Arsenal fans everywhere were bemused by Arsene Wenger’s team selection even before the game started, with Alexis Sanchez dropped to the bench, Mesut Ozil out with the flu, and Walcott, Perez and Ramsey also sitting alongside Alexis.
And our fears were proved correct as Liverpool immediately took full control of the game and were easily 1-0 up after just 9 minutes through Firmino after pressurising the Gunners all over the pitch. Liverpool did not let up once they got the lead and if anything looked even more threatening. Giroud seemed to be limping around from about the 20th minute but all the action was in Arsenal’s half anyway and Coutinho came close to doubling their lead after half an hour but Cech managed to tip his blast over the bar.
But 10 minutes later Liverpool again cut Arsenal’s defence apart and Mane was unopposed to smash Klopp’s team into a deserved 2-0 advantage, and Coutinho even could have made it 3 just before half time but his shot was straight at Cech. At the end of the 45 mins I don’t think that Mignolet has had to break into a sweat once….
The Gunners suddenly looked like they had a mountain to climb in the second half, and Wenger had no choice to bring on Sanchez to try and inject some pace. It was Coquelin that was withdrawn and it was a sensible move considering Francis had been booked for a cynical foul in the first half.
Arsenal did improve a bit with Alexis in the side, and after 11 mins of the second half he managed to get the ball to Welbeck in the box to give the Gunners a lifeline. But Liverpool still are far from giving up their lead and the game became a box to box free for all but at least Arsenal started to show a bit of aggression at last!
As usual Wenger waits til there are only 15 mins to make his last two changes and he swapped Perez and Walcott on for Giroud and Welbeck to try and have fresh legs to get an equaliser, but within two minutes Cech had to make a brilliant save to stop ‘Pool increasing their lead.
Arsenal certainly seemed more attacking but yet again Liverpool nearly sealed it when Origi headed unluckily against the post and then the last 7 minutes became box to box again. With Sanchez on the pitch Arsenal were a match for Liverpool in the second half, but I’m afraid it was too little too late I’m afraid. It was inevitable that Wijnaldum would pop in the third to complete Wenger’s embarrassment. Le Prof is now in for a bashing from all Arsenal fans!
Arsenal now have only two wins from our last six games with only Hull and Sutton our victims. Suddenly I’m not looking forward to our return against Munich on Tuesday!