Liverpool kept their top-four hopes alive after a resounding 3-1 victory over the out-of-sorts Arsenal as their unbeaten record against top-six sides continued…
The only commandment that would come out of both Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger’s mouth would be ‘attack, defend and WIN’. It was clear that both teams needed a win tonight in order to pile the pressure on the division’s top two sides (Tottenham and Chelsea. There were high expectations for a bucket load of goals after last year’s fixture saw an enthralling 3-3 draw at Anfield while the reverse fixture of this season saw a thrilling 4-3 win for the Reds.
But how was tonight’s goal feast going to fare?
After only nine minutes on the clock, Roberto Firmino scored from close-range to extend his season’s tally to nine league goals. One goal, more down to come…
Five minutes before the break, Liverpool yet again tore apart the Arsenal defence with Sadio Mane completing the move with drilled finish to double the host’s advantage- this time Firmino the provider
Arsene Wenger, who made for what the fans will call a ‘preposterous’ mistake (to drop Alexis Sanchez), then brought on his Chilean star for Francis Coquelin to add some spark to the Arsenal team. The substitution paid off as Sanchez provided a perfectly-weighted pass for Danny Welbeck to pounce on before clipping the ball precisely over the despairing dive of Simon Mignolet to vitally pull a goal back for the Gunners.
Just when it looked like Arsenal were inches away from a late equaliser, Georginio Wijnaldum put the icing on the cake in stoppage time after another superb counter-attack from Liverpool.
There was life at Anfield. Liverpool were back on track while Arsenal’s top-four hopes were in real jeopardy after suffering their third defeat in four games. The question that will lie amongst the many Arsenal fans will be ‘is there a solution or is Wenger done?’. Many fans will of course want their top manager to stay because of what he has given them in the past two decades. However, it might be that his best years are behind him after suffering a 13-year drought for the title.