Liverpool 4 - 0 Arsenal
Liverpool: Mane 40’, Jota 51’, Salah 74’, Minamino 77’
It was as expected from Klopp today with Tsimikas in for Andy Robertson and Fabinho and Thiago back in the midfield. Diogo Jota replaces the injured Roberto Firmino up front.
Arsenal came strongly out of the gate, getting the games first few chances, thanks in part to some loose balls in the midfield from Liverpool.
It took the Reds about 15-20 minutes to get into their rhythm. Arsenal seemed to be targeting Sadio Mane, and with good reason. The winger looked like the Reds’ strongest player in the opening thirty minutes.
As Liverpool attacked, the only thing keeping Arsenal afloat was several spectacular saves by Aaron Ramsdale.
First it was Thiago getting a shot off, and then Mane failing to score on the rebound. Minutes later, Ramsdale made a first class, instinctual save that denied Mohamed Salah. Then it was Oxlade-Chamberlain to Thiago to Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 37th minute. Alexander-Arnold got a thunderbolt of a shot off, but Ramsdale tipped it over the bar for another corner.
Klopp and Mikel Arteta get into it on the touchline over a challenge by Mane, and the referee shows both managers yellow cards. That’s a way to liven up an otherwise frustrating match.
40 minutes in, the break through finally happened. And as if to make a point, it was Mane, the man with the target on his back, who got it into the back of the net. One a corner, Alexander-Arnold lofted a ball deep into the penalty area, and Mane nodded it past Ramsdale to make it 1-0.
It took less than 10 minutes after the restart for Jota to make it 2-0 for the Reds. The assist needs to go to Nuno Tavares, who made a shocking error in front of his own goal, passing it right to Jota. A zig and a zag past some last ditch defending, and the ball was in the back of the empty net.
A few moments later, Jota escapes a dangerous situation. Both he and Ramsdale committed to getting a loose ball. The resulting collision looked painful, but luckily both men were fine to continue after a quick check from the medics.
65 minutes in, Alisson is forced into a save, using the tip of a toe to direct away a shot from Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang on the break.
Michael Oliver decided that Salah getting shoved to the ground in the box means Salah should get a yellow card. Salah succinctly gave his opinion on that matter minutes later when he scores Liverpool’s third.
A gorgeous headed pass from Jota to Mane, who gets away with loads of space in front of him. He passes it to Salah, and like that, the score is 3-0.
Minamino has an instant impact when he comes on for the departing Jota three minutes later. Mane, who was superb today, gets it to Salah. Salah finds Trent on the overlap, and the young Scouser passes it across the box and right to Minamino’s feet to make it 4-0.
In a pleasant surprise and a total power move, Klopp made 19-year-old Tyler Morton his final substitute of the match, taking out Thiago and giving Morton his Anfield debut.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
It started off a bit patchy, but Liverpool ended up completely dominating this match. It was a nice way to return from the international break.
Who was Liverpool’s man of the match against Arsenal?
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Virgil van Dijk