"Few sides in the world counter-attack like Liverpool" - Three things learnt from Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
Their closest competitors in the race for fourth place last season, nobody at Anfield would have expected Liverpool to have found it quite so easy to demolish Arsenal when they visited on Sunday afternoon. The Reds tore the Gunners apart in a humiliating day for Arsene Wenger.
Young full-back Joe Gomez gave forward Roberto Firmino the chance to open the scoring with a flicked header from a superb cross. It was Firmino’s strike partner, Sadio Mane, who added a second before half-time, finishing off a rapid counter attack in style with a pinpoint finish at the far post beyond Petr Cech.
Liverpool got into their stride in the second half, with Mohamed Salah adding a third with a superb solo goal before substitute Daniel Sturridge got his name on the scoresheet with a far past header from a Salah cross.
Here are three things that The Boot Room learnt from the game…
Few sides in the world counter-attack like Liverpool
The Reds were simply sensational in attack, and in truth the game could have ended with a cricket score. Three of their goals came from remarkable counter attacks, with the best example being the 11 seconds that separated an Arsenal corner and Mohamed Salah rolling the ball past Petr Cech and into the back of the net.
With the pace of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah and the guile of Roberto Firmino in the middle, with goalgetters like Daniel Sturridge and the promising Dominic Solanke ready to come off the bench, there are very few sides in the world, let alone the Premier League, who can compete with Liverpool’s offensive power.
Arsenal are a shambles, even with Alexis Sanchez
For the first time since 2014, Arsenal failed to register a single shot. Up against a surprise choice in goal, the fact that the Gunners failed to test him is even more shocking. Alexis Sanchez returned, but the Chilean was anonymous with very little service from his team-mates.
Defensively, Arsenal looked like a bunch of headless chickens, whilst the midfield spent more time in a heap on the floor having been beaten by one of Liverpool’s midfield three. A group of 11 strangers would have looked more fluid and co-ordinated than the team that Arsene Wenger put out.
There will be no repeat of Mohamed Salah’s Chelsea flop
At Chelsea, Salah failed to live up to expectations and was rapidly labelled a flop. Then sold to Roma, he rebuilt his reputation and is now back in the Premier League with Liverpool for a second crack at English football. His display against Arsenal showed just how much he has matured since leaving.
With an assist and a wonderful solo goal which will live long in the memory, Salah showed why Jurgen Klopp wanted to sign him this summer with his high pressing and got himself into dangerous positions on countless occasions. With Philippe Coutinho absent, Salah was a more than capable replacement.