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“Complete performance” puts top-four rivals “on notice” – Media on Arsenal 0-3 Liverpool

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The watching media hailed Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday night, as their top-four hopes were given a huge boost.

The Reds knew a win was imperative in north London, especially after Chelsea‘s surprise 5-2 defeat at home to West Brom earlier in the day.

Diogo Jota came off the substitutes’ bench to open the scoring after the break before Mohamed Salah nutmegged Bernd Leno to add a second.

The win was wrapped up by Jota as Liverpool jumped to fifth in the table ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

Here’s how the media reflected on an excellent night for Liverpool.

 

A superb performance was widely lauded, as the Reds looked something to the team that dominated last season…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates after scoring the second goal with team-mates Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (C) and Thiago Alcantara (R) during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Miguel Delaney of the Independent was impressed by what he saw, as Liverpool swatted Arsenal aside:

“It was by far Liverpool’s best display since the 7-0 win over Crystal Palace, as they suddenly looked to be full of confidence again.

[…]

Arsenal just couldn’t keep up with Jurgen Klopp’s team, as the German was left beaming again.

“For all the inevitable focus on Jota, the difference with Fabinho in midfield was stark. Liverpool just looked so much more like Liverpool. It was as if they were suddenly able to press as they usually do, and consequently attack like they usually do. There was a long period in the first half when they basically had Arsenal penned in around their own area.”

The Echo‘s Ian Doyle felt Jurgen Klopp‘s men haven’t played better in the whole of 2020/21:

“Hello Liverpool, we have been expecting you. With the kind of timing that had been their trademark during recent seasons, Jurgen Klopp’s side announced themselves as realistic contenders for Champions League qualification.

“And, in doing so, they sent a gentle reminder to Real Madrid to prepare for an almighty scrap in Spain on Tuesday night.

“This was a Liverpool performance hugely reminiscent of the kind supporters have come to celebrate under Klopp and opponents have learned to fear.

“Intense, energetic, organised and, ultimately, ruthless, the Reds’ dismissed Arsenal with their most complete performance of a difficult, at times tortuous campaign.”

And Rob Draper of the Mail was similarly complimentary:

“Liverpool are back. Not back to their best. That would be absurd. A longer period of rehabilitation will be required to return to the heights of the last two years after so great a fall from grace.

“But back in the game, certainly. On the day they surrendered their title, no longer mathematically able to catch Manchester City, they demonstrated many qualities of old.

“More importantly, they dispatched Arsenal with ease and they ensured that the fight for that final Champions League spot will be an entertaining and thoroughly undignified scramble.”

 

Several individuals shone, with Trent answering his critics and Jota showing his ever-growing influence…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Doyle applauded the “superb” response of Trent following his England omission:

“Liverpool also owe a debt of gratitude to Gareth Southgate.

“Klopp revealed before the game Trent Alexander- Arnold had reacted positively to his shock omission by the England boss with some fine training performances.

“And that was transferred to the pitch with the right-back demonstrating superb appetite and attitude and, more crucially, key contributions in all three goals.

“If this is the form Alexander-Arnold will show in attempting to regain his England place for this summer’s European Championships, Liverpool will be the immediate beneficiaries.”

Fabinho and Diogo Jota were seen as the key figures by ESPN‘s James Olley as they brought potency and tempo to the table respectively:

“They are not the absentees most often rued during a season Liverpool find themselves needing to rescue, but Diogo Jota and Fabinho provided a useful reminder on Saturday of what Jurgen Klopp‘s side have been missing.

“The Reds were utterly dominant in easing to a 3-0 win over a dreadfully poor Arsenal side, but only after Jota added potency to a performance Fabinho set the tempo for.”

Meanwhile, Samuel Meade of the Mirror heaped praise on Jota, saying he has to be starting games regularly now:

“There will come a point where Klopp really can’t leave Jota on the bench.

“Many will argue we are well past that point. He has been the club’s most consistent forward all year and, had injuries not occurred, may well have more goals than Salah.

[…]

“Jota has now scored in successive Liverpool games following his winner at Wolves three weeks ago. A blunt Reds attack has been a problem this term – you wonder if they already have the solution in their ranks.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the second goal throughg the legs of Arsenal's goalkeeper Bernd Leno during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The aforementioned trio were also standout figures in the eyes of the Telegraph‘s Sam Dean:

“This is the Fabinho that Liverpool remember, running the midfield with snarling aggression. This is the Diogo Jota that Liverpool signed, coming off the bench to score twice in the second half.

“And most eye-catchingly of all, this is the Trent Alexander-Arnold who established himself as the country’s most impressive right-back over the past few seasons.”

Finally, the Echo‘s Paul Gorst focused on Salah and his remarkable goalscoring record:

“The Liverpool superstar raised eyebrows over the international break with a peculiarly timed interview with Madrid-based publication Marca.

“But as Salah and Real Madrid are again getting set to be squashed together into headlines next week, thanks to the Champions League, the Reds forward was making them for his actions only on the pitch in north London.

“Now up to 26 goals for the season and 18 in the Premier League, his latest contribution was his 93rd in 150 top-flight appearances in England.

“That, whoever you measure him against, is elite level.”

 

A top-four finish was widely discussed, as was the imminent meeting with Madrid…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates after scoring the second goal with team-mates Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (C) and Thiago Alcantara (R) during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goal‘s Neil Jones believes Liverpool have nothing to fear on both fronts:

“With eight games to go, the gap to fourth is just two points. After a dark winter, spring brings with it new hope. Their confidence is repaired and their spirits restored.

[…]

“Next up, Real Madrid. Can Liverpool confirm their revival by taking down a European heavyweight in the quarter-finals of the Champions League?

“With Jota in this kind of mood, they have to fancy their chances.”

With optimism returning, Olley echoed that sentiment:

“Klopp’s side move to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea and can embark upon a Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid in addition to the Premier League run-in with renewed optimism after rediscovering the authority that made them champions.

[…]

“Liverpool still have an active fight on two fronts despite an appalling recent record at home and the ongoing absence of key defenders including Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

“And the signs suggest they are starting to regain enough squad depth to make both challenges competitive at the very least.”

BBC Sport‘s Phil McNulty can now envisage a disastrous season being rescued:

“It was less than a month ago that struggling Fulham inflicted Liverpool’s sixth successive home league defeat, the worst run in the club’s history, to leave Klopp’s champions shrouded in misery and their season threatening meltdown.

“Fortunes can change quickly, though, and Liverpool will have left north London late on Saturday night to prepare for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Real Madrid with hope they could yet emerge from the dark clouds of this season into sunlight.

[…]

“The top four, a bare minimum requirement at the start of this campaign, is now a serious possibility and while hardly the ideal target it would be a lot better than what Liverpool looked to be contemplating after Fulham took all three points at Anfield on 7 March.”

And Gorst thinks Chelsea will be most worried by the Reds out of the chasing pack:

West Ham, Everton and Tottenham will have their own designs on a place in the top four too, of course, but Chelsea might just consider themselves to have been put on notice by this performance at Arsenal.

“This was as good as Liverpool have been in months.”

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