Liverpool continued their perfect start to the Premier League season on Saturday afternoon, as they beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield.
After some promising football from the hosts, Liverpool broke the deadlock shortly before half-time through Joel Matip. Trent Alexander-Arnold sent a delightful cross into the box from a corner, and Matip jumped well to power his header home to give the Reds the advantage.
Just three minutes into the second half, Liverpool were awarded a penalty as David Luiz blatantly pulled Mohamed Salah’s shirt. Salah stepped up and and took a beautiful spot kick, firing his effort right into the top corner to give the Reds a comfortable grip on the game.
Salah got his second of the evening soon after, this time with a wonderful dribble and finish. The Egyptian skipped past Luiz and drove into the box, cutting inside before tucking it into the bottom corner to all but seal the three points for Liverpool.
Arsenal got a deserved consolation with five minutes to go, thanks to substitute Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan picked the ball up on the edge of the box and fired it low into the back of the net to pull one back, though it was too late as Liverpool secured the three points.
Key Talking Point
Liverpool were excellent right from the start, with their high press showing their determination as they forced the visitors into mistakes. The Reds were playing their beautiful trademark style of football, creating chance after chance before they took the lead through a neat set-piece.
As they ended the first half on a strong note, Liverpool began the second even better as they won a penalty early on and made it three soon after. It was a flawless performance from Liverpool, who attacked with flair and defended without putting a put wrong in the perfect performance.
Jurgen Klopp couldn’t ask for any more from his players, as they all worked extremely hard and put together a superb performance. Liverpool continue the season with another excellent win, as the Reds go marching on to the top of the Premier League table.
Starting XI: Adrian (6); Alexander-Arnold (7), Van Dijk (7), Matip (8), Robertson (7); Wijnaldum (6), Fabinho (6), Henderson (7); Salah (8), Firmino (7), Mane (6).
Substitutes: Milner (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Lallana (N/A).
STAR PLAYER – With some promising efforts in the first half, it was an outstanding second half performance from Mohamed Salah which sealed the win. The Egyptian did well to win the penalty and was excellent going forward, showing up when it mattered once again as he scored a brace in a fantastic performance.
Key Talking Point
They were still in it at the start of the second half, but a rash moment from Luiz put the game beyond Arsenal. While they were decent in attack, the defending was once again not up to scratch, as Liverpool tore them apart time after time in a damaging defeat.
Arsenal did show some good signs, and if they can play like they did in the first half throughout the season then they can certainly have a good season. However, it was a lacklustre display for the most part from the Gunners, as they left Merseyside empty handed once again.
Starting XI: Leno (6); Maitland-Niles (6), Sokratis (6), Luiz (4), Monreal (6); Willock (6), Xhaka (7), Guendouzi (6); Ceballos (5); Aubameyang (6), Pepe (7).
Substitutes: Torreira (7), Lacazette (N/A), Mkhitaryan (N/A).
STAR PLAYER – Finally making his first start in red, Nicolas Pepe didn’t fail to impress in a dazzling display. The Ivorian was excellent in the first half, with some wonderful dribbles and great chances as he produced a promising performance despite the defeat.
Liverpool are on the road next week, travelling to Turf Moor to face Burnley next Saturday. The Reds then return to Anfield after the international break, with Newcastle the visitors on 14 September.
Arsenal have a mouth-watering tie next with the north London derby, as Tottenham visit the Emirates on 1 September. The Gunners then make the short trip up to Hertfordshire on 14 September, when they face Watford at Vicarage Road.