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Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal: Rampant Reds tear leaders apart (video)

Feb 8, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

Liverpool put on a devastating first half display to blow away league leaders Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday, with the home side running out 5-1 winners over the Gunners.

The scoring started early as Martin Skrtel scored after just 55 seconds, then grabbed another after nine minutes. Soon after Raheem Sterling made it 3-0, then in the 19th minute Daniel Sturridge made it 4-0 in an incredible opening 20 minutes for Liverpool.

Arsenal were shell-shocked following Liverpool’s high-pressure approach and after the break Sterling made it 5-0 as the rout continued. To their credit Arsenal kept working hard and bagged a consolation through Mikel Arteta‘s penalty with 20 minutes to go.

With the win Liverpool stay in fourth but are now just five points behind leaders Arsenal, while the Gunners will expect to be replaced at the top by Manchester City or Chelsea later in the weekend.

(MORE: Three things we learned in Liverpool’s battering of Arsenal)

After just 55 seconds Liverpool took the lead, as Suarez had been fouled out wide by Per Mertesacker and Steven Gerrard swung in a magnificent free kick which Skrtel guided past Wojciech Szczesny to send Anfield wild and put Liverpool 1-0 up.

Arsenal then fell further behind in the 9th minute as Skrtel once again got on the end of a set-piece from Gerrard, as the Slovakian defender headed home his second goal of the game to put Liverpool in dreamland and 2-0 up.

Liverpool were rampant as both Suarez and Daniel Sturridge came close to scoring a third, as Suarez smashed the upright with a marvelous volley from 25-yards out that really deserved to go in. The Gunners didn’t know what had hit them, as only Mertesacker’s glancing header came close to reducing Liverpool’s lead.

And then Liverpool were 3-0 up as Suarez broke down the right and fed Sterling to slot home in the 15th minute. Less than five minutes later the home side were ahead 4-0 as Philippe Coutinho played a marvelous ball to Sturridge who slotted home to score for his seventh-straight game.

After just 20 minutes of the first half gone, Liverpool were 4-0 up. I repeat, 4-0 up against PL leaders Arsenal.

For the rest of the first half it was a case of damage limitation for Arsenal, as they held back Liverpool who just kept surging forward with their incredible high-pressure approach.

(Latest Premier League Standings)

After the break it was more of the same, as Sterling raced clear after good play down Liverpool’s left and the young English winger bagged his second and Liverpool’s fifth in the 51st minute.

Arsenal made a triple substitution on the hour mark as Podolski, Rosicky and Gibbs all came on as Wenger tried to spark life into his side that had been completely obliterated in the opening half of the game. The Gunners had a shot on goal soon after as Wilshere forced Mignolet into a diving save, but then moments later Suarez almost scored a stunning free kick as his 35-yard effort was clawed out of the top corner by Szczesny.

In the 68th minute Arsenal finally pulled a goal back as Arteta scored from the penalty spot after Gerrard took down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the box. Soon after that Mignolet made a good stop from Arteta’s free kick as Arsenal finished the game strongly.

But Liverpool had further chances to extend their lead, but settled for a 5-1 mauling as their magnificent home form continues.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Flanagan, Cissokho, Toure, Skrtel, Gerrard (Ibe, 76), Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez (Aspas, 86), Sturridge (Allen, 66)

Goals: Skrtel (1 & 9), Sterling (15 & 51), Sturridge (19)

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal (Gibbs, 60), Wilshere, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Ozil (Rosicky, 60), Giroud (Podolski, 60)

Goal: Arteta (68)

  1. mdac1012 - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    An unbelievable performance by Liverpool, Arsenal looked shell shocked from the opening whistle. The Reds put pressure on Arsenal both offensively and defensively the whole game and Skrtel was a monster on both ends of the pitch.

  2. Ian's Rushtache - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    I have been saying it to my friends since Thanksgiving. I wrote it on this site on 12/29. In the top half of the table, only Utd and Southampton avoid Anfield down the stretch. Rodgers, and the supporters, have made home a fortress once more, and if the demolition of Everton and Arsenal does not put the fear into other sides nothing will.

    Hard to not be optimistic after that.

    Credit to Cissokho. I have slated him all season, but this was his best game in a red shirt by far. Also nice to see Ibe get a run out.

  3. Ian's Rushtache - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Also, the NEW SAS – Skrtel and Sterling!!!

  4. fndeh - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    I announced the end of this title challenge at the end of the transfer season but some cynics questioned my judgment. As i earlier said, our title challenge is over and all we need to struggle for is a champions league spot for next year. We will be out of the FA cup, out of the champions league and out of everything this season. Wenger has to update his outmoded, naïve mindset, if we have to go anywhere. Success these days is for the brave and the willing… yes, for those willing to buy world class players.

    • rafibomb10 - Feb 8, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      I too posted how I believed that the Arsenal train would run off the tracks and end in near certain doom. People said, “a 4th place finish is not doom,” and what sickens me is that is an acceptable response. If Arsenal expects, such as King Arsene, put as much effort in attempting to win the league as he does list explanations and excuses as to why 4th is perfectly fine, then we might get the results we desire.

      Proud Arsenal supporter for quite a while…and performances like this make this American very unhappy.

  5. paladinvt - Feb 8, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    It says something about my paranoia over the state of #LFC’s backline that I was still worried at 4-0 with 45 minutes to play. Fortunately, Arsenal were not up to the challenge today and hardly looked like the putative title favorites that some believe Arsenal to be. It will be really good to see LFC back in the Champion’s League, if they can stay in the top four. I am not sure LFC’s squad is sufficient to challenge for the title (which I think is City’s to lose, ultimately), but seeing the return of UCL football to Anfield would be a delight.

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