Liverpool continued to maintain their dream run in the Premier League by thrashing Arsenal at Anfield. Since 2018, Jurgen Klopp’s boys have succeeded in converting Anfield as their indomitable fortress. The trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah all chipped in with goals.The Gunners have now failed to secure a win in their previous four away outings.
Firmino finally found his form as the Brazilian scored a hat trick against a lacklustre defensive display by Arsenal. Ironically, it was Arsenal who took the lead in the 11th minute, thanks to some great crossing by Alex Iwobi and a tidy finish by Ainsley Maintland-Niles.
What followed next was complete annihilation. The Reds were so charged up that they leveled three minutes after the first blood was drawn. Firmino struck twice in a span of two minutes to put Liverpool ahead in the game.
The first was a mere tap-in. Mo Salah charged into the final third but was stopped by Granit Xhaka, which resulted in a deflection. Stephen Lichtsteiner tried to clear the ball but could only manage to smash it into Mustafi. The ball fell perfectly into Bobby Firmino’s feet who made no mistake in slipping it past Leno for the equalizer.
The second goal was a pure gem. Firmino swiftly weaved his way through the Arsenal defense beating three defenders.After the dribbling success,he calmly slotted it past a helpless Leno.
Sadio Mane added salt to the injury as he slotted one into the net to make the scoreline 3-1 close to the half-hour mark. Two penalties further didn’t help the Gunners and all dreams of a comeback were crashed.
4 goals in 30 minutes tore apart the Arsenal confidence and the team walked off dejected at half-time. It seemed that they had already lost the Liverpool Vs Arsenal game at break.
The Reds have now successfully extended their unbeaten run in this Premier League to 20 games and look set to clinch a maiden PL title. They have a seven point cushion between them and 2nd placed Manchester City. Spurs bottled their only realistic chance to challenge for the title as they lost 3-1 to Wolves in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Here are the three talking points from Anfield
Arsenal’s Defensive Woes Are Limitless
It has been almost a month now, since Arsenal have faced defensive issues. The issues were clearly noticeable in the last two fixtures. Unai Emery ought to have addressed these issues at the earliest. With only one fit center-back, Shkodran Mustafi, available for the Liverpool game against the Reds, it was expected of Stephen Lichtsteiner to step-up and prove his worth.
Given his experience in Serie A, a lot was expected from him. However, the Swiss has failed miserably. He is yet to put up a good performance. Arsenal have to prioritize signing a good defender else it will cost them everything. Since their 22 match unbeaten streak was broken the team looks completely lost defensively.It is now up-to the players to accentuate their game and intensify the defense.
The Mojo of the Attacking Trio Is Back Since The Liverpool Vs Arsenal Game
Sadio Mane, Robert Firmino and Mo Salah were all among goals with Bobby scoring a hat-trick. It was generous of Mo Salah to hand over the penalty to Firmino to complete his hat-trick.The mojo is back.
It was some energetic display by Liverpool’s front three as they continuously imploded the hapless Arsenal defense and created a myriad of problems for Bernd Leno. They pulverized and exploited the shaky Arsenal defense.
At times, the majestic trio made the defenders look invisible as the Reds hammered five past the visitors. The second goal was the indication of Bobby’s return to his purple patch. He paraded past three defenders with such ease as if they were pieces of wood.
Salah squared the third to Mane,with the latter just having to blaze it past the net. Both Salah and Firmino slotted the penalties with ease though the former had tremendous amount of power in his shot.
Unai Emery Has An Erroneous Formation
Unai Emery chose to start against Liverpool with a 4-2-3-1 formation. The boss was spot on wrong with the formation from the onset. Although, Ainsley Maintaland-Niles opened the scoring ,he had very little or no impact on the entire game
The 21 year old shouldn’t have started such an important game. Guendouzi had been having a great spell of games but he was benched for a tactical formation. The formation didn’t click and Torreira’s off day made things worse.
Instead of starting Ramsey behind Aubameyang he should have gone with a more trusted 4-3-3 with Lacazette for Ramsey and Guendouzi for the British prodigy.
With balance in the midfield it might have eased pressure on Lucas Torreira and things could have been different.It once again proves that Emery will take time to adapt to the Premier League and with injuries and a lack of squad depth he was always going to suffer.
With this result Arsenal have given Manchester United breathing space.They have closed the 11pt gap 2 weeks ago to just 3 points. If Unai doesn’t add reinforcements at the earliest it might prove to be very fatal. Given the recent form, the team which was aiming for the top-four finish, might have to feel elated to finish above the seventh position.