Liverpool hammer hopeless Arsenal
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
Liverpool swept aside a feeble Arsenal at Anfield, winning 4-0 to make it seven Premier League points from the first nine available.
Arsenal were rarely in the match as they crumbled to goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge.
Jurgen Klopp’s side began at their customary high tempo but Arsenal had the best early chance when Danny Welbeck combined with the returning Alexis Sanchez only to scoop his effort over into the Kop.
Minutes later, home midfielder Emre Can almost found the perfect pass for Salah, running in behind the Arsenal defence, only for the ball to just drift beyond him.
With 10 minutes on the clock, a creaking visiting defence were grateful to keeper Petr Cech, who denied Salah from close range after Can had crossed low to the edge of the six-yard box.
Liverpool were becoming totally dominant and conjured another opening after 15 minutes when Dejan Lovren headed over from a corner, but the goal they deserved arrived two minutes later when Can found Joe Gomez, whose cross was headed in by Firmino.
They almost doubled their advantage soon afterwards but Jordan Henderson, played through by Firmino after dispossessing Aaron Ramsey, sent an angled effort across goal.
After Lovren and Welbeck had been booked for fouls, Liverpool attacked again and Mane smacked a volley wide from the edge of the area.
And Jurgen Klopp’s side took a thoroughly merited two-goal lead with five minutes of the first half remaining when they broke from inside their own area and another Firmino pass allowed Mane to run on and curl his finish beyond Cech.
Visiting defender Rob Holding had a shot blocked after a scramble in the Liverpool area as Arsenal, for whom the frustrated Granit Xhaka was booked, looked in vain for a route back into the match.
The Londoners — who brought on Francis Coquelin for Ramsey — began the second half in more positive fashion, creating an early half-chance for Mesut Ozil, who dragged a tame effort wide of the post.
Ozil became the latest player to be booked, seeing a yellow card for a clumsy foul on Henderson, before Arsenal were grateful to Cech as he again denied Salah, Henderson blazing the rebound over.
But Salah could not be stopped when, after 57 minutes, he robbed Hector Bellerin halfway inside his own half as Liverpool cleared an Arsenal corner and, with no Gunners players in sight, raced through to score.
Arsene Wenger brought on Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette, with Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making way, but his team’s ragged afternoon was summed up when a hopeful long ball by Holding drifted harmlessly into touch for a throw-in.
Lacazette fired a dropping ball wide after Giroud had headed down a cross, but a demoralised Arsenal almost conceded a fourth within moments when Mane took advantage of more ponderous defending to get in a shot which was half-saved by Cech before being cleared.
Daniel Sturridge came on for the outstanding Mane as the game approached its final quarter of an hour, and the England striker rounded off the scoring when he escaped the tattered visiting defence to head Salah’s cross into the corner.
Today’s other Premier League results:
- Chelsea 2-0 Everton
- West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Stoke City
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Burnley