Three second-half goals, including two from sub Diogo Jota, strengthened Liverpool’s top-four hopes with a dominant 3-0 win over a tame Arsenal at the Emirates.
James Milner missed the best chance of a dominant but goalless first half for Liverpool, with a shot-shy Arsenal registering just one attempt in the first hour, described by Sky Sports’ Gary Neville as “shabby” throughout a poor home performance.
Liverpool had several half chances – the impressive Fabinho, back in midfield, drilled wide from range, as did Roberto Firmino – but Milner should have put the visitors ahead striking wide in space 15 yards out from Alexander-Arnold’s cut-back.
Arsenal was “alarming” and “flaky” without the ball, said Neville on commentary, and were dealt a blow just before the break as Kieran Tierney was forced off having jarred his knee.
Liverpool found their clinical edge after the hour mark, taking the lead through sub-Jota’s header from a superb Trent Alexander-Arnold cross (64), a much-needed assist having been left out of the recent England squad.
Mohamed Salah made it 2-0 four minutes later, stealing the ball from Gabriel in the box before slotting through Bernd Leno’s legs, moments before Gabriel’s lax pass was feasted upon by Alexander-Arnold as Jota devoured the chance to smash home eight yards out (82) following touches from Salah and Sadio Mane.
The result means Liverpool is now just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with eight games remaining, while Arsenal stays ninth, just a point off the bottom half.
Next up for both sides are huge European clashes in mid-week. Liverpool travels to Spain to face Real Madrid on Tuesday night in the quarter-finals of the Champions League whilst Arsenal host Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday.
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