Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Reds maintain 100% start – Jota scores on Anfield debut

Premier League
Monday 28 September 2020 - 8:00 pm
Anfield
Liverpool3
1Arsenal
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Mane3'
25'⚽️ Lacazette
⚽️ Mane28'
⚽️ Robertson34'
Alexander-Arnold49'
60'↔️ Xhaka off, Ceballos on
68'↔️ Willian off, Pépé on
68' Bellerin
72' Ceballos
74'↔️ Lacazette off, Nketiah on
Keïta off, Milner on ↔️79'
Mane off, Jota on ↔️79'
⚽️ Jota88'
Firmino off, Minamino on ↔️90'
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Liverpool are beginning to look ominous again, as they maintained their perfect winning start to the season with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal at Anfield.

The reds became the first Champions to open with three wins for nine years, despite conceding the opening goal of the game against the run of play.

But goals from Mane, Robertson and one off the bench from Diogo Jota on his Anfield debut, ensured the reds completed the comprehensive comeback.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker was a late inclusion into the side, with some speculation earlier in the day that he had required a late fitness test.  There was better news too with the return of Joe Gomez, freeing up Fabinho to return back to midfield.  This was welcome especially, with Henderson still on the sidelines and Thiago Alcantara ruled out for the next 14 days or so with what has been described as fitness issues.

Both sides went into this game with 2 wins apiece from their opening games, but clearly only one had the capability to maintain their winning start.

The reds looked determined from the whistle at a wet and autumnal Anfield - still with empty stands as England's almost comical handling of the coronavirus crisis continues.  This would have been a belter for those watching on and Diogo Jota's debut goal was celebrated by the tens rather than the tens of thousands.

As it happened: LFC 3-1 Arsenal

There was shots from Mane, a deflected one on to the crossbar by Alexander-Arnold and Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal didn't know a lot about any of them.

The sucker punch looked increasingly likely as the reds continued to dominate possession but it arrived thanks to an Gunners cross that Andy Robertson sliced into the path of Lacazette.  He had a simple lift to give Arsenal a bizarre 1-0 lead.

This goal greatly offended Liverpool and minutes later Keita drove forwards, the ball found Mo Salah who ran rings around Kieran Tierney.  The Egyptian's shot was too hot to handle for Leno, who palmed it into the waiting path of Sadio Mane.  A foolish mistake.  1-1.

With Andy Robertson keen to spare his earlier blushes, Trent Alexander-Arnold sent a delightful cross deep into the area and Andy Robertson had ghosted into a glorious space to take round the keeper and put Liverpool in the lead.  Tony Adams and Martin Keown would have been fuming.

The second half was played out with a far more competitive spirit from the away team.  At times it was end to end and Lacazette was guilty of seemingly being terrified by the frame and notoriety of Alisson Becker who twice denied him chances where you would have to fancy an expensive imported striker.

With ten minutes remaining, Sadio Mane was replaced by Diogo Jota - Mane had been truly excellent all game and though he was disappointed a touchline chat with Klopp explaining why seemed to satisfy him.

In any case the decision proved correct.  Jota had two quick chances - one wide of the goal and the other into the side netting.  He then appeared to be gloriously placed for his debut goal until Mo Salah seemed to try and take the ball off him to get his own goal.  It was a weird moment.

Fortunately, he did seal the points with a minute of normal time remaining.  Another Trent cross went deep into the area and David Luiz headed out to the edge of the area, and to the Portugese forward.  He controlled the ball before drilling in a low shot that clanged off the post and rippled the net.

Liverpool's perfect start sees them move into second place in the early Premier League table, ahead of Everton on goals scored - which they will completely hate and is therefore perfect for this stage of the season.

Arsenal return to Anfield on Thursday for League Cup action - but it's likely to be two vastly different teams who line up that day.  The reds tricky start to the season continues as they face their 3rd consecutive team with a 100% Premier League record - away at Aston Villa.

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