4-0 down in opening 20 minutes, that says it all. For the pundits and press eagerly expecting Arsenal’s customary fall, the game at Anfield was a classic case of “I told you so”. It’s hard to argue against them really. Liverpool obliterated Arsenal in the first half. The premier league leaders torn to shreds by a rampant Liverpool and with the Kop in full voice Arsenal simply couldn’t resist the home side.
The match began in the worst possible fashion. Mertesacker fouled Suarez and from the resulting free kick Martin Skrtel kneed it home. Liverpool one up within a minute played. There was a suspicion of an off side but Arsenal’s marking was shocking. Arsenal had a chance with Cazorla releasing Giroud but Skrtel got a vital touch and cleared the danger.
Liverpool won a corner and Gerrard swung one in and Skrtel (him again) headed a unstoppable goal into the top corner. Chamberlain on the line couldn’t prevent the goal despite his best efforts. Shoddy defending.
Luis Suarez then hit a rasping drive from 30 yards that rattled the post. Arsenal were all over the place. Mesut Ozil lost the ball in midfield and Suarez squared a pass to the onrushing Sterling who slotted to make it 3-0.
This was after Sturridge dinked it wide from an earlier play when he should have buried it. However he made amends when he latched on to a fantastic ball from Coutinho, the goal resulted from another mispass by Ozil.
Not to blame the German but he was so disappointing and less said the better. 4 goals down and should have been worse. Can Arsenal do a Newcastle and make a comeback? Nobody can do ‘an Arsenal’ by letting a 4 goal lead slip up, and Liverpool didn’t.
The second half began with Cazorla hitting the wall with a free kick and that’s all Arsenal could muster.
Sterling made it 5-0 when he converted his rebound after the initial shot was saved from Szczesny. Arsenal well and truly humiliated.
Then Liverpool understandably took their foot off the gas and Arsenal strung some passes together without really threatening. The match was played out without any real incidents or goal mouth action and Arsenal made a triple substitution with Podolski, Rosicky and Gibbs coming in for Giroud, Ozil and Gibbs.
Alex Chamberlain was fouled in the box by Steven Gerrard and Mikel Arteta converted from the penalty spot. Too little too late. Arsenal and Arsenal fans would have been relieved to hear the final whistle after what was a torturous 90 minutes. After the game Arsene had this to say.
“It was a very poor day. We were poor defensively, offensively. Liverpool played very well, so congratulations to them. But it was a poor performance on a day when we couldn’t afford it.” The Arsenal boss said. “Of course it raises some questions today because we were caught many times and were naive. Tonight we have a lot to answer for, and a lot of answers to find.”
A special mention to away fans who were fantastic throughout the game and deserved better. Let’s not go overboard and call the manager’s head or slaughtering the players in social media but support them when they need us the most.
Come on you Gunners. Lets rip United and put Liverpool in their place when we meet them in a week’s time.
FT: LIVERPOOL 5-ARSENAL 1.