Liverpool passed their toughest test of the season so far with a 3-1 win over Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds move to the top of the Premier League table with three wins from three – five points clear of Manchester City who have a game in hand against AFC Bournemouth.
A first-half headed goal from Joel Matip and second-half strikes from Mo Salah – one from the penalty spot and an impressive solo goal – gave the Reds a comfortable 3-0 lead before a late consolation goal from Lucas Torreria.
In what was Jurgen Klopp’s eighth match versus Arsenal as Liverpool boss, the German was able to extend his unbeaten run against the North London club.
With a week to prepare for the fixture against Arsenal, the Liverpool boss had valuable time to work tactically at Melwood. That certainly showed as the Reds looked fresh after a week’s break and had a perfect tactical set-up to cause problems for the Arsenal defence – most prominently from full-back positions.
Unai Emery’s Arsenal continue their rotten form against Liverpool – having lost four and drawn four of their previous eight meetings.
After the win at Anfield, we point out three players who starred for the Reds.
The Egytian King proved that he is one of the most potent forces in world football with three goals in the league already this season.
His opening goal on Saturday showed great composure from the penalty spot at a crucial point in the game. His well-executed penalty into the top left corner showed he is brimming with confidence yet again this season.
If you ignore Arsenal’s defensive fragilities, Salah’s second goal showcased his attacking threat with a fine solo goal.
After making the most of poor defending from David Luiz, the 27-year-old slotted into the Arsenal goal routinely. In what was his most impressive display so far this season, Klopp will be hoping Salah can continue his fine form.
The tall centre-back was favoured over Joe Gomez at the back today, and showed why Klopp made the right choice.
His aerial presence was crucial in Liverpool’s opening goal as he headed home well past Bernd Leno.
Although not known for his goal-scoring ability, Matip is certainly a threat from set-pieces – perhaps something Gomez doesn’t provide.
There is no doubting that Matip will need to continue improving his passing ability, but he definitely played to his strengths against a threatening Arsenal attack.
Much of the talk ahead of the game was about who would start in Liverpool’s midfield three. Wijnaldum proved just why Klopp made the right decision in choosing him from the start.
Whilst he wouldn’t have caught the eye of every Reds supporter, Wijnaldum was crucial in allowing Liverpool to continue putting pressure on Arsenal.
His high work-rate saw him intercept Arsenal in possession on two occasions in crucial areas. Not only that, but – before being substituted for James Milner in the 69th minute – the Dutchman had the highest number of passes on the pitch; completing an impressive 57/58 passes.
Many Liverpool fans know that the 28-year-old will need to continue developing his attacking involvement, but he showed just how important he is to a dynamic Liverpool midfield on Saturday.
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