Liverpool left the bad memories of last week behind to dominate and win against Arsenal
Liverpool bounced back in style after a humbling 3-1 defeat at Leicester last weekend. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum were the scorers as Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield.
Arsene Wenger reduced Alexis Sanchez to the bench and this decision proved costly as Arsenal failed to match the dominant display by Liverpool in the first half. Arsenal seemed to be lacking in creativity as it was a one-way traffic in the first half of the match.
Roberto Firmino scored after a Sadio Mane cross fell to him in the 9th minute to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead. Unmarked Mane then doubled the lead in the 40th minute for Liverpool after he was spotted by Firmino. Petr Cech prevented Arsenal from further misery in the first half as he saved a Coutinho attempt just before half-time.
Alexis Sanchez provided some glimmer of hope to Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez was introduced after the half-time and he made an instant impact. The Chilean’s cross had to be hurled away by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in the second minute of second half. Minutes later, Welbeck scored from a delightful finish in the 57th minute to halve the deficit, Sanchez being the assist provider. Arsenal then pushed harder in their search for an equaliser and introduced Theo Walcott and Lucas Perez in 74th minute in a seemingly attack-minded substitution. Liverpool substitute Divock Origi hit the post in 83rd minute. Georginio Wijnaldum scored in extra-time to end Arsenal’s hopes of a comeback and secure three points for Liverpool.
The three points took Liverpool up two rungs to the third place while Arsenal slipped out of the top four with the loss. They sit at the fifth position with 50 points from 26 games, one point ahead of Manchester United while two behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
In other matches of the day, Manchester United drew 1-1 against Bournemouth after Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty. Defending champions Leicester City won 3-1 against Hull City after initial hiccups in the game. Elsewhere, Swansea beat Burnley 3-2 while Southampton beat Watford 4-3. Stoke City and Crystal Palace won their matches with similar margins, 2-0, against Middlesbrough and West Brom respectively.