Liverpool move to third after 3-1 victory against top-four rivals Arsenal on Saturday night. Let’s be honest – Monday night was an awful performance against Leicester City, not only was the score demoralising, but the manner in which we lost.
A dejected team performance, devoid of any fight. Another game where we couldn’t capitalise on playing ‘weaker’ opposition.
Jurgen Klopp’s men continued their superb run of form against the Premier League’s big six, the victory will be a massive boost for the quest of Champions League qualification.
- Klavan replaces Lucas to partner Matip at the back.
- Henderson and Sturridge among those out injured.
- Liverpool haven’t lost at home to the Gunners since 2012.
- Sanchez left on the bench.
- Firmino scored the opener within the first nine minutes.
- Mané secured a two-goal lead at half-time just before half-time.
- Welbeck scores for Arsenal.
- Wijnaldum seals three points with stoppage-time stunner.
- Liverpool now up to third.
Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner; Can, Lallana (Lucas 90+2′), Wijnaldum; Mane (Alexander-Arnold 90+2′), Coutinho (Origi 79′), Firmino
Subs not used: Karius, Lovren, Moreno, Woodburn
Firmino 9′ (assist – Mane)
Mane 41′ (assist – Firmino)
Welbeck 57′ (assist – Sanchez)
Wijnaldum 90+1′ (assist – Origi)
Rectify awful start to 2017
Jurgen Klopp’s side needed a strong performance on Merseyside tonight, but boy didn’t they respond! This season we have fought well against Top 6 clubs, in fact if we formed a break-away league we’d actually be top!!
One change to the side that fell to defeat at the King Power Stadium, bringing in Ragnar Klavan in place of Lucas Leiva was all that was needed.
Just as Jurgen Klopp has requested on many occasions, Anfield was roaring once again. Liverpool started brightly in the opening stages with the full-backs to pushing forward and supporting the attacking trident at every opportunity.
High intensity play
It was a sweeping move involving the Reds’ forward quartet that put them ahead before the 10-minute mark, with Lallana laying the ball out to Mané, whose low cross was dummied by Philippe Coutinho, allowing Firmino to hammer home into the roof of the net.
Arsenal continued to struggle as they looked to adopt a more direct approach, trying to utilise Giroud’s strengths. Liverpool opted to play a careful strategic approach, watching carefully and exploiting Arsenal when space opened up. Continuing to dominate throughout the first half, Firmino turned provider for Mané, sweeping into the winger’s path after great work from Milner and Wijnaldum again. Arsenal just couldn’t cope with Liverpool’s high-octane pressing game.
Not even Sanchez could help
Wenger acknowledged he made an error in his team selection, as at half-time he sent on Sanchez, joining Giroud up front.
His movement was something that was lacking within the first-half as it took less than three minutes to test Mignolet.
It wasn’t long before the creativity of Sanchez gave Arsenal a much needed lifeline setting up Welbeck to make it 2-1. It really was a game of two halves, Liverpool needed defensive discipline to keep an impressive Arsenal at arms length.
However centre-back Joel Matip went close to adding a third, but his far-post header was too weak. Opting for an intelligent tactical substitute, Klopp replaced Coutinho with Origi, allowing Firmino to drop deeper to help out in the midfield battle.
Origi hit the post shortly after, before he played a key role in a stunning counter-attacking move. A superb but of individual skill from Lallana, holding the ball well the a delightful pass with the outside of his boot, to Origi who put a deep cross for an on-running Wijnaldum who’s late goal really put the icing on the cake as Liverpool moved up to third in the table.