Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Reds pile misery on sinking Gunners
- Reds leapfrog Gunners
- Arsenal’s third loss in 4 PL games
- Sanchez starts on bench
- Wijnaldum puts it to bed
Sadio Mane had a goal and an assist as Liverpool used a pair of first half goals to beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield on Saturday.
Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum scored the Reds’ other goals, while Danny Welbeck scored in the second half for the Gunners.
Alexis Sanchez was controversially left out of the Starting XI by Arsene Wenger, and the Chilean made an instant impact as second half sub. It wasn’t enough.
The win boosts Liverpool to third with 52 points, while Arsenal slips a point ahead of sixth-place Manchester United.
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Joel Matip was forced to concede a corner thanks to a strong Hector Bellerin cross, and Arsenal had a fifth minute opportunity that wound up in the arms of Simon Mignolet via a Francis Coquelin shot.
The Reds went ahead, as even a struggling Firmino couldn’t miss his 10th minute chance in the goal mouth. Philippe Coutinho missed Sadio Mane’s cross, but Firmino had time to finish.
Coutinho did force Petr Cech into a solid save in the 29th minute, and the Gunners dealt with the ensuing corner.
Arsenal’s poor defense again let Liverpool to the doorstep in the 40th minute. This time Mane was left alone to his devices, and he lashed a shot behind Cech.
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Alexis Sanchez subbed into the match at halftime, and almost immediately paid dividends. Olivier Giroud headed a terrific cross toward the corner, but Mignolet made a fantastic save to push the ball off the crossbar and collect the danger.
Welbeck dragged Arsenal back into the match off an Alexis cross in the 57th minute, an exquisite finish chopped behind a flayed Mignolet.
Cech made a full-extension stop in the 76th minute to keep the score 2-1.
There was a question as to whether Emre Can would be sent off after clattering into a tackle along with teammate Joel Matip, but Bobby Madley was unmoved by the clip.
Divock Origi flicked a header off the post following an 83rd minute free kick from James Milner.
Wijnaldum put it to bed after Adam Lallana used a majestic turn -- almost a Beckenbauer -- at midfield to spy Origi down the right. Origi found Wijnaldum, 3-1.