By Ayebare Mariam and Agencies
Liverpool have made a habit of demolishing Arsenal at this stadium but this latest installment was actually closer for a spell than the score would lead you to believe; indeed, had Nicolas Pepe possessed the killer instinct of a man with a £72million price tag things could have been different.
Just before half-time, Liverpool took the lead. A superb out swinging corner from Alexander-Arnold picked out Joel Matip – “Joel was there. Big Joel!’ said Klopp – and the Cameroon defender planted a header beyond Bernd Leno. It was an advantage they never looked like relinquishing.
In the opening 15 minutes of the second half, they were outstanding; quick and strong, all parts of the team moving in perfect synchronicity, they started to look like the champions of Europe. They had far too much class.
Luiz, of course, helped them get their second goal. His shirt pull on Salah, which led to Liverpool’s penalty, was absolutely ridiculous and the Egyptian gleefully took his opportunity, swishing his spot-kick high in Leno’s top corner. There was better to come.
Fabinho, such an unsung but crucial member of this team, played a ball to Salah on the halfway line in the 58th minute and with one deft touch, he danced away from Luiz and sprinted into the area before finishing with his left foot. Klopp called the strike “incredible” and you could not disagree.
The only blemish was the needless consolation they allowed Arsenal to pilfer in the 86th minute when substitute Lucas Torreira fired in through a crowded penalty area. Really, though, it was a day to leave Klopp purring. For Luiz and Arsenal, on the other hand, old clumsy habits die hard.