Jota and Salah boost Liverpool’s top four ambitions in win over Arsenal
Liverpool, a team of champions showcasing performances not worthy enough to be spoken in the same breath.
Yes, such has been their run this season in the Premier League, with rapidly changing colours of form that would put a chameleon to shame.
Six consecutive defeats at home, unheard of. Last six wins, all away from home. First time since August 1955. Again unheard of.
Not the records the Liverpool faithful would have imagined during the inception of this season.
Well, football, as life is surprising to say the least and the performance we witnessed last night was rather pleasant as Liverpool annihilated the Gunners 3-0 at the Emirates.
This courtesy the heroic efforts of a rising sensation, Diogo Jota and the experience of the effervescent magician, Mohamed Salah.
With this defeat, Arsenal’s misery soared further as they succumbed to their seventh loss against the Reds in the last twelve games, with four draws and just a solitary win.
So, as the Merseyside Club challenges yet again for a top four finish, let’s dig into how this win came about:
Liverpool begin the first 45 with much positivity
Just fifteen minutes into the game, Liverpool created their first opportunity with a Fabinho attempt on goal that just went inches wide of the post as the Brazilian went for glory 30 yards out.
Minutes later, Sadio Mane attempted a header on target which was comfortably grasped by Bernd Leno, Arsenal’s man in goal.
Roberto Firmino created Liverpool’s third opportunity in the 30th minute as he curled one on goal, albeit the ball going a tad wide of the post.
James Milner had a beautiful chance to put the Reds in front in the 35th minute after he was fed with a mouth-watering cross from Trent Alexander Arnold.
But, his attempt went wide of target. In truth, Liverpool’s captain was a bit unlucky as this should have been the opener.
As the referee called time on the first 45, the Reds were all over the Gunners whose arsenal ran all but barren.
Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah, the difference makers in the second 45
Such was Liverpool’s dominance in play that Arsenal had their first attempt on goal after almost an hour into the game. Cedric induced a rather comfortable save from Alisson.
Jurgen Klopp was impressed with his side’s attacking flair and went for more offence as he brought Diogo Jota in place of defender Andrew Robertson in the 61st minute. The move immediately payed dividends, as the Portuguese headed the ball in from a Trent Alexander Arnold cross.
The substitution was a master stroke as Liverpool led 1 nil.
In a matter of moments, the Reds soared two to the good as Liverpool’s Egyptian magician, Mohamed Salah, cut in from the right, beat defender Gabriel and slid the ball under Leno from six yards out.
The Egyptian artist almost got his second in the 74th minute as he was fed with a perfect ball through from Firmino albeit Leno doing well to charge out and save the attempt.
Liverpool finally had their third as Jota struck a brace in the 82nd minute when he pounced on the loose ball in the D and fired straight in the Arsenal net.
As the clock struck the final 90, Arsenal were rather lucky to only be inflicted with three and thanked the heavens to finally be put out of their misery.
The Reds were simply fantastic on this night.
A top four finish looks realistic again
With two consecutive triumphs against Wolves and Arsenal and trailing Chelsea who are fourth on the table only by two points, it’s with more than just hope. I say Liverpool do have a realistic chance of aspiring for next year’s Champions League.
What further fuels my expectation for the Reds is the fact that in the eight games left for them this season, they only have one against a higher rank side in Manchester United.
The rest are possible victories and with the form shown yesterday, Old Trafford could also end up shedding a tear or two.
So, with this exhilarating performance that certainly has their confidence soaring, the Reds now march to Santiago Bernabeu. The fortress of Real Madrid, in the business end of the Champions League.
One question that beckons, would the Red arrow be enough to destroy Madrid?
Well, why not? As Klopp and his men could certainly paint this town red!
Until then, with success in every endeavor and confidence by our side, we say with much pride: ‘Unity is strength – Let’s Go Reds – You’ll Never Walk Alone!’