Arsenal climbed up to 2nd in the Premier League with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Liverpool at the Emirates, during this afternoon’s lunchtime kick-off encounter.
The result puts the Gunners 2 points ahead of defending champions Manchester City, for at least 24 hours, as Brendan Rodgers’ side leave the Emirates empty handed and 9 points adrift of Arsenal.
Arsenal started the game the better of the two sides in the first 10 minutes, as they hounded Liverpool players down relentlessly, and could’ve been at least a goal up during that period, creating a flurry of chances.
The first came when they dispossessed Joe Allen in midfield to find Sanchez, who steered his long low range effort a fair distance wide. 2 minutes later, Santi Cazorla was found on the right hand side of the area and forced a low save from the goalkeeper, with his right footed cross shot effort.
The next chance was the best chance. As Kolo Toure lost possession of the ball, it allowed Aaron Ramsey to steam clean through but he scuffed his effort which allowed Mignolet to hang onto the ball.
Liverpool looked nervous at the back and just hadn’t settled into the game at all. However, there were signs of danger in Arsenal’s high line approach, with the chances the away side began to create.
Liverpool’s best chance came just under 20 minutes. Laurent Koscielny was dragged out of position to allow a through ball for the on rushing Lazar Markovic to latch onto. The Serbian could’ve shot himself but opted to it square to Sterling with an overhit his pass.
Minutes later, Cazorla misplaced a pass to Francis Coquelin to allow Sterling to steam in. He beat Koscielny but failed to trouble David Ospina as he dragged his effort wide from outside the box.
Liverpool started to grow back into the contest. They looked dangerous on the attack with Sterling and Markovic causing concerns for Arsenal’s back-line. But it was the home side who finally got the opening goal.
In the 36th minute, Mesut Ozil played a delicious ball from deep into Aarom Ramsey on the right wing, with Hector Bellerin providing support through the middle. The Spaniard then tricked past Alberto Moreno and curled a clean left-footed shot into the bottom left corner.
3 minutes later they doubled their lead. Ozil was fouled outside Liverpool’s area to have an opportunity with a free-kick. Sanchez was second favourite to shoot and it was indeed the German, who curled a beautiful free-kick into the bottom left to beat the diving Mignolet.
They didn’t stop there either. Arsenal had their tales up and continued to hunt the opposition down. The ball was soon with the Alexis Sanchez, who feinted past Toure on the edge of the box and crashed a powerful drive down the centre of the goal.
The Gunners went into half-time 3-0 to the good.
Liverpool sent on Daniel Sturridge for Markovic to try and steer the tide their way, but in all honesty the second half was a quieter affair than the first. Less chances were created by the home side, who were seemingly happy to drop back and allow Liverpool with possession.
Sterling blazed an effort well over the goal after trying to work some shooting space in the area, before Arsenal created a chance down the other end. The ball was worked intricately around the area, before finding Ozil on the right to cross to Olivier Giroud, whose point blank header met the gloves of Mignolet.
On 72 minutes, Ozil came off to a standing ovation for Danny Welbeck.
Liverpool tried to get back into the game with Emre Can testing Ospina from his near post, and Coutinho steering his low long range effort wide of goal. They also had a penalty appeal waved away when Sterling went down in the presence of Bellerin, got one moments later.
The Arsenal right-back brought down the on rushing winger with a late challenge, and team captain Jordan Henderson stepped up to slot the ball acutely past Ospina, who should’ve done better with the huge palm he got on the ball.
Some nerves may have been creeping in but Arsenal didn’t allow Liverpool another sniff at goal. Welbeck had an opportunity to put further daylight between the sides, but ran too far with the ball to close the angle for himself.
Moments later, Can who was already booked in the first half, fouled Welbeck on the left wing to earn himself a second yellow card and leave his team with 10 men.
With a few minutes left, Arsenal tried to find a fourth with some neat interplay inside the area before Cazorla hit the outside of the left post, with the keeper well beaten. But it was Giroud who put the icing on the cake, who was put through by Sanchez to land a sweet curling strike from outside the box.
The home side weren’t satisfied and tried for a 5th but ran out 4-1 winners, to inflict revenge on the team who defeated them 5-1 last season.