Diogo Jota netted his first Liverpool goal in his first Premier League outing, as Jurgen Klopp‘s side made it three from three with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Monday night.
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
Premier League (3), Anfield
September 28, 2020
Mane 28′ (assist – Salah)
Robertson 34′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Jota 88′ (assist – Luiz)
With Arsenal sitting back as expected, deployed with a back five, Liverpool were able to take control early on, and almost broke the deadlock within the first 15 minutes as Sadio Mane swept Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross into Bernd Leno’s palms.
Alexander-Arnold’s powerful drive from range was deflected onto the bar soon after, with the right-back looking at his best in the final third, but at the other end a calamity from Andy Robertson handed Arsenal the opener.
The Gunners played impressively out from the back, navigating Liverpool’s press, working their way up to a counter that saw Ainsley Maitland-Niles allowed to cross towards the six-yard box, with Robertson scuffing his clearance to Alexandre Lacazette who scooped home.
Liverpool weren’t behind for long, and it came via a blistering move from Mohamed Salah, tearing into the box and firing at Leno’s weak wrists and into the path of Mane to make it 1-1.
The two full-backs combined to put the Reds ahead on the 34-minute mark, with Alexander-Arnold spotting Robertson’s run at the far post and the ball dropping to allow the Scot to atone for his early mistake and score.
HT: Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal
The second half began with less excitement, with Virgil van Dijk‘s long-range effort turned away by Leno in the Reds’ biggest chance of the opening quarter-hour, while Alisson made a great save to deny Lacazette at the other end.
A fine improvised effort saw Mane swivel after Roberto Firmino somehow found him in the box, but the forward’s clipped finish bounced just wide of Leno’s post.
On came Jota, for his Premier League debut, replacing Mane on the left of Klopp’s three-man attack, and minutes into his first Anfield outing he had squandered a big opportunity, firing into the side-netting when found in the box by Salah.
Jota should have had an even better chance minutes later, only for Gini Wijnaldum‘s pass across the box to be intercepted by Salah, who had no right to take the ball off his team-mate and wasted the move entirely.
But the Portuguese had his goal not long after, collecting a headed clearance from David Luiz and guiding into the bottom corner on the half-volley, clinching the three points on a dream bow.
TIA Man of the Match: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Referee: Craig Pawson
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita (Milner 79′); Salah, Mane (Jota 79′), Firmino (Minamino 90+1′)
Subs not used: Adrian, Williams, Jones, Origi
Arsenal: Leno; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka (Ceballos 60′), Maitland-Niles; Willian (Pepe 69′), Aubameyang, Lacazette (Nketiah 74′)
Subs not used: Runarsson, Gabriel, Kolasinac, Saka
Next Match: Arsenal (H) – League Cup – Thursday, October 1, 7.45pm (BST)