Arsenal have dropped to as low as fifth place in the Premier League table after losing 3-1 to Liverpool at Anfield this evening.

In a game that was marked by the omission of Alexis Sánchez from the Gunners XI, two first-half goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané placed the hosts in pole position before the interval.

Wenger’s men restored faith with a goal from Danny Welbeck in the second period, but all hope was later extinguished by Georginio Wijnaldum’s killer blow in stoppage time to move Liverpool above Arsenal in the league table.

The sorry mood for the travelling support kicked in as early as the 8th minute at the feet of Mané, whipping a cross into an overloaded area for Firmino to eventually bury his chance with a strike into the roof of the net from close range.

Possession continued to belong to Liverpool deep into the half-hour mark, as Philippe Coutinho forced Petr Čech into action with a shot from the edge of the box.

Mané’s threat from wide areas also proved to be persistent, as he attempted to catch Čech out with an ambitious chip roaming wide of the mark in the 33rd minute.

The Senegalese forward wasn’t to be denied in the 39th minute, however, as Firmino spotted his teammate in space inside the box before the ex-Southampton man left the Arsenal goalkeeper with no chance of stopping a powerful strike into the far corner to double the lead for the hosts.

Arsenal were almost staring at a third Liverpool goal when Adam Lallana’s attempt from range deflected into Coutinho’s path in behind the box, but the Brazilian’s effort was unable to evade the on-rushing Čech on the stroke of half-time.

Wenger turned to Sánchez ahead of the second period, but it was through Olivier Giroud that Arsenal almost found a way back into the game, only for Simon Mignolet to push the Frenchman’s header inside the box onto the bar and smother up the leftovers.

Sánchez did make the difference, however, when slotting a ball through to Welbeck to dink his effort past Mignolet and make it 2-1 in the 57th minute.

The Reds came close to averting Arsenal’s growing influence on the game through a tame Joël Matip header, saved by Čech, whereas it was Divock Origi threatening to land the final blow in the 83rd minute when heading a wide free-kick onto the post.

Despite the warnings, the dreaded third goal eventually came to bite the Gunners, as Lallana’s switch to Origi, racing on from an offside position, saw the Belgian set Wijnaldum for the first-time finish to kill the game off at 3-1 and prolong Arsenal’s winless streak at Anfield in recent seasons.

By Patrick Ribeiro
(@P_SRibeiro)

Player Ratings

Petr Čech (7); Héctor Bellerín (5), Shkodran Mustafi (6), Laurent Koscielny (4), Nacho Monreal (5); Francis Coquelin (4), Granit Xhaka (5), Alex Iwobi (5); Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5), Olivier Giroud (5), Danny Welbeck (6)

Subs: Alexis Sánchez (7), Lucas Perez (5), Theo Walcott (5)

Written by Patrick Ribeiro

Freelance journalist. @P_SRibeiro

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