arteta’s squad showed. They offered no penetration on offense or fight in the middle of the field and were outmatched on defense at the end.
Arsenal saved a point by scoring three goals at West Ham in their last league game, but there was little hope of a return against Liverpool.
They are in ninth place and four points clear of Everton with two games to go. Much now depends on the Europa League quarterfinal match against Slavia Prague.
They will need to improve significantly, as the evening ended with an anonymous performance from striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who acted as a supporting left-back for most of the game before being substituted.
I take the blame, it’s my responsibility – what they said.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he is in shock after the 3-0 defeat against Liverpool.
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal boss: They were better at everything. I take the blame, it’s my responsibility. They were by far the best team. They won with three goals difference and it could have been more.
They won every duel, every second ball, every challenge. Frankly, I’m shocked. I didn’t see it coming. It’s my job to make things better. Today we have reached a very low level. That was unacceptable.
I’m sure we can’t get back to that level. If you represent this club, you have to stand up and take the challenge.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: Overall, it was a good performance. We’re done with our situations. Arsenal were not in the game for 95 minutes. That was before our time.
We had to keep going and keep the momentum going. I wasn’t angry at halftime. We had to work hard, and if you do that, you have a good chance to win.
When people say something bad about you, you want to respond. It was a sensational cross from Trent that scored the [first] goal.
Reds continue to look good on the road. –-Stats.
- Liverpool’s last six wins in the Premier League have all come at home. It was only the second time in their championship history that they had such a streak, with each of their six wins between February and August 1955.
- Mohamed Salah was directly involved in nine goals in Premier League games against Arsenal, scoring seven and giving away another two.
- Liverpool booked the biggest lead in the away game against Arsenal.
- There have been 169 goals scored in Premier League matches between Arsenal and Liverpool – more than in the history of the competition.
- Arsenal have won just once in their last 12 Premier League games against Liverpool (D4 L7).
- It was the 50th. Mikel Arteta’s Premier League game under Arsenal (W21 D12 L17), in which the Spaniard lost four more games than his predecessor Unai Emery.
What’s the next step?
Liverpool play an away match in the Champions League against Real Madrid on Tuesday (8pm), before meeting Aston Villa in the Premier League next Saturday (3pm).
Arsenal play Slavia Prague at home in the Europa League on Thursday (8pm) and host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday (7pm).
- 21 cameras
- 6GabrielBocking in 90Minutes
- 3TierneySwapped for Cedric Soaresata 45+1’min
- 8SebalosReplaced by Elnenyat 58’min
- 11 Odegard
- 14AubameyangRemoved by Martinellin 77’min
- 17Cedric Soares
- 22 Mary
- 35 Martinelli
- 66 Alexander-Arnold
- 19Kabak substituted for R Williams in the 84th minute
- 26RobertsonReplaced by Jotain in the 61st minuteBocking in the 73rd minute.
- 6Tiago Alcantara
- 9FirminReplaced by Wijnaldumath 78’minutes
- 10 Manet
- 17 Jones
- 46R Williams
- End of match, Arsenal 0, Liverpool 3.
- End of the second half, Arsenal 0, Liverpool 3.
- Rescue attempt. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Backed by Mohamed Salah.
- The attempt failed. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Set up by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross after a set piece situation.
- Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
- Diogo Jota (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
- Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Offside, Liverpool. Diogo Jota makes a forward pass but Sadio Mane is surprised by the referee.
- Attempt blocked. Thomas Partey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the edge of the box is blocked.
- Corner, Arsenal. Designed by Rhys Williams.
- Replacement: Liverpool. Rhys Williams replaces Ozan Kabaka.
- Goal! Arsenal 0, Liverpool 3. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Backed by Sadio Mane.
- Rescue attempt. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
- Replacement: Liverpool. Georginio Wijnaldum replaces Roberto Firmino.
- In, Arsenal. Gabriel Martinelli replaces Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
- Diogo Jota (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
- Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Bernd Leno (Arsenal) is awarded a free kick in the attacking half.
- Rescue attempt. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Prepared by Roberto Firmino with a through ball.
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