Arsenal smashed Liverpool 4-1 and took revenge on last seasona s beating at Anfield and made their top 4 status a near certainity for another season.
Arsenal started the game brightly, and for the first 5 minutes practically camped in Liverpoola s goal with chance after chance. However, no goal resulted thanks to some excellent saves by Mignolet. Liverpool took control of the game after that, and it was their turn to pile on the pressure on the Arsenal goal, and a combination of good defending and poor finishing ensured the game remained 0-0 half an hour in.
Then followed a flurry of goals in a span of 8 minutes for Arsenal that totally turned the match on its head. First, it was Hector Bellerin who scored a classy goal after dancing into the box with the ball. Then followed an excellently executed free kick from Mesut Ozil that was beyond the grasp of Mignolet. And just a few minutes later, Alexis Sanchez beat 2 defenders just at the edge of the box to score Arsenala s third.
The interval couldna t have come sooner for Liverpool with the gunners threatening to score some more, but after the break, the Reds didna t manage to take control as they should have if they were to make any dent in the scoreline while Arsenal were content to sit back and let the opposition come on to them. The only way Liverpool could manage to breach Ospinaa s goal was through a penalty but otherwise they couldna t make any headway. Giroud added a 4th goal at the death to add the icing on the cake.
After the game, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that his team wasna t quite perfect but it was a very convincing performance. He said, a Perfect? You always have imperfections in any game but I feel we started with a great intensity, which is what we wanted to put them under pressure. We created some early chances after and then when we relieved the pressure they had one or two chances. Liverpool are a good side going forwards and they always look dangerous. We had a killing instinct and took advantage of our strong moments in the first half. In fairness we played at a good pace and had some good combination game in the final third. The second half was more down to, can we maintain the discipline, intensity and not allow them to come back early? We did that. We had many chances on the break that Ia ve seen again but in the end it was 4-1 which is very convincing in a very important game.a
Arsene also didna t completely rule out Arsenala s title chances. a Thata s not enough. What we can master now mathematically is the top four, where we will finish. For the title we need us to be perfect and Chelsea not to be perfect, so leta s focus on what we can master which means our own performance and go with the same intensity in the same game.a
He also pointed out the fact about how different his team was when he had all his players back. Arsene said, a Yes. We moved forward. We missed important players at the start of the season where we dropped too many points. If you look since everybodya s been back and available, the number of points we have made shows we have the quality to fight at the top. When you start the championship with the players coming back from the World Cup not available and having big players out for three or four months, we played six games in the Premier League and won one. You have a mountain to climb after. We are a consistent side and consistency is linked with quality.a