Liverpool got back to winning ways in emphatic fashion after running out 4-0 winners against Arsenal after a dominant display at Anfield on Saturday.
The hosts had largely dominated proceedings in a hard-fought opening that had been devoid of any real goalmouth action, before a touchline spat between the two manager’s seemingly lifted the atmosphere and truly sparked the game into life.
The away side then had in-form goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to thank for initially keeping the home side at bay, the Englishman’s quick reflexes keeping out Mo Salah – having earlier denied Sadio Mane in a similar manner – before tipping over from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s effort.
Ramsdale may, however, be disappointed by his role in the eventual Liverpool opener, the summer signing failing to keep the ball out from Mane’s backpost header, after a typically inviting set-piece from that man Alexander-Arnold.
It was a similar story after the interval as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw an effort slide agonisingly wide of the post, before Diogo Jota continued his fine form against Arsenal after capitalising on a Nuno Tavares error, showing remarkable composure to weaves his way past both Gabriel and Ramsdale.
The heavily involved stopper then did well to deny the Portuguese a second, while at the other end the much quieter Alisson reacted well to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike from the angle.
A blistering break saw Salah tee up teammate Jota with an exquisite pass, although yet again the hosts were denied by the opposition ‘keeper, before the Egyptian international eventually bagged his side’s third after tapping in at the backpost from Mane’s pullback.
Substitute Takumi Minamino made an instant impact off the bench to make it four with a simple finish from another Alexander-Arnold assist, as the Reds cruised to a comfortable victory to move up to second in the table and four points behind leaders Chelsea.
Reporter: “That’s nine assists in your last six games.”
Trent: “And a goal!”
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) November 20, 2021
Speaking after the match, Klopp was clearly delighted by his side’s ‘exceptional performance’ as they nullified the threat of their in-form opponents.
“All the games are opportunities for us. It was an exceptional performance. We grew into the game, we got better and better,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“We controlled the game in a good way and played exciting stuff in the right moments. It was a mixture of a mature and exciting performance. In games like this it’s important you keep your opponent as far away from your goal as possible and be decisive in the other areas.
“This league is incredibly intense. Now the most intense part of the season is ahead of us. December and January will be insane. We have players coming back, but the boys who played today did really well and did exactly what they had to do. We know what Arsenal can do but they couldn’t do it today- that is the biggest compliment I can pay to my team.
“It feels great because it was really good – we should never take something like this for granted. You have to fight through different phases in a game and in a season. It’s another point from when we go on.”
Liverpool are next in action at home to Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday, before they take on Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.