- Arsenal, with a superb Martinelli, put the ‘reds’ in trouble in the first half but two blows from Diogo Jota and Firmino sentenced them after the break
- Despite the fact that Salah was not a starter, Klopp’s team added their ninth win in a row since the ‘gunners’ did not know how to translate their dominance and arrivals on clear occasions
Not even the absence of Mohamed Salah from the starting eleven prevented Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool from prolonging their extraordinary career in the Premier League and being one point behind the leader Manchester City after surrendering to an Arsenal that had put them in trouble in the first part but who lacked a goal (0-2).
Two blows from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino in the second half certified the ninth consecutive win for the ‘reds’, who have been gradually reducing a deficit of eleven points in the last two months and, with nine games to go, City-Liverpool on April 10 at the Etihad Stadium is presented as a key match for the definition of the title.
Brutal pulse in the middle
The Emirates witnessed an exciting midfield battle as both teams battled at a brutal pace for every inch of the pitch. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal gained possession as the minutes progressed, he moved the ball and an aggressive pressure in the recovery gave Liverpool no respite.
Gabriel Martinelli carried the weight of the ‘gunner’ attack with a superb performance and headed Trent Alexander-Arnold with his quality down the left flank.
But, apart from Virgil van Dijk’s header from a corner taken by Aaron Ramsdale in the second minute, there were no shots between the three posts in the first half. Arsenal did not know how to translate their dominance and their arrivals into clear occasions and Liverpool did not forgive after the break.
In the first minute of the second half, Sadio Mané had a goal disallowed for offside. Martinelli continued to wreak havoc with a spectacular run to the baseline and a bad pass back from Thiago Alcántara gave way to a very clear chance for Arsenal, but Alisson, providential, first covered the space for Alexandre Laczaette to let Martin pass Odegaard, whose shot was repelled by the Brazilian goalkeeper outside his goal (51′).
Thiago amends himself and assists Jota
Thiago, until then subdued, corrected his mistake immediately and took advantage of a moment of Arsenal’s confusion to send a great deep pass to Diogo Jota, who escaped and beat Ramsdale, who did not cover his short post well (54′).
Jota had gone unnoticed but emerged when Salah, a substitute due to a sore foot that led to his being substituted on Saturday against Brighton, was ready on the wing to replace him.
Klopp made the change and, after a long play in which Salah was able to score, Andy Robertson stole a ball down his flank and his killer pass from the by-line pushed Firmino into the net on goal (62′).
Two devastating blows that left an Arsenal KO without the ability to react. Only at the end was Martinelli left without the reward for his stellar game when his cross shot narrowly missed him.
The ‘gunners’ put an end to five wins in a row (they haven’t lost since Liverpool beat them on January 20, also 0-2 at the Emirates in the second leg of the League Cup semi-finals) but remain fourth with one point advantage and two games less played than Manchester United.