Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal: Reds inflict more away day misery on Gunners
By Lewis Jones at Anfield
Last Updated: 28/08/17 7:57am
Liverpool heaped more away-day Premier League misery on Arsenal with a swaggering 4-0 victory on Super Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp's front three of Roberto Firmino (11), Sadio Mane (42) and Mohamed Salah (57) all found the net, as did substitute Daniel Sturridge (77) as the Reds showed no ill-effects of missing Philippe Coutinho, who continues to be linked with Barcelona.
The Gunners are now winless in their last 13 league away games against last season's top six teams while - in contrast - the vibrant Reds are unbeaten in their last 11 league matches versus the same clubs.
Despite hefty speculation about the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsene Wenger, who was subject of chants to be sacked from the away end, started both, while new signing Alexandre Lacazette was left out.
But it was a humbling afternoon for all concerned at Arsenal, who failed to register a shot on target during the 90 minutes.
There have been 38 goals scored in the last nine Premier League fixtures (an average of 4.2 goals per game) between these two and Liverpool took just 17 minutes to get rolling.
Liverpool: Karius (6), Gomez (7), Matip (6), Lovren (7), Moreno (7), Henderson (7), Can (8), Wijnaldum (7), Mane (8), Salah (8), Firmino (8)
Subs: Sturridge (7), Milner (6), Grujic (6)
Arsenal: Cech (7), Holding (5), Monreal (5), Koscielny (5), Oxlade-Chamberlain (3), Xhaka (5), Bellerin (4), Ramsey (3), Sanchez (6), Ozil (6), Welbeck (6)
Subs: Coquelin (6), Giroud (6), Lacazette (6)
Man of the match: Mohamed Salah
Petr Cech had already stopped a certain goal from Salah when Granit Xhaka lost possession down the right, which gave Joe Gomez a chance to deliver. He found Firmino with a peach of a cross and the Brazilian headed home from 12 yards.
The Reds were rip-roaring through the Arsenal midfield at regular intervals and doubled their lead just before half-time.
Simon Mignolet was dropped from the squad so Loris Karius started in goal. Joe Gomez started in defence ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, but otherwise it was the same team that beat Hoffenheim in midweek. For Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez returned to the starting XI while Laurent Koscielny returned from suspension. Summer signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac both dropped to the bench.
Firmino played it out to the left for Mane, who checked into the box before curling a brilliant shot into the far corner, beyond Cech's dive.
Wenger tried to tighten up his midfield at half-time by bringing on Francis Coquelin for Aaron Ramsey, however, the mistakes at the back kept on coming. Hector Bellerin was caught in possession by Salah on half-way and the speedy winger sailed through on goal. Cech came out to meet him but the Liverpool man finished calmly for 3-0.
That wasn't the end of the torture for the away end as substitute Sturridge took just five minutes to add his name to the scoresheet with a back post header following a pin-point Salah cross.
Man of the match - Mohamed Salah
A close call between the winger and Can, who set the platform with a monstrous performance in midfield. However, Salah's trickery, speed and creativity proved a constant thorn in the side of a sloppy Arsenal defence. He more than deserved his goal.
- This was Arsenal's heaviest Premier League defeat since a 0-4 loss to Southampton at St. Mary's on Boxing Day 2015.
- Four of Arsenal's eight Premier League defeats by a margin of 4+ goals have come against Liverpool at Anfield.
- Arsenal have lost their first two Premier League away games in a season for only the second time under Wenger (the other was 2005-06).
- Only West Ham United (10) have conceded more Premier League goals this season than Arsenal (8).
- Arsenal didn't attempt a single shot on target in this match - the first time they haven't had one in a Premier League game since October 5th 2014 (vs Chelsea).
- Sadio Mané is only the 3rd player to score in the first 3 PL games of a season for Liverpool (after Robbie Fowler in 1994-95 & Daniel Sturridge in 2013-14).
Gary Neville: "Ozil, Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, they didn't do most basic things I think every fan, manager, and player knows - when the ball goes past you and it goes towards your goal and your team-mates are struggling, you run back as quickly as you can. I'm naming those five - there may be more - but that is absolutely disgraceful. That doesn't represent the Arsenal shirt or what they're about and they've let themselves down."
Arsene Wenger: "A very disappointing performance. It was disastrous. The result is a consequence of the performance. It was not good enough. We were beaten everywhere physically and in the end we made it easier for them."
Jurgen Klopp: "We were very good, and so far we have learned from each game and built on it. It was even better than against Hoffenheim, but it was already very good. We wanted to show our desire to do something special and the boys did very well."
After the international break, Liverpool are back into action with a bang with a visit to Manchester City, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 12.30 on Saturday, September 9, before hosting Sevilla in the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have a home fixture with Bournemouth on the same day as they bid to avoid three straight league defeats on the bounce.