Liverpool continued their dominance at the top of the Premier League standings after they secured a resounding 5-1 triumph over Arsenal at Anfield. The Merseyside giants had come into the game as the overwhelming favourites to beat the Gunners and they managed to secure the outcome in style with a comfortable win despite trailing at the start. Roberto Firmino was the leading performer with his maiden league hat-trick.
Two things we learned:
Roberto Firmino returns to scoring ways: Prior to this game, the Brazilian had experienced an uncharacteristic first half to the league season where he had netted just four league goals. However, he managed to put the recent disappointment behind him against Arsenal where he transformed the Reds’ fortunes early on with a quick-fire brace shortly after the Gunners’ took an early lead in the 11th minute. Thereafter, the marksman did not have any clear opportunities on goal but he was handed the reward of a penalty in the second period through which he bagged his maiden league hattrick. With the outcome, the Brazilian managed to end a five-match scoreless run and this should put him in good stead ahead of a potential title-deciding game against Manchester City next week.
Arsenal’s defence continues to disappoint: The Gunners were fancied to concede goals against the league’s in-form side but very few would have expected them to be rolled over by five goals. With the recent injury crisis, manager Unai Emery decided to go with a three-man backline for the game with Stephan Lichtsteiner acting as the makeshift central defender alongside Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi. However, the additional personnel came to no use with some shambolic defending for the opening three goals. Among those, the second was probably the most disappointing of the lot after Firmino was allowed to dribble his way through Sokratis and Mustafi with neither managing to get a tackle on the Brazilian. Surely this performance acts as the stepping stone for the Gunners to spend on another centre-back this winter.
Image – Getty