Liverpool Ease to Victory Over Lackluster Arsenal
Liverpool continued their unbeaten start to their 2017/2018 campaign as they recorded a comfortable 4-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
A dominant performance from Jurgen Klopp's side from start to finish saw them cruise to victory courtesy of goals from Roberto Firmino, Saido Mane, Mo Salah and Daniel Sturridge, leaving the Gunners with consecutive defeats and facing massive questions following a shocking performance
Liverpool made one change from their impressive win over Hoffenheim in midweek, with Lorius Karius surprisingly bought in for his first Premier League match of 2017, with Simon Mignolet left out of the squad completely.
Arsene Wenger was able to welcome back talisman Alexis Sanchez for his first appearance of the season after his extended break following his exploits at the Confederations Cup, as well as introducing both Laurent Kosicelny and Rob Holding back into the line-up.
Jurgen Klopp's side started the game full of confidence following their 4-2 over the German side on Wednesday, with Emre Can having their first effort as he headed wide following Alberto Moreno's cross. The returning Sanchez looked lively and found Danny Welbeck who could only blaze over the bar under pressure from Joel Matip as both sides searched for the first goal.
However, that was as good as it got for Arsenal as the Reds continued to turn the screw and should of been ahead after nine minutes when Can's superb low cross found Salah three yards out. but the Egyptian could only put it straight at Cech with the goal gaping.
Seven minutes later Liverpool were ahead when the impressive Joe Gomez found an unmarked Firmino who made no mistake powering his header past the hapless Cech in the Arsenal goal.
Klopp's side continued to attack at will, with Salah coming close and having a goal ruled out for offside in a matter of minutes as the away side struggling to deal with Liverpool's energy and tempo.
The second goal came in the 40th minute when a lightning-quick counter from the home side caught Arsenal unaware as Saido Mane cut inside Rob Holding before burying his shot past Cech off the inside of the post to send the home side into half-time two goals to the good.
Wenger responded at half-time changing to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Francis Coquelin replacing Aaron Ramsey, as he looked to get his side back into the game. Despite the Gunners looking more promising since the break, they continued to cause themselves problems with sloppy defending,
Salah should of made it three in the 53rd minute when he dispossessed Nacho Monreal on the halfway line before seeing his effort thwarted by Cech, yet four minutes later the summer signing from Roma did get on the scoresheet when he seized on Hector Bellerin's heavy touch before racing clear and slotting under the keeper.
A furious Wenger chose to introduce Lacazette and Oliver Giroud for the ineffective Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to try a revitalise his side as Ozil dragged a shot harmlessly wide of Karius' goal. Giroud and Lacazette linked up well in the box, but the latter could only drag his volley past the post.
The superb front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino showed no mercy as the Senegalese forced Holding into another mistake but saw his effort hacked away from Bellerin as it squirmed under Cech. There was still time for Liverpool to add to their tally when Salah's deep cross found substitute Daniel Sturridge who guided his header into the back of the net with ease in the 78th minute.
A dominant and scintillating performance from the Reds, with the added bonus of a clean sheet for the incoming Karius, paired with a solid showing from the heavily criticised Liverpool backline. As for Arsenal, questions will be asked of their performance as they failed to register a shot on target in the whole 90 minutes.