LIVERPOOL 4-0 Arsenal
Liverpool continue their unbeaten home record for the season as they faced London side Arsenal in Premier League action and came away with a victory.
Jurgen Klopp had made as many as five changes to the team at times already this season but the fixture saw only two changes made to the side which defeated Hoffenheim and went on to claim their place in the Champions League group stage. Gomez would replace Alexander Arnold (moved to the substitute bench) and Loris Karius would be the first choice goalkeeper while Simon Mignolet was not even designated to be substitute goalkeeper, with Danny Ward on the subs bench.
No official statement had been made before the game regarding using Karius. After the win in a post match interview Jurgen Klopp would not go into major detail about his choice of goalkeeper but would briefly say “the clean sheet was important, we’ve been working hard to ensure our opponents do not score”. Clearly, Klopp believes the best chance of defending for this to happen is to place Karius in goal. Earlier in the season (after the draw with Watford) it was clear that Mignolet had some issues with keeping the ball out of the net already as he conceded three times in a single Premier League fixture. Now, Karius comes in and has done what Mignolet should have been doing from the start of the season. Only the manager will have the chance to decide if Karius continues in his new role as first choice goalkeeper but someone who will not allow a trilogy of goals past him would certainly be reassuring at the moment with ever more important fixtures coming up. It would certainly be nice to consistently keep out all the shots that come our way and focus more intensely on our own opportunities for turning goalscoring (even just 1 goal) into confirmed victories.
Speaking of which, Liverpool tried hard in the first half right from the kickoff with Salah almost scoring by the 11 minute.
Just 17 minutes into the game, Liverpool had taken the lead. Joe Gomez would work hard to make it far enough down the right wing for providing a cross that would see Roberto Firmino leap through the air to connect with the ball, heading it down to the ground before it came back up and crashed past Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech and into the net. Liverpool 1-0 Arsenal.
Liverpool would continue to press their opponents, putting them under pressure often. A second goal would be seen in the lead up to half time and it would be Mané who got it. Firmino was once again involved in a goal though as he would be the one to assist his teammate with the pass that allowed Mané the chance to find his space and take his shot which would go powering past Cech and into the net.
Liverpool 2-0 Arsenal.
So, half time came soon after that goal and Liverpool had a comfortable lead already. I don’t know what Wenger would have said to his team to inspire them to take control but they did not look ever making a comeback. Considering that Liverpool have been reported to have had interest in signing Arsenal players such as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, they certainly didn’t seem like they’d be improvements to our squad, being overwhelmed by us in a competitive Premier League fixture. I don’t see Jurgen Klopp gathering the money and making bids for these players this summer or perhaps ever.
Wenger tried to tighten up his midfield at half-time by substituting Francis Coquelin for Aaron Ramsey, but it really didn’t make much difference. Their defence was the real problem and they were leaking goals in the 2nd half by the 57th minute.
Hector Bellerin was caught and dispossessed by Salah around the half-way point of the pitch and the speedy winger rushed real fast all the way into the heart of Arsenal’s defence till he had a sight on goal. Cech came out to meet him but the Liverpool man finished calmly under pressure hitting the ball around the left side of Cech and into the net to make it Liverpool 3-0 Arsenal.
Arsenal continued to struggle at Anfield and they really only kept defending, not giving newly chosen first choice goalkeeper Karius much to do at all.
The third goal wasn’t the end of the struggle for Arsenal and by the 77th minute our substitute Daniel Sturridge had a chance to contribute with a 4th goal after connecting his head to the ball at the far right post following a pinpoint accurately placed cross by Mohamed Salah. Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal.
I was delighted to see Sturridge score since he has only just returned to full fitness from an injury picked up in a pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich, directly after he had lobbed their goalkeeper and scored for Liverpool. So, back to scoring ways again. Really happy for him personally as well as the team and our fans. There’s no denying that he works hard when he’s fully fit and can provide goals for us. Don’t count him out as being a valuable part of our squad. With the possibility of Coutinho leaving the club and heading for Barcelona just as Luis Suarez did, there’s a chance we may yet need him more than we think we do.
Liverpool would continue to hold on to their lead and never did concede to Arsenal. I hope Karius is rewarded for his performance and holds onto his first choice goalkeeper spot until at least he deserves to NOT play that role any more (may that day never come). Even for the important Champions League fixtures. If he’s on his best form and not conceding for game after game, he’ll be worthy of being our number 1 for any fixture. It is earned.
Man of the Match
Liverpool had four goalscorers and plenty of our players were involved with the action but none more so than Mohamed Salah. He’d assisted Sturridge for the 4th goal, almost opened with a goal of his own in the 11th minute, would later convert his opportunity to beat the goalkeeper in the 57th minute and generally led the attacks going up towards Petr Cech regularly throughout the whole game.
Reds are thankful to have made this signing and he’s really proving his worth quickly to the club and it’s fans.
There will be an international break, after which Liverpool are set to continue their Premier League season with a visit to Manchester City at 12.30 (BST) on Saturday, September 9th.
Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.