Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as Jota and Firmino get the goals to gut the Gunners

Don Kopleone rates the Reds as they overcame a battling Gunners performance to continue their Premier League title push.

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The winning run goes on, and Liverpool have rarely had to work as hard for three points over the past nine games as they did on Wednesday night.

Liverpool visited The Emirates to take on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side – themselves on a winning run – and were met with a resilient team that arguably edged the first-half.

Saying that, neither side created much before Sadio Mané fired wildly over, having done well to bring down a superb Trent Alexander-Arnold pass.

That chance came seconds before the half-time whistle, a regathering of the troops that Jürgen Klopp needed.

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Arsenal tired, Liverpool’s tempo increased, even if Alisson needed to bail out a Thiago backpass with an astonishingly strong palm to deny Martin Ødegaard.

Minutes later, Thiago played a better pass, sending Diogo Jota through on goal out of nothing, and the Portuguese’s shot went through Aaron Ramsdale at the near-post.

Jota came off, despite his goal, and his replacement, Bobby Firmino, added a second very quickly, turning home an Andrew Robertson pullback.

After that, Arsenal lost heart and their fatigue began to show- the last twenty minutes were played at a canter.

A huge win in the title race. Liverpool can go (momentarily) top on Saturday with just a point.

Your ratings, as the gap was closed to one:

Starting XI

Ali 8 – Absolutely incredible shadowing of Lacazette, and then save from Odegaard changed the course of the game, and maybe season.

Trent 7 – I’ve never seen Trent as scared defensively as he was of Gabriel Martinelli today. The Brazilian ran rings around him, and Klopp adjusted Henderson’s tactical role at half-time to combat that. But, on the ball, the Reds’ No.66 was unplayable, firing 70-yarders into teammates’ paths at will.

Joel 8 – Solid in the first half, and superb in the second. Made a number of key blocks and supported Trent against Martinelli. Man of the match.

Big Virg 7.5 – Never put a foot wrong.

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Robbo 7.5 – Made two key defensive interventions from dangerous Arsenal crosses. The Scot’s work-rate, desire and athleticism combined to create the second goal that would kill off Arsenal.

Hendo 7 – Anonymous for much of the first half, but mature and important after the break. Doubled up with Trent, as per instruction.

Fabs 7.5 – The visitors’ strongest performer before the break, often nicking back possession just when his side needed it.

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ThiaGOAT 6.5 – Quiet early on, then almost gifted Arsenal a goal with a shocking back-pass, but unlocked Arsenal’s defence for the opener and was another whose maturity stood out late on.

Sadio 6.5 – The Senegalese’s touch just is not what it once was, although it was perfect before he blasted over. That said, Mané’s energy was great tonight, and he was instrumental to the build-up for the second goal. Had a strike of his own ruled out for offside.

DioGOAL 6.5 – Not at his best until he scored a crucial goal, after which he was immediately substituted.

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Luis Suárez Díaz 6 – His least threatening display in a Liverpool shirt – he may need a rest, and was given one as he was taken off at the same time as Jota to allow for the introductions of Salah and Firmino.

Subs

Bobby 7.5 – Offered all the off-ball energy you would expect from Firmino, and then popped up with his customary goal against Arsenal.

Mo 6.5 – Never quite found the final ball he wanted, but a well-hit effort of his was blocked by an Arsenal defender.

CJ N/A – On for a minute or so.


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Don Kopleone

Scouse, not Sicilian.

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