Sunday, March 5, 2017

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Sanchez's bitter day

4:10 AM Posted by Trung Nguyễn Thành No comments
Liverpool recorded an emphatic 3-1 victory over Premier League rivals Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday, heaping further pressure on the north London side, who now look to be locked in a real battle for a top-four finish.​

The Reds, quite desperate to get their season back on track, had to lineup without Daniel Sturridge (hip injury) and Jordan Henderson (foot). But the biggest talking point heading into the match was Arsene Wenger benching his best player, Alexis Sanchez, and starting Olivier Giroud up front.

Arsenal seemed intent on sitting back and hitting the home side on the counter-attack, while Jurgen Klopp's side tried to press as much as they could.

Klopp's tactics brought some early success, with Roberto Firmino breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute. Sadio Mane, racing forward on the right side, found the Brazilian unmarked in the box, leaving him to blast home after the pass was disguised by Philippe Coutinho's dummy.

Coutinho tested Petr Cech with a well-struck shot from outside of the box around the 29th minute. The keeper was able to palm it away from a corner with an acrobatic leap.
The first half continued on, dominated by the Reds, with hardly any threat from Arsenal. And, in the 39th minute, the home side would find the back of the net yet again, this time through a powerfully drilled shot from the pesky Mane, who received Firmino's pass with acres of space in the box.

The Senegal international made no mistake with his strike, rifling the ball past Cech and Nacho Monreal, with the defender having tried to clear off the line after racing in behind his keeper.

Klopp and his men headed down the tunnel at half-time with a two goal advantage, leaving the under-fire Wenger with a whole lot to say in his team talk.

The Frenchman threw on Sanchez in the second half, taking off Francis Coquelin to accommodate the forward and his impact was immediate, as he was involved in a move that forced Simon Mignolet into a superb save just four minutes in - Giroud got his head onto the end of Sanchez's cross, but the attempt was perhaps too close to the Belgian, who managed to get a hand to it.

The Chilean's influence continued to grow, and by the 56th minute, the Londoners were back in the game. A quick break saw Sanchez find Danny Welbeck in the Arsenal box with a neat through ball and the striker played a cheeky dink over Mignolet to cut Liverpool's lead in half.

Despite looking the better side in the second half, Arsenal struggled to find a second. In fact, it was Liverpool who nearly widened the gap through Divock Origi, who came on as a substitute for Coutinho late in the half.

The Belgian forward got on the end of James Milner's long free kick, but was unlucky to have his header come off the post.

Georginio Wijnaldum, however, got the third for the Reds in stoppage time, after a scorching run from Origi on the right wing enabled enabled the forward to set his teammate up with a sweet low cross.

Wijnaldum wasted no time in tucking it away to give Liverpool a 3-1 lead, sending them above their opponents in the league table into third place, with Arsenal dropping down to fifth.


Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner, Wijnaldum, Can, Lallana, Mane, Firmino, Coutinho.

Subs: Karius, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Origi, Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Coquelin, Welbeck, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Giroud.

Subs: Gibbs, Gabriel, Sanchez, Ramsey, Lucas Perez, Ospina, Walcott.

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