Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal:  Reds CRUSH Gunnars at Anfield

 

Diogo Jota came off the bench to score on his debut as Liverpool recovered from a goal down to beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield.
French striker Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring against the run of play after an error from Robertson.
But the champions responded with Mane’s tap-in and Robertson redeemed himself with a neat finish before the break.
Jota struck late on to ensure Liverpool took home all three points and maintained their perfect start to their title defence.
Liverpool received a huge boost when goalkeeper Alisson Becker was passed fit to start in goal, but Thiago Alcantara missed out on the 18-man squad due to a lack of sharpness.
David Luiz and Kieran Tierney returned to the Arsenal backline, while Mohamed Elneny came in for Dani Ceballos.
Having gone 60 league games and three-and-a-half years unbeaten at Anfield, it seemed like Mikel Arteta’s side could provide a stern test to their invincible run. After all, they had won both of their opening matches in contrasting styles, pointing to a new aura to this Arsenal team.
But as we have often seen from the Premier League champions, their ability to press and hound players into making mistakes is unrivalled and Arsenal faced a difficult opening quarter of an hour stranded on the edge of their own box.
The first real chance of the game arrived on 12 minutes when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deep cross found Virgil van Dijk at the far post and his header was cleared by David Luiz.
Klopp’s side continued to build their attacks again and again, with Alexander-Arnold’s drilled effort taking a wicked deflection off Hector Bellerin only to bounce back off the crossbar.
With Liverpool enjoying almost total domination, it felt like only a matter of time before the opener would arrive. But to Arsenal’s delight, it came against the run of play.
Worked out from their own corner flag, Arsenal found a way past Liverpool’s high press and Ainsley Maitland-Niles tried to pick out Willian at the far post, but Robertson got in the way. The Scot botched his clearance, however, and there was Lacazette to scuff his volley past Alisson.
It seemed impossible to think Liverpool wouldn’t get a chance to level having been on top and as it often goes at Anfield, the lead lasted just a few minutes. Mohamed Salah got the beating of Kieran Tierney down the right, fired at Bernd Leno and the German stopper’s save landed at the feet of Mane, who couldn’t miss from a yard out.
The instant response revitalised the hosts and no sooner had Arsenal regrouped, Andy Robertson took advantage of some slack marking from Hector Bellerin to dink over Leno to turn the game on its head.
After spending such a long period of the game on the back foot, Arsenal would have been grateful for still being in the game at 2-1 and Arteta sent his side out with a more positive mentality.
Around the hour mark, a flurry of a chances arrived. First, Van Dijk hit one from range and then Lacazette, springing the offside trap, couldn’t find a way past Alisson Becker.
With his side showing encouraging signs since the break, Arteta sent on Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos in search of a leveller, and Ceballos nearly made an instant impact, again sending Lacazette through on goal but the Frenchman inexplicably couldn’t beat Alisson.
Diogo Jota made a late cameo for his Liverpool debut and almost marked the occasion with a goal, only to strike into the side netting. But he would get his moment two minutes from time, volleying home into the bottom corner to seal a deserved victory for Klopp’s men.

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