Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side were in rampant form as they completed a highly convincing 5-1 victory over Unai Emery’s Arsenal at Anfield. The home side looked like scoring on every attack as the cracks started to show once again in Arsenal’s defence. It was a d ay to remember for the Brazilian Roberto Firmino as he grabbed a hat-trick. Scoring the other goals for the home side were Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. As for Arsenal, that’s now just one win from their last five matches in all competitions. Under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal were identified as a side that performed well from August until January, but then always tailed off in the second half of the season. Will their fortunes change, I guess only time will tell on that one.
In terms of the match itself, it was the away side that started off the better of the two sides. And, Arsenal were rewarded for their persistence as Alex Iwobi’s perfectly timed ball across the six-yard box was met by Ainsley Mailand-Niles who cooly slotted the ball past Alisson in the Liverpool goal. With the away side trading the first blow, you did wonder how long it would take Liverpool to respond? Jurgen Klopp’s side didn’t even get a chance to reflect as Roberto Firmino tapped home as a rebounded effort saw the ball land straight at the Brazilians feet.
The drama didn’t end there, as just two minutes after levelling up the match, Roberto Firmino couldn’t quite believe his luck as he doubled his tally as he fired the ball into the right corner of the net. As this stage, Anfield was absolutely rocking, and the Arsenal defence couldn’t quite grasp what had just happened in a crazy two minute spell. Chances for the away side were few and far between as Liverpool continued to bombard Arsenal’s defence, and on the half hour mark, Liverpool got their third goal of the contest as Mohamed Salah played a spectacular pass through to Sadio Mane who accepted the gift to fire the ball past a stranded Leno into the roof of the net.
With just over a minute to play in the first half, Liverpool were awarded a penalty as Sokratis wrapped his legs round Mohamed Salah’s legs as Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. Stepping up for the spot-kick was Mohamed Salah as the Egyptian fired the ball home to extend Liverpool’s lead to 4-1.
After a quiet 15-minute spell in the second half, Liverpool were awarded a second penalty as Dejan Lovren was upended in the penalty area as he appeared to push the Croatian in the back. From the resulting spot kick, Roberto Firmino completed his hat-trick as Liverpool made it five for the afternoon. And with it, Jurgen Klopp’s side extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to nine points. That gap could be shortened tomorrow afternoon however as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City face Southampton at St Mary’s.
Hat-trick hero Roberto Firmino took to twitter to express his delight with what was a very important victory in terms of the title race.
A little message from the man himself… 🎩❤ pic.twitter.com/VRxmMLEjWW— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 29, 2018