HomeViews and OpinionsIt was Arteta wot won it

It was Arteta wot won it

From the moment Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta decided to square up to Jurgen Klopp on 30 minutes, the game changed. The atmosphere in the stadium changed. Liverpool changed, and it’s doubtful the Gunners coach will be asking for a re-match any time soon following this chastening four nil defeat.

The altercation on the touch line, resulting in a yellow card for both Klopp and Arteta, enthused an otherwise subdued Anfield crowd. The enthusiasm transformed Liverpool’s front three in particular, and Sadio Mane duly obliged the by now baying home crowd, with a far post header before half-time, that somehow eluded the grasp of the otherwise excellent Ramsdale. Indeed, Ramsdale kept the score down just below an embarrassing level for Arsenal, and must be a serious contender for the England jersey on a permanent basis.

Liverpool’s second, was gifted to the always alert Jota, by some sloppy play by an Arsenal back line, insisting on playing out from the back. The Portuguese striker received the ball in the box, and with the net at his mercy after putting the Arsenal keeper on his backside, slotted it home. Two soon become three, with Salah tapping in to finish an exquisite move, with Mane this time claiming an assist.

At this point, with a quarter of the game still to play, it looked like the Gunners powder had completely run dry. Other than a shot that the otherwise redundant Allison touched over the bar, and a few tight off-side calls, they offered little going forward. They were neat and tidy, produced some half moments, and do at least have a pattern of play, but there toothlessness up front merely encouraged Liverpool still further.

That encouragement soon led to a tap in for Minamino, with yet another assist for the prodigious Trent Alexander Arnold. Klopp even had the breathing space to give young midfielder Tyler Morton ten minutes in front of a home crowd, and though there were no further goals, the much needed three points were guaranteed.

Russell Kennedy