English Premiership

Gunners dismantled by Reds

2017-08-27 19:23
Sadio Mane (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Liverpool produced a sensational display as they totally outplayed Arsenal to emerge comfortable 4-0 victors at Anfield on Sunday.

The hosts were completely dominant throughout as Arsene Wenger's men struggled to contain them. Emre Can had the first chance of the game in the sixth minute when he headed Alberto Moreno's left-wing cross wide at the far post.

The FA Cup champions' only real opportunity of the first half arrived moments later as Alexis Sanchez surged forward from the middle and played in Danny Welbeck, who scooped the ball over the crossbar from eight yards out.

Mohamed Salah should have broken the deadlock on 10 minutes when Can picked him out at the back post with a low cross after good build-up play on the left, but the off-season signing from Roma failed to beat Petr Cech from point-blank range.

However, the goal they threatened finally came seven minutes later as Roberto Firmino was afforded space seven yards out to head home Joe Gomez's cross from the right.

Mesut Ozil was caught napping soon afterwards as Jordan Henderson robbed him of possession and combined with Firmino, who released his skipper on the right, but Cech did well to narrow the angle and the resulting shot went across the face of goal.

Salah then tested the Czech keeper with a low strike after being sent away down the right flank and cutting back inside on his favoured left foot, and the Egypt international did find the back of the net on 27 minutes after latching onto Can's clipped pass, although the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

Mane went close with a low volley from just inside the box that flashed past the right post on 32 minutes, but the Senegalese star doubled the Reds' lead eight minutes later to cap off a swift counter. Having been played in on the left by Firmino, Mane cut inside Rob Holding and fired into the bottom-right corner of the net from 14 yards out.

The Merseysiders continued to look dangerous after the break, and Salah dispossessed Nacho Monreal to through on goal in the 54th minute, although Cech got down sharply to make the save before Henderson blazed over on the follow-up.

But Salah had the beating of Cech three minutes later from another breakaway as he got to a clearance from an Arsenal corner ahead of Hector Bellerin and ran two-thirds of the pitch to slot home from 16 yards out.

Alexandre Lacazette had a rare sniff at goal for the visitors on 69 minutes after connecting with Oliver Giroud's header from a cross on the right, but his angled shot from the left went wide of the near post.

Cech had to be alert to deny Mane his second a minute later, with Bellerin helping out his keeper to clear off the line as the ball rolled towards goal, although he was left helpless when Daniel Sturridge headed home from close range after the substitute was picked out at the back post by Salah's left-wing cross on 77 minutes.

Granit Xhaka failed to trouble Loris Karius with a shot from range in the 81st minute, while Giroud headed over a free-kick from the left at the death. Cech was forced into another save by Salah in stoppage time after the forward got away from the left to get off a shot from an acute angle.


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