By Andrew Cawthorne
LIVERPOOL – Imperious Liverpool extended their Premier League home winning streak against Arsenal to six on Saturday with an easy 4-0 victory that lifted them to second in the table.
Sadio Mane met a perfect free kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 39th minute to plant a header across Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for Liverpool’s opening goal.
Ramsdale produced a string of spectacular saves to keep Juergen Klopp’s silky strikers at bay. But he could do nothing to stop Diogo Jota skipping past him in the 52nd minute after a dreadful misplaced pass from Arsenal defender Nuno Tavares.
Inevitably, Mohamed Salah got in on the act with a close-range volley from a Mane cross in the 73rd minute, before Takumi Minamino came off the bench to turn in a cross from Alexander-Arnold with his first touch in the 77th.
Arsenal showed a few flashes of resistance and attacking spirit in the first half – not least from manager Mikel Arteta who squared up angrily with Klopp over a foul in an ugly touch-line exchange that earned both yellow cards.
But Liverpool totally deserved the victory and it could have been even bigger were it not for England international Ramsdale.
The win put Liverpool on 25 points, four points behind leaders Chelsea after 12 games. Arsenal are fifth on 20.
Right-back Alexander-Arnold was delighted with his double assist and Liverpool’s improvement after defeat at West Ham United in their last Premier League outing.
“A team of our quality shouldn’t be losing games. We bounced back today in the best way we could. A very good performance. It was exactly what we needed,” he said, singling out Liverpool’s pressing and fluency after halftime.
“We were all over them, they were just seeing red blurs all over the place, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. That second half was outstanding.”
Arsenal did put the ball in the net in the first half but Alexandre Lacazette’s effort was offside. Arsenal have not beaten Liverpool away in the Premier League for nine years, conceding at least three goals in the last half dozen defeats.
“It’s one of the toughest places if not the toughest to come,” said Ramsdale. “We made mistakes but that’s life and football. We got punished and that’s what the top teams do.”