Liverpool’s Arsenal demolition – What the papers say

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A round-up of what the mainstream press have been saying after Liverpool’s sensational performance against Arsenal on Saturday.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 8, 2014: Liverpool's Martin Skrtel celebrates scoring the first goal against Arsenal during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Henry Winter, in The Telegraph, reserves praise for Brendan Rodgers’ tactics in the game:

It is the tactical intelligence, the hunting of the ball in packs, the pace on the counter, the numbers in the middle and the relentless working for the cause, particularly the wide players like Suárez and Sterling tracking back, that is the Rodgers’s way. They forced mistakes, Jordan Henderson pressing Mesut Özil to win the ball for Liverpool’s third and then Coutinho picking off the German’s casual pass for the fourth.

Adding:

While Wenger sat stunned, Rodgers was beckoning players over during breaks in play, continuing to coach and coax, such as when Henderson sprinted across for some new commands after 75 minutes. He listened, nodded, took a slug of water and got on with the game, with fulfilling his manager’s master-plan, a plan that has given Liverpool a future of genuine excitement and substance.

Ralph Davis of The Daily Mail praises goalscorer Daniel Sturridge, explaining:

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 8, 2014: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Arsenal during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Sturridge celebrates making if four after just 20 minutes. Pic: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Daniel Sturridge, who was 24 on September 1 and so qualifies by 14 days to be one of the candidates to be voted PFA Young Player of the Year, ought to be a shoo-in for the prestigious award.

His deadly finish for the fourth of Liverpool’s 5-1 rout over Arsenal took him to 25 goals in 26 starts and five substitute appearances since his £12million move to Anfield from Chelsea in January 2013.

That’s the most prolific spell by an English striker in the Premier League since Kevin Phillips hit 27 in his first 29 games on the way to winning the Golden Boot in 2000. That haul for Sunderland included six penalties, while only one of Sturridge’s goals have come from the spot.

Andy Dunn in The Mirror writes of Liverpool’s title hopes, saying they are in the race:

Liverpool did not just take a wrecking-ball to Arsenal here, they dismantled the theory that the Premier League ribbons are out of reach – just as Mourinho insisted they would do back in December.

He had praise for young English duo Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling, two key players in the victory:

Ambition screamed from every one of Jordan Henderson’s surges. It shouted from Raheem Sterling’s carefree, corkscrewing runs.

Further Reading:

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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