Same old sorry Arsenal - Three takeaways as Liverpool thrash the Gunners 4-0

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Unlike last weekend, when a clash between two of the top six lived up to the billing as Tottenham and Chelsea played out a thriller, Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Arsenal quickly turned into a mismatch.

Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Daniel Sturridge all got on the scoresheet as Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 4-0 to burnish their own Premier League title credentials.

Here are three takeaways from the game.

LIVERPOOL LAY DOWN A MARKER

It had been an indifferent start to the season from Liverpool, with a shambolic draw at Watford followed by a listless display in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. This, however, was Liverpool at their very best.

Much like the corresponding fixture between the two teams last year, Liverpool blew Arsenal away with their energy and attacking verve right from the start.

Beating one of the other teams from the top six 4-0 is usually a statement win, and the Reds can rightly cite this as evidence that they are also title challengers.

The only thing one can say against that is, given how poor and lacking in fight this Arsenal team was on Sunday, Liverpool are still to face quality opposition.

PHILIPPE WHO?

Liverpool have scored eight goals in three Premier League games, plus another six across two legs of their Champions League qualifier, without their chief playmaker having made an appearance.

According to some reports, the club has finally decided to enter into negotiations with Barcelona over Philippe Coutinho, and while selling the Brazilian will no doubt be a blow, Liverpool’s front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and new signing Mohamed Salah looks formidable.

If anything, any shortcomings that emerge over the season will largely be down to the lack of an elite defence, not being shorn of Coutinho.

SAME OLD SORRY ARSENAL

Flash back to January 18, 2015. Arsene Wenger took his Arsenal team to Manchester, deployed two defensive midfielders (or one defensive midfielder and one deep-lying playmaker), and rolled over Man City in a clinical 2-0 away win. It was supposed to be the dawn of a new Arsenal.

Since then, Arsenal’s away results against the rest of the big six include three straight losses each to heated rivals Spurs and Chelsea, plus two losses to Liverpool, including on Sunday, one loss to a Manchester United shorn of many of its first-team players, and a handful of draws – but not a single win.

The reasons for the Gunners’ struggles are so familiar, the same analyses are written every year. Arsenal’s defence is poor, the midfield lacks steel and thus a potent attack is rendered toothless.

Sunday’s team selection was muddled – yet again, not a new criticism. Rob Holding, the latest Arsenal player to have been hyped after barely a handful of good performances, was completely out of his depth; starting him ahead of Sead Kolasinac and Shkrodan Mustafi was a definite head-scratcher.

Hector Bellerin, a right-back, started at left wingback ahead of natural left-backs Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal, who was shoehorned into central defence. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who’s not even a defender, was given Bellerin’s natural position. Granit Xhaka, bought to add steel to the midfield, has yet to show any attributes of a midfield enforcer other than reckless tackling.

If you’re not playing the best players for each position, how are you going to succeed? That’s a question Wenger needs to answer, fast.

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Liverpool run rampant in 4-0 win over Arsenal - Player ratings and round-up

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Liverpool produced a devastating display of attacking football to claim a comprehensive 4-0 win over a ragged Arsenal side at Anfield.

Goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in a dominant first-half display set up victory before Mohamed Salah and substitute Daniel Sturridge completed the rout.

The Gunners were swept aside with embarrassing ease and, were it not for several good saves from Petr Cech, their defeat could have been even more humiliating.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

STAR MAN

Mane. Among the many excellent performances in the Liverpool team, Sane’s was just about the best. Gave the Arsenal defence huge problems throughout, and his 40th-minute strike was an absolute beauty.

Mane starred for Liverpool

Mane starred for Liverpool

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Mane’s goal. Liverpool showcased their ruthless attacking prowess throughout the contest, but the second goal was the standout moment. A swift Reds counter-attack saw Firmino feed Mane and the Senegal international cut inside Rob Holding before curling a superb shot past Cech.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

What a contrast. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp witnessed another fantastic attacking showing from his team that added further weight to the suggestion they could cope even if Philippe Coutinho were to leave, and saw his surprise decision to rest goalkeeper Simon Mignolet pay off, with Loris Karius more or less untroubled.

Arsene Wenger, on the other hand, watched his side turn in an abject display that frequently veered into the embarrassing. The Gunners were incredibly poor at the back and offered very little in terms of an attacking threat, despite Alexis Sanchez having returned to the fray. Record signing Alexandre Lacazette came on just after the hour but it was all too late by then, with Liverpool 3-0 up.

RATINGS

Liverpool

Loris Karius 6 (out of 10)
Joe Gomez 7
Joel Matip 7
Dejan Lovren 7
Alberto Moreno 7
Georginio Wijnaldum 7
Jordan Henderson 8
Emre Can 7
Mohamed Salah 8
Sadio Mane 9
Roberto Firmino 8

Substitutes

Daniel Sturridge (for Mane, 74) 7
James Milner (for Firmino, 80) 6
Marko Grujic (for Can, 84) 6

Liverpool

Liverpool

Arsenal

Petr Cech 7
Nacho Monreal 4
Laurent Koscielny 4
Rob Holding 4
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 4
Granit Xhaka 4
Aaron Ramsey 4
Hector Bellerin 4
Mesut Ozil 4
Danny Welbeck 5
Alexis Sanchez 5

Substitutes

Francis Coquelin (for Ramsey, HT) 5
Olivier Giroud (for Sanchez, 62) 5
Alexandre Lacazette (for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 62) 6

Arsenal

Arsenal

WHO’S UP NEXT?

Manchester City v Liverpool (Premier League, September 9 )
Arsenal v Bournemouth (Premier League, September 9 )

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Burnley grab late goal at Tottenham as Harry Kane August drought continues - Player ratings and round-up

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Chris Wood grabbed a dramatic late equaliser as Tottenham suffered more Wembley wobbles.

The striker, signed from Leeds for £15 million last week, stunned Spurs in stoppage time with his first Burnley goal to secure a 1-1 draw after Dele Alli had earlier given Spurs the lead.

And while Wood was off the mark barely half an hour after coming off the bench, Harry Kane’s August drought stretches on and on.

The England striker has still never scored in the Premier League in the opening month of the season, a barren run now standing at 13 matches.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

STAR MAN Robbie Brady

The Burnley midfielder never stopped running and got his reward at the death when his pass sent Wood through for the equaliser.

Robbie Brady

Robbie Brady

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

It should have been when Kane met Christian Eriksen’s ball into the area with a sidefooted finish inside the far post. But it’s August, so the striker put it wide. Instead Wood’s first Burnley goal snatched a point for the visitors.

DATA POINT

Harry Kane has now played 13 Premier League matches for Tottenham in the month of August, and not scored in any of them. The England international’s wait for his 100th Spurs goal goes on.

PLAYER RATINGS

Tottenham

Hugo Lloris 7
Kieran Trippier 7
Toby Alderweireld 6
Jan Vertonghen 6
Ben Davies 7
Eric Dier 6
Mousa Dembele 6
Christian Eriksen 7
Son Heung -min 6
Dele Alli 7
Harry Kane 6

Substitutes

Moussa Sissoko (for Son, 70) 6
Harry Winks (for Eriksen, 88) 5

Tottenham

Tottenham

Burnley

Tom Heaton 7
Matthew Lowton 6
James Tarkowski 7
Ben Mee 6
Stephen Ward 6
Johann Berg Gudmundsson 6
Jack Cork 6
Scott Arfield 6
Steven Defour 5
Robbie Brady 8
Sam Vokes 5

Substitutes

Ashley Barnes (for Vokes, 57) 6
Chris Wood (for Gudmundsson, 57) 7
Ashley Westwood (for Defour, 81) 6

Burnley

Burnley

WHO’S UP NEXT?

Manchester City v Liverpool (Premier League, September 9 )
Arsenal v Bournemouth (Premier League, September 9 )

Provided by Press Association

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