Liverpool gave their fans palpitations after a dominant first half. Georginio Wijnaldum sealed the victory with a late breakaway goal after an Alexis Sanchez-inspired fightback from the visitors.
From the opening minutes, Liverpool’s intention to fight for every ball and hustle Arsenal out of their stride was first class. When they are this good, they are unstoppable.
Where was this performance and attitude against Leicester? Or Hull? Or Swansea? The Reds could have achieved so much more this season, and that is a frustrating component despite the euphoria of tonight’s victory.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — Slightly more direct play from Liverpool early on to disrupt Arsene Wenger’s side was clearly a plan from the manager. Klopp’s record against the best sides is extraordinary, but he knows full well he can only be judged on his overall results.
GK Simon Mignolet, 7 — Almost unnoticed in the first half, Mignolet made a great stop early in the second half but might have done better for Danny Welbeck’s goal. Calm in the air and efficiently kicked clear throughout a nervy second half.
DF Nathaniel Clyne, 8 — Back to form, especially in a live-wire first-half performance. Instructed to give Sanchez more attention after Arsenal scored and mostly dealt with everything asked of him.
DF Joel Matip, 8 — Cool and measured in everything he did apart from injuring his teammate, Emre Can. An important defensive block set up the third and decisive goal.
DF Ragnar Klavan, 8 — Provided a passing outlet for his colleagues in the first half, and when backs were to the wall, he was strong and resilient in the second. Came to James Milner’s rescue on a couple of important occasions.
DF James Milner, 8 — Back to his best after an awful display at Leicester. Despite being left to fend for himself for most of the game, Milner defended diligently and kept providing support for the forwards. Led by example with a true captain’s performance.
MF Emre Can, 7 — We saw lots of good things from the German. He kept his position and focus without straying from his main purpose, which was to help protect his defence. Not always the most disciplined of players but good on Saturday night.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 8 — Displayed outstanding energy and killed the game at the end with a lung-bursting run and excellent finish. Always available and always cool in possession, he was another player unrecognisable from his previous performance.
MF Adam Lallana, 9 — An astonishing performance. Everyone worked hard, but Lallana almost made them all look lazy by comparison. He quite clearly couldn’t keep his first-half work rate up for 90 minutes but instead produced more intelligent play. His perfect pass to Divock Origi gave the Belgian a great opportunity to set up the third, decisive goal.
FW Philippe Coutinho, 7 — Better than in any game since his comeback from injury, he began erratically but was central to anything good Liverpool did in a more even second half.
FW Roberto Firmino, 8 — Another player who blows hot and cold in a strange 2017 for Liverpool, his finish for the opening goal was cool and clinical. It hasn’t been a strong part of his game lately, but his strike gave him confidence to lead the line well throughout.
FW Sadio Mane, 9 — If the Senegalese international turns it on, then the Reds win. It’s that simple. Full of twists, turns, trickery and bursts of speed, he tormented Arsenal all night. One twist past Nacho Monreal in particular was breathtakingly brilliant. He deserved his goal, and maybe one or two more.
FW Divock Origi, 7 — Brought on for a tiring Coutinho, his remit was to keep the ball, press Arsenal and try to close out the win. He did better than that, winning free kicks and playing an immaculate cross in for Wijnaldum to score the decisive third goal.
MF Lucas Leiva, NR — Intended to waste time and protect a one-goal lead, the third goal made his outing irrelevant.
MF Trent Alexander-Arnold, NR — Given no time to make an impression.
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