LIVERPOOL 4, ARSENAL 0
Which team is going to challenge Manchester’s big two for the Premier League title?
Liverpool looked far better equipped than sorry Arsenal on the evidence of their early-season meeting at Anfield.
The Reds swept aside the Gunners with another fabulous display of attacking football as the Londoners were unable to live with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Not only that, but Liverpool defended far more resolutely than usual, though they were rarely threatened by a woeful Arsenal.
All the familiar failings of recent seasons reappeared in this capitulation and they looked a million miles from being title challengers.
There was a lack of leaders and leadership and the side went down with a whimper. And after two defeats in the opening three games, they look way short of top-four contenders.
Unsettled pair Alexis Sanchez and Mezut Ozil were in the side, but both were anonymous and their performances well below what you would expect from two of the world’s top players.
Petr Cech made a fabulous point-blank save to deny Mohamed Salah before Liverpool took a 17th minute lead through Firmino.
Joe Gomez delivered a delightful cross from the right and Firmino, arriving from deep, found the net with a downward header.
Liverpool had chances to increase their lead when Firmino and Henderson sliced open the Gunners’ defence and the latter lifted the ball over the advancing Cech only to pull it wide. Salah then cut in from the right to force the Czech into another important stop.
And it was no surprise when Liverpool doubled their advantage five minutes before the break through a brilliant counter-attack from defence.
Firmino released Mane on the left just inside the Gunners’ half. he sprinted clear, cut inside and bent a shot low to the left of Cech.
Liverpool were making hay against woeful Arsenal defence
Salah dispossessed Nacho Monreal and raced clear only for Cech to save while Jordan Henderson fired the rebound over.
Liverpool added a third goal in the 53rd minute after another piece of calamitous defending, this time from an Arsenal corner.
The ball was cleared to Hector Bellerin 30 yards inside the Liverpool half only for him to be robbed by Salah who raced about 60 yards before slotting the ball low past Cech.
Liverpool almost added a fourth goal when Mane’s shot was saved by Cech but the loose ball was rolling towards goal until Francis Coquelin cleared the danger.
The fourth goal came after 78 minutes when substitute Daniel Sturridge, who had only been on the field four minutes, found the net.
Emre Can released Salah on the left and his far post cross was headed in by Sturridge from two, may be three, yards out as Arsenal were left demoralised and in disarray to leave Wenger with plenty to ponder.