Liverpool show title credentials, Arsenal get reality check in one-sided Anfield game

LIVERPOOL, England – No one ever really doubted Liverpool’s Premier League titles when they lost at West Ham before the international break, but if there were any question marks over the resistance of Jurgen Klopp and his players, they outright banished them with a complete 4-0 victory over Arsenal at Anfield.

The mark of a great team is how they react to a setback and Liverpool did it in a brutal way against Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, with goals from Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino.

Liverpool’s victory propelled them to second place, four points behind leaders Chelsea, and kept Klopp’s men positioned in what is starting to feel like a three-horse box office race for the title with Chelsea and Manchester. City.

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“This league is incredibly intense,” said Klopp. “Now the most intense part of the season is ahead of us. December and January will be insane.

“We have returning players, but the boys who played today did very well and did exactly what they had to do. We know what Arsenal can do but they couldn’t do it. today – that’s the biggest compliment I can give my team. “

For Liverpool, the margin of victory was a fair reflection of their superiority and the last top-level victory they have achieved this season. Manchester United and Watford were hit for five, while Klopp’s players also scored three wins against Norwich and Leeds.

When they went wild in attack Liverpool are a blur of red shirts and the same was true against Arsenal, who had to respond to the quality of Jota, Mane and Salah.

Jota, so often the man to miss when Liverpool are at full power, makes the most of Roberto Firmino’s absence for injury and the Portuguese international’s performance against Arsenal suggests he could, sooner or later, eliminate completely the Brazilian.

Mistakes in the opposing team’s defense contributed to Liverpool’s eventual dominance, but the home side’s control of the game after the first half hour was complete and it was their aggressiveness and purpose that led to the collapse of Arsenal in the second half.

But even though they ended up suffering their second worst defeat of the season, Arsenal were able to leave the pitch with their pride intact and offered further proof that they have reached a milestone under Arteta after an eventful start to the season that has left them behind. saw losing three successive games without scoring.

The last time Arsenal lost in the league, a handful of angry fans waited for a 5-0 hammering at Man City to end in August to clearly show their fury at the team’s performance, with the Granit Xhaka’s red card in the first half embodying the shambolic state of the team.

In contrast, their eight-game unbeaten streak ended at Anfield, but Arteta and his players were applauded, a testament to Arsenal’s progress, as well as Klopp’s formidable squad class.

Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who made a series of fine saves, has been a crucial part of the recent unbeaten streak and his vocal presence has made a key difference in the organization of the defense.

Arteta also injected passion and tenacity into his team, allowed young people to flourish in the form of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka and succeeded in motivating Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to provide a extra intensity up front.

But despite all these positives, Liverpool were just too strong and powerful. Once they took the lead, Klopp’s team turned out to be the world-class outfit they’ve become. Arsenal, on the other hand, looked like a promising boxer who had been brought up too early in the world title class.

“It was a huge test,” Arteta said. “We showed for 45 minutes that we could compete with them. We crashed for 15 to 20 minutes, we threw the game away and it’s today’s learning. We take the things we have to. learn and move on.

Liverpool are a team that could end the season as champions of England and Europe, so that was always going to be a reality check for Arsenal. Arteta at least seems to have put them back on track, but their challenge now is to prove their progress by bouncing back quickly.

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