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“Unstoppable” Liverpool produce “complete display” in 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal

The watching media were blown away by Liverpool’s performance in their 4-0 win over Arsenal, as they erased the memories of the defeat to West Ham.

The Reds were magnificent at Anfield on Saturday evening, making a relatively slow start before blowing their opponents away.

Sadio Mane gave the hosts a half-time lead, but it was in the second half that Liverpool turned on the style, with Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino all netting.

It was a win that showed how far ahead Jurgen Klopp‘s men are of Arsenal, despite the in-form Gunners being tipped to get a result before the match.

Here’s a look at how the media reacted to Liverpool’s win.

 

It was a statement performance from the Reds and some were left hugely impressed…

The Liverpool Echo‘s Paul Gorst thought Liverpool made a mockery of potentially tough opponents:

“A must-win was won in some style. Billed from the outside as the biggest challenge for an in-form Arsenal since their 10-game unbeaten run started back in September, that would only really be true if a proper representation of Liverpool showed up.

“Five points dropped in the last two games against Brighton and West Ham suggested that was not necessarily a given, but there was little doubt about the outcome here once the hosts really got going.

“Any fears that the international break would not help the Reds out of their mini-slump were eradicated as they put the Gunners to the sword in a ruthless fashion they have made something of a trademark at times this season.

“File this alongside the 5-0 hammerings of Watford and Manchester United; this was Liverpool’s most complete display at Anfield for quite some time.”

Rob Draper of the Daily Mail claimed Arsenal were powerless after the break, with their tactics not working:

“Liverpool found their stride at Anfield last night as Arsenal found the limits of their recent resurgence.

“Mikel Arteta’s revival of this team after a historically bad start to the season has been genuinely impressive with eight wins and two draws in the last ten games. Yet it didn’t survive a forensic examination from a Liverpool team with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah and Diogo Jota all their best.

“To be fair, few teams would. But Arteta made it easier, with his desire to be on the front foot, seemingly daring Liverpool to sweep him aside by persisting with Pierre Emerick-Aubemeyang and Alex Lacazette up front with Emile Smith Rowe and Buyako Saka pushing up wide.

“Liverpool duly obliged. Frustrated for long periods by a heroic Aaron Ramsdale, when they eventually breached Arsenal, they flooded through them, an unstoppable force in the second half.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mark Jones of the Mirror praised Liverpool for finding their best form when they really needed it:

“It was only being whispered quietly around Anfield before the match, but this was probably Liverpool’s biggest Premier League game of the season so far.

Chelsea‘s impressive win at Leicester earlier in the day had put the Blues six points clear at the top, and seven ahead of Liverpool, and the Reds really couldn’t afford for that gap to grow.

Arsenal‘s form coming into the game made things trickier too, but after the Gunners stood up to Liverpool to begin with it was the Reds who ultimately moved several gears ahead of them.

“They were superb at times, especially in the second half.”

 

Others felt Mikel Arteta’s scuffle with Klopp backfired and was a key moment…

2H75E0T Liverpool, England, 20th November 2021. Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal disagree and are kept apart during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

TIA‘s James Nalton was one of those who thanks the Arsenal boss for his input:

“Mikel Arteta was obviously listening when the Arsenal fans began chanting “where’s your famous atmosphere” in the first half, as it was he who really lit the touchpaper on it.

“A touchline confrontation between himself and Jurgen Klopp turned what was a fairly flat game, on the pitch and in the stands, into something altogether more lively.

“Liverpool tested Aaron Ramsdale who may have celebrated his saves a little too early, while the managers’ touchline altercation raised the volume in Anfield and gave the players some added impetus to finally get a goal.

“A last-man tackle from Fabinho on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was good timing in this regard, too, and the goal eventually came as the crowd’s influence increased, thanks in a large part to Arteta.

“There’s your atmosphere, thank you.”

The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe achoed that sentiment:

“When Mikel Arteta re-watches it, he will be compelled to question his own role and ask himself if he was guilty of courage or naivety. Most will accuse him of the latter.

“For 33 minutes Arsenal were doing reasonably well. Sure, Liverpool were controlling the ball but not doing much with it, and the visiting fans were engaging in a chant about whether the Anfield atmosphere is all that it’s made out to be.

“Arteta, perhaps emboldened by the relative serenity and manner in which his defence was nullifying Liverpool’s strikers, decided to take on Jurgen Klopp in a shouting match. By proxy, he was calling it on with the whole of the stadium. Not, as it turns out, the wisest move.”

Carl Markham of the Independent felt it was naive behaviour from Arteta:

“Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, remembered here for his time as an Everton player, discovered to his cost the dangers of rattling Anfield’s cage as a touchline bust-up with Klopp ignited the atmosphere and energised the home side.

“It was that incident which saw the match catch fire as Liverpool’s players used the injection of emotion to press home their territorial advantage.”

 

Liverpool’s influential midfield earned special praise…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Liverpool's substitute Tyler Morton (L) makes his League debut replacing Thiago Alcantara during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The metronomic Thiago received a positive review from Jones:

“Right from the start it was clear to see that Liverpool were going to look to get Thiago Alcantara on the ball as often as they could, and with good reason.

[…]

“His passing may not always be forwards, but it is forward-thinking, as one clever first-half ball for Fabinho showed with the Reds instantly put on the front foot.

“Most of their worthy attacks in the first period involved Thiago in some sense, and if he can stay fit he’s going to be a key player over the next few weeks.”

Bascombe was also impressed with the silky Spaniard:

“For Liverpool, there was the reassuring familiarity of a comfortable win over Arsenal. For Mikel Arteta, only the sobering reality that little has changed since their early season beatings by Chelsea and Manchester City.

[…]

Thiago, returning to deputise for Jordan Henderson, was allowed to control the tempo, while Fabinho’s presence always makes Liverpool look like potential title winners.”

Finally, Nalton lauded the chemistry between midfield trio Fabinho, Thiago and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain:

“Liverpool’s lineup for this game boasted what in theory should be an ideal midfield balance. Fabinho‘s role needs no explanation, and he’s the only player in the squad who can execute it.

“Alongside and slightly ahead of him was Thiago — the multinational midfielder who sometimes plays for Spain and controls the game in his own way.

“Then more unpredictable, a little untidier but more of a direct threat to the opposition was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, building on the base provided by the other two.

“There has been a lot of discussion around what is Liverpool’s best midfield, but sometimes it might be a case of best balance rather than best players.

“Each of the three performed well Fabinho and Thiago finished the game with a pass success of 98% and 95% respectively, while Oxlade-Chamberlain finished with something much more sought-after — a This is Anfield man of the match award.”

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