Liverpool produced a simply stunning display of football to trash Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield and continue an unbeaten start to the season.
Liverpool 4–0 Arsenal
Premier League, Anfield
August 27, 2017
Firmino 17’ (assist – Gomez)
Mane 40’ (assist – Firmino)
Salah 57′ (assist – Matip)
Sturridge 77’ (assist – Salah)
Liverpool returned to Premier League action for a first heavyweight clash of the season against Arsene Wenger’s side seeking a fourth consecutive win in all competitions.
Goals were expected at Anfield – where the Reds supported the Owen McVeigh Foundation wearing special t-shirts pre-match – with this fixture seeing more goals than any in Premier League history, and it certainly lived to expectation.
The Reds, visibly full of confidence, picked up from where they left off against Hoffenheim, taking the game to the visitors from the first whistle.
However, the first big chance fell Arsenal’s way, but Danny Welback blazed into the Kop after being played in by Alexis Sanchez.
Chances were coming thick and fast for Liverpool and Jordan Henderson had a great opportunity to double the lead two minutes later, but the captain could only poke across goal after being found by Firmino.
All eyes were on the returning Karius, and the German nearly gifted the Gunners an equaliser when he took too long to clear, smashing the ball into the onrushing Welbeck.
Liverpool thought they had a second when Salah, a constant menace on the right, slotted home on 27 minutes, but the flag went up to deny him a second Anfield goal.
But Klopp’s side grabbed the second goal their dominance deserved five minutes before half-time, when Mane finished off a devastating counter-attack with a superb curling effort to give the Reds a two-goal lead at the break.
Karius had another nervy moment after the re-start, with Welbeck again coming close to tackling the German who staggeringly did the same a third time on an unconvincing first start since December.
But the one-way traffic continued and Salah could, and should, have made it 3-0 ten minutes into the second half, but Cech made a good save to deny the Reds No.11 for a second time.
But the excellent Salah did finally find the net when he latched on to Joel Matip’s clearing header, ran the length of the pitch and slotted coolly into the bottom corner for a magnificent break-away goal.
After establishing a comfortable three-goal lead, the Reds worked well to keep control of the match and deny the Gunners any route back, while also still retaining a lethal threat in attack.
Mane had a big chance to end the contest once and for all with 20 minutes remaining, but the Senegalese saw his finish hacked off the line as it was heading in.
A fantastic fourth did arrive seven minutes later, when substitute Daniel Sturridge joined the party by heading home Salah’s pin-point cross only three minutes after coming on.
With Arsenal by now well and truly beaten, Klopp’s men saw out the remaining 13 minutes untroubled to claim a brilliant and thoroughly deserved victory at Anfield.
It was a sensational performance from the Reds, and one which saw a third straight win recorded over Wenger’s side for the first time since 1998.