Saturday evening’s Premier League fixture saw 4th take on 5th as Arsenal travelled to Anfield. In recent weeks both sides have seen the gap ahead of them, to leaders Chelsea, continuously widens, whilst Manchester United have closed the gap from 6th.
With both sides almost certainly out of title contention, a top four finish has yet again become the height of ambition. Arsenal fans have shown their dissatisfaction with this target but should be careful what they wish for, given the increasing competitiveness of the top 6.
For Liverpool, Champions League qualification would be seen as a relative success, a sure sign of improvement under the tenure of Jurgen Klopp.
Here are three key moments as the two giants of English football faced off…
Roberto Firmino goal – 9 minutes
After starting with their usual frantic pace at Anfield, Liverpool took control of the match after just 9 minutes through Roberto Firmino.
It was a goal that Arsenal should have furious to concede, considering that the move began with a Simon Mignolet long ball. His kick somehow evaded the entire Arsenal midfield and Adam Lallana reacted quickest, sending the ball to Sadio Mane before he could be caught.
Mane, in turn, crossed towards Philippe Coutinho but the ball rolled through to compatriot Firmino, who had been left in far too much space. He dutifully switched the ball onto his right foot before slotting past Petr Cech and give his side the lead.
The early goal was a perfect response to the disappointing defeat at Leicester earlier in the week.