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Liverpool 3, Arsenal 1: First Thoughts

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Despite a heart-stopping second half, Liverpool managed a 3-1 win against Arsenal, getting them back in the top four.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Firmino 9’, Mané 40’, Wijnaldum 90+1’ Arsenal 1 Welbeck 56’

  • PRE-MATCH: There’s 36 more points up for grabs in this season, and Liverpool desperately need as many as possible fight for a top four spot. It’s somehow LESS nerve-wracking when they’re playing one of the bigger teams, though, isn’t it?
  • About seven minutes in and Liverpool are looking solid, already so much better than at any point against Leicester last Monday.
  • Alexis Sanchez has just smiled at a fellow teammate while sitting on the bench.
  • GOAL! - Firmino 9’ - After several minutes of dominance and one kick to the face, Liverpool take the lead. The fast break tears open the defense, and Mané on the right gets the ball across the face of goal. Coutinho with the clever dummy in the middle ensures the ball makes it to Firmino on the left. His first touch is off, but he quickly gets the ball under control and slams it home.
  • Alexis Sanchez is jogging on the sidelines.
  • Coutinho comes close with one of his classic long distance shot, but Cech’s fingertips barely tip it over the bar.
  • Alexis Sanchez is casually stretching his hamstrings with his hands on his hips.
  • GOAL! - Mané 40’ - Liverpool tears up the Arsenal defense, and produce the opposite of the first goal, with Firmino on the left threading it through to Mané on the right, who has enough time and empty space around him in the 18-yard box to plant a decent vegetable garden. He makes no mistake with his shot, and Liverpool are up 2-0.
  • No update on Alexis Sanchez’s feelings about the second goal. Fingers crossed they’ll address this mistake at halftime.
  • HALFTIME: It’s been all Liverpool here, and if the gods are good, they’ll give Coutinho a goal in the second half.
  • Alexis Sanchez just took a drink from a bottle before entering the match, and with that the game resumes.
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  • 48’ - Giroud very nearly scores, but Mignolet gets a crucial hand on the ball and then it dinks safely off the crossbar. Phew. Either way, Arsenal have woken up.
  • Firmino turns around on the other end and gets a good touch on the ball before it falls into Cech’s hands. Unf. Bobby’s looking vintage today.
  • Goal - 56’ Welbeck - ALEXIS SANCHEZZZZZZ passes it to Danny Welbeck who lifts the ball over Mignolet to score.
  • So many missed opportunities from Liverpool that are designed, I’m assuming, to give me a heart attack.
  • Emre Can is maybe a bit fortunate to escape a second yellow card after a bad foul. Somehow Xhaka gets a yellow for arguing with the referee. Well. Ok. I mean, I’ll take it.
  • Milner delivers a sweet free kick that substitute Divock Origi smashes against the bottom of the post. Cech was well beaten there. Lord help me.
  • GOAL! - Wijnaldum 90+1’ - The tension is released just after the 90 minutes of regulation end, making it 3-1 and ensuring that Liverpool get all three points.
  • FINAL: Liverpool are in third on the table, and can only end the weekend as low as fourth. Phew.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.