Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: The Gunners' Anfield woes continue

Last time out, the Reds extended their unbeaten home run against the Londoners to nine matches in all competitions.
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Liverpool face Arsenal on Saturday in their first league game since beating Wolves 1-0, prior to the International break. As we approach the business end of the season, the Reds desperately need a win to keep their top four hopes alive. 

To do that though, they will need to win at the Emirates, a feat only achieved twice since the turn of the century. 

Ahead of the game, LFC Transfer Room takes a look at the reverse fixture from earlier in the season. As is often the case between these sides, it proved to be an enthralling contest.

How the game was won

Both teams went into the contest in impressive form, boasting 100% records from their opening two league matches. Liverpool had impressively dispatched Leeds United and Chelsea, whilst Arsenal had put Fulham and West Ham United to the sword. 

Jordan Henderson and summer signing Thiago Alcantara were both absent through injury for the Reds, although Joe Gomez returned to the squad.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta welcomed back Kieran Tierney as part of four changes from the Gunners' last league outing. 

Liverpool applied early pressure on the Arsenal goal, as chances for Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane were squandered. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold also saw his deflected shot rebound off the crossbar to further spare the Gunners' blushes.

However, the visitors built upon their good fortune to conjure up an opening goal. Andrew Robertson’s sliced clearance was devastatingly dispatched by Alexandre Lacazette, his sixth goal in nine league games.

Their lead was short. 147 seconds later, Mohamed Salah latched onto Bernd Leno’s feeble save to restore parity.

Within minutes, Liverpool’s fullbacks combined as Andy Robertson atoned for his earlier error to hand the home side a lead at the interval.

In a nervy second half, Lacazette could have grabbed an equaliser but was denied by Alisson Becker and the offside flag. 

Despite good chances for both sides, Diogo Jota dealt the decisive blow with his first goal for the club to seal all three points and maintain the Reds’ winning run.

A "completely deserved" win

Following the 3-1 victory, Klopp spoke to Sky Sports about his side's impressive performance.

"We had so many big moments but I know we can't finish off every chance, but we played a super game and were 1-0 down. It would've been incredible had we lost but we won, and it's completely deserved."

"Could we have scored more goals? Yes. Could they have scored? Yes, because of the quality that they have."

"We like to try to win the ball back as high as possible, so I wasn't frustrated or disappointed. I was in the game, and it could've gone either way."

"We didn't stop, and my worry was at half-time that we couldn't keep it going but we did and that's a really good sign."

How the sides have fared since

It did not take long for Arsenal to get their revenge as they dumped Liverpool out of the EFL Cup later that week.

Despite suffering a humiliating 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa in their following match, Liverpool then remained unbeaten in the league for the rest of the calendar year. In fact, they enjoyed a third successive Christmas at the top of the table after formidable wins against Tottenham, Leicester and Crystal Palace.

However, a combination of injuries and a packed schedule has since taken its toll on Klopp's side. Four league wins in 2021 have not only distinguished title retention hopes but also threatened a top four finish.

On the upside, the Reds qualified for the Champions League quarter final after an impressive 4-0 aggregate win over RB Leipzig. They now face old foes Real Madrid for a place in the last four.

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Arsenal, on the other hand, endured a seven game winless-run in November and December, during which they acclaimed a mere two points. They even dropped to 15th in the table at one point.

Despite poor league form, the Gunners have impressed in other competitions. A stellar EFL Cup run was concluded prematurely by an unwavering Manchester City side, on course to win their fourth title in a row.

On top of this, they have a Europa League quarter-final tie against Slavia Praha to look forward to. Will Arsenal finally win that coveted first European trophy in over 25 years? 

Liverpool currently hold a four point lead over their North-London counterparts.  However, as aforementioned, the Emirates has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years.