After enjoying an extended unbeaten run, Arsenal were handed a reality check on Saturday when Liverpool ripped apart the Gunners defence to register a 4-0 victory in the English Premier League.
If they won, the resurgent Arsenal side had a chance to leapfrog Liverpool in the rankings, but Jurgen Klopp’s side reminded the visitors that there is still a significant gap in class between the two sides.
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Before the international break, Liverpool’s unblemished start to the season had come to an end against West Ham, but the Reds looked back to their best at Anfield.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the first half, then Liverpool completely demolished Mikel Arteta’s team in the second half, with Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah, and substitute Takumi Minamino all scoring.
When the game was still scoreless, Arteta got into a violent yelling war with Klopp on the touchline, and the incident seemed to enrage both the Anfield fans and Liverpool’s players.
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Arsenal had been unbeaten in their previous eleven games, but goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had already had to make several superb stops when Mane headed home Alexander-free Arnold’s kick in the 39th minute after being left unmarked in the six-yard box.
When the influential Fabinho intercepted Bukayo Saka’s pass in the second half, former Arsenal player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had an opportunity to increase the advantage, but the midfielder guided a shot wide of the post.
Arsenal continued to throw the ball over, and Nuno Tavares gave Liverpool the lead when he passed to Jota, who showed great poise to side-step Ramsdale and finish into an empty net.
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The third goal came 17 minutes from time, as Mane sprinted down the left flank to cross for Salah to volley home his 16th goal of the season, before Minamino scored his first Anfield goal only 48 seconds after replacing Jota.
The victory sent Liverpool into second place, four points behind leaders Chelsea. Arsenal stayed in fifth place.
With inputs from the Associated Press