Liverpool was nowhere near its best but didn’t need to be thanks to big mistakes from Arsenal in a 2-0 affair at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
Gunners goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale will want to burn the game tape and his defenders won’t like it much either as a decent first half degraded minute-by-minute of the second to push Liverpool right behind Man City.
Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino scored with two of a mere three Liverpool total shots on target as a wobbly Reds first half turned into cruise control by the final whistle.
Man City’s draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend means that Liverpool is now within a point of first place. The Reds visit the Etihad Stadium on April 10.
Arsenal’s 51 points are still good for fourth place. Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have one more point than Man United and three more than West Ham and Tottenham but have played fewer games than all three chasers.
Arsenal vs Liverpool final score, stats
Arsenal 0, Liverpool 2
Goals scored: Jota (54′), Firmino (62′)
Shots: Arsenal 9, Liverpool 9
Shots on target: Arsenal 2, Liverpool 3
Possession: Arsenal 49, Liverpool 51
Three things we learned from Arsenal vs Liverpool
1. A system working vs a system refined: If Mikel Arteta’s growth at Arsenal is the equivalent of a sold-out world tour, then Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool is a half-decade on the road with five stops at each city. Arsenal needs time to become a refined machine like Liverpool and — let’s face it — a lot of very good teams never find their way into the rarefied air of the Reds and the Man City side they’re chasing this (and most) seasons.
2. Ramsdale has a rare off day: The Gunners much-saluted summer purchase wasn’t very good between the sticks on Wednesday. No, the backs in front of him were not imperious. And no, his attackers didn’t find the back of the Liverpool goal. But you need a great save or two against a team like Liverpool and the Reds’ first goal was quite the opposite. The second won’t be a highlight reel mainstay, either.
3. Thiago, Fabinho just edge Partey & Co: While Jordan Henderson didn’t have a great day for Liverpool — our broadcast noted Jurgen Klopp letting out first-half fury on the ex-Sunderland man — Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara were engaged in a proper fight with Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. Thiago and Fabinho were engaged and won the day, even if Partey might’ve been the best of the bunch. There was a lot to enjoy for neutrals, not the least of which was this battle in the center of the park.
Man of the Match: Andy Robertson — The Scottish fullback’s hair was on fire Wednesday, with an assist to old pal Firmino and a stat line that includes three interceptions, four tackles, four clearances, and a pair of key passes as part of a 100-plus touch day.
Arsenal falls asleep, Ramsdale hibernates
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]