Liverpool welcomed Arsenal to Anfield only to crush them in an embarrassing 4-0 defeat ahead of the first international break of the season

When Premier League heavyweights like Arsenal and Liverpool meet, fireworks are likely to ensue since their matches turn out to be colossal entertainers. Yet, the fact that the match would be as one-sided as it was last night, was something perhaps nobody expected.

Goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge meant that Liverpool were the runaway victors with an incredible 4-0 scoreline. Arsenal, on the other hand, lookedlike headless chickens. They failed to defend or attack well at any given moment, much to the delight of the Anfield crowd.

Angry chants of ‘Wenger Out’ became a common thing last season, and the trend looks like it will continue this time as well. After salvaging a victory against Leicester City, Arsenal lost consecutively to Stoke City and now Liverpool. THT takes a look at five talking points from the lacklustre Gunners performance last night:

Arsenal’s issues look irreparable at this point

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Arsenal fans are dejected after the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on August 27, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Arsenal fans dejected after the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Considering Arsenal’s rich history and current lineup, their performance last night was simply unacceptable. Losing 4-0 is not the problem – the real problem lies is the way they lost the game. They were not fighting and failed to cover enough ground. Even when it came to individual battles on the ball, Liverpool outshone them at all times.

Arsene Wenger needs to make it a point to iron out these issues during the international break. No Arsenal player produced a classy cutting edge moment or display the crafty talents of their attackers – including the returning Alexis Sanchez. Suffice to say, they were out-classed, out-played and outdone by Liverpool on every single level.

Inevitably, the performance drew some familiar chants of ‘Wenger Uut’ from the travelling support and there is a feeling little has changed for the Gunners since last season, despite the manager’s contract extension in the summer. The fans have seen and experienced disappointments like this over and over, and their anger is justified.

Time for Wenger to call it a day?

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager looks dejected after their defeat during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Bet365 Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

End of his days? (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

When the lineups were announced, people were shocked to see that Wenger had handed Danny Welbeck a start over Alexandre Lacazette during a game as crucial as this one. He did make a desperate attempt in the second half as he sent Lacazette out in place of Sanchez, but it was too late then and there was nothing the Frenchman could do.

Tactically Arsenal got it all wrong. By switching to a back three formation with wing backs, Arsenal were exposed and outnumbered in the midfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin were constantly going forward and Liverpool exploited this on the counter attack.

Rob Holding had a nightmare against Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah running at him, but he was set up to fail by Wenger. Additionally, the players looked unmotivated and unprepared for the match. After losing to Stoke City last week, one would think the team would have shown some more passion and drive, but it only seems to be worsening.

Petr Cech – the lone warrior in front of Arsenal’s goal

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Petr Cech of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Bet365 Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Arsenal’s lone warrior. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

For any goalkeeper to be successful, he needs a slew of strong defenders in front of him. Unfortunately for Cech, that was not the case whatsoever. The three-man defence did not work as the Liverpool front men were way too fast for Arsenal’s wide defenders, the full backs couldn’t recover in time to lend support to their central defenders

Had it not been Cech manning their goal, Arsenal would have had to endure a 6-0 defeat. In fact, it almost felt like the Gunners defence did not even prepare to face – what is being touted as – the best attack in the Premier League right now.

The likes of Salah and Mane were on fire last night, and yet Cech managed to save several of their shots. He only had one moment of weakness when the former Chelsea keeper fell short of stopping Salah’s goal. Regardless, he was perhaps the only beacon of light for Arsenal in what was otherwise a horrendous display.

Goodbye to Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?

Arsenal's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez (L0 and Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain check the pitch ahead of the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Sutton United and Arsenal at the Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane in south London on February 20, 2017. / AFP / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Moving towards an exit? (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

To say that this transfer window has been anything short of a roller coaster would be an understatement. Complicated sagas with astronomical prices have become a common thing with big footballing names handing in transfer requests to some equally big clubs.

Alexis Sanchez has been one of the main stars of the transfer window so far while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is one who has been only recently linked to a move away from Arsenal. Sanchez is keen to move to Manchester City and play under old boss Pep Guardiola.

Meanwhile, out of Chamberlain’s potential suitors, Liverpool are believed to be leading the pack. With no more club football until the end of the international break, this may well be the last time we saw both these superstars adorn Arsenal colours.

Arsenal’s midfield is in shambles

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on August 27, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal reacts during the match. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

One of the hallmarks of Liverpool’s stunning display was their incessant pressing of the ball when not in possession. The likes of Jordan Henderson and Emre Can and later James Milner made it look ever so easy. The Arsenal midfield, on the other hand, seemed to just be lumbering around whenever they lost possession.

Having just come off a poor defeat to Stoke, fans expected Arsenal to have a bit more fire in the belly and an insatiable hunger to win. And yet, their midfield consisting of names like Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey failed to deliver.

If at all Arsenal have any hopes of making a serious title challenge this time, Wenger and his players need to change the way they play. They need to somehow rediscover their passion for playing in order to put stronger displays in their upcoming matches, since the fixtures are certainly not getting any easier.

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