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Liverpool 4, Arsenal 0: First Thoughts

Liverpool face off against top four rivals Arsenal at Anfield and certainly make the most of it.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool 4 Firmino 16’, Mané 39’, Salah 57’, Sturridge 77’ Arsenal 0

  • Pre-match: Loris Karius is actually starting against Arsenal, after Jürgen Klopp claiming he’s resting Simon Mignolet of all players, against all teams. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also starting for Arsenal today, which means we’re probably not signing him this week and that’s that. Otherwise, with the added exception of Andy Robertson missing due to the birth of his son (!!!), we’re about the same as last week with Daniel Sturridge on the bench and Joe Gomez in the right and Alberto Moreno in the left.
  • And away we go! Anfield sure is a gorgeous sight today.
  • Arsenal look to have stuck with their three at the back formation, which is good news for Liverpool.
  • Lots and lots of pressing from both sides in these first five minutes, the Reds making life really difficult for Arsenal today.
  • Arsenal have a chance at seven minutes, but Alexis Sánchez shoots it just over the crossbar, thankfully.
  • WHAT A MISS. After a gorgeous bit of intricate build up, Mo Salah just barely misses getting it past Petr Cech around nine and a half minutes.
  • It’s seriously been only fifteen minutes at this point and this writer feels exhausted just watching them.
  • GOAL! Not even a minute later, Bobby Firmino scores from a cross from Emre Can, making it 1-0 to the hosts.
  • UGH. The captain wins the ball with all kinds of space but is denied by Petr Cech. To be fair, the midfield have been regaining a lot of their former confidence today, so to see him take the chance is encouraging.
  • Twenty minutes and three yellow cards so far, for Dejan Lovren, Danny Welbeck, and Joe Gomez respectively. So that bodes well for the rest of the match.
  • To his credit, Alberto Moreno has been pretty outstanding so far. He’s been where he needs to be, he hasn’t made any crazy charging and unnecessary runs, he’s put his head down and doing a shift.
  • So many missed chances today, either through saves or just poor aim, but this could easily be 4-0 to Liverpool if things had gone right.
  • GOAL AND THE COORDINATED CELEBRATIONS RETURN! Mané gets ahead and cuts inside to send it to the far corner and make it 2-0 for Liverpool!
  • Every shot of Arsene Wenger biting his nails on the touchline is the best. Just throwing that out there.
  • Halftime: Arsenal look like they’re Liverpool’s darkest timeline right now, with their poor defending and inability to hold the ball in the midfield, but hey they have attacking power! It remains to be seen if Wegner will throw Lacazette on to disrupt Liverpool’s flow, but right now it’s Liverpool’s game to lose (and they might).
  • We’re back! No changes to Liverpool, as Arsenal bring on Francis Coquelin for Aaron Ramsey.
  • Arsenal have come back fighting, with Mesut Ozil going straight for Jordan Hnederson’s ankles and getting a yellow card for the effort.
  • That... was not good, Loris Karius. Second time he’s almost the ball while trying to kick it away from Danny Welbeck.
  • Liverpool get a free kick just outside the box at 51 minutes and Salah sends it just wide - too wide for anyone to get on, but wide enough for a Liverpool corner.
  • Nothing to come of it, sadly. Oh well.
  • This half has turned into a legitimate battle and again, Liverpool are unlucky not to have 5 at this point.
  • THERE IT IS! GOAL! MO SALAH MAKES IT THREE! Capturing the ball from the Arsenal corner and clearance and shows off his pace to charge down the pitch and score in front of the Kop. A belter, that.
  • Please show me more pissed off Arsenal fans, TV cameras. Please please.
  • Arsenal use their remaining subs at 61 minutes to bring on Olivier Giroud and Alex Lacazette for Alexis Sánchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Throwing all their attacking power at Liverpool to try and make up for their current position.
  • Strikers? Who said we needed strikers? Not Klopp.
  • UNLUCKYYY. Mané with the perfect chance, only to just barely miss and have it deflected off Cech’s knee and Bellerín clearing it just before Firmino can tap it in.
  • Mané makes way for Daniel Sturridge at 74 minutes in, to a standing ovation for both players.
  • If we get a clean sheet here today, it won’t be for anything Karius has done, that’s for sure.
  • GOAL!! STURRIDGE MAKES IT FOUR!!! Absolutely DEVASTATING on the counter today, as Can and Salah set up Sturridge for the perfect little header. Four-nil to the hosts!
  • Arsenal fans leaving Anfield en masse just before James Milner comes on for Bobby at 79 minutes.
  • Studge looks SO GOOD. SO GOOD. To be fair, everyone has been OUTSTANDING today but man. MAN.
  • Liverpool use their last substitute to let Emre Can take a break and make way for Marko Grujic.
  • Arsenal with 0 SHOTS ON GOAL TODAY. HA.
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone booming throughout Anfield today as Arsenal have a free kick, just before the 90 minute mark. Giroud goes for the header and shoots it over the crossbar. Womp womp.
  • Three minutes of added time, just to keep the anxiety going.
  • FINAL WHISTLE: A clean sheet and a thrilling win. Couldn’t have asked for a better match, as Liverpool show just how powerful they can be.

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.

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