Arsenal have blown the Premier League title race wide open by beating Liverpool 3-1 at The Emirates.
The result sees the Gunners move up to second in the table. They’ve closed the gap behind Liverpool to just two points.
Mikel Arteta’s side came racing out of the traps and took a deserved early lead when Bukayo Saka was on hand to slot home the rebound after Alisson denied Kai Havertz. Arsenal went on to dominate the remainder of the first half but went in level after a freak own goal from Gabriel Magalhaes on the stroke of half-time.
The second half was a little more even, with Liverpool seemingly buoyed by their unexpected equaliser. But midway through the half it was their turn to make a defensive error, with Gabriel Martinelli regaining Arsenal’s lead after capitalising on a terrible mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson.
Ibrahima Konate was then shown a second yellow card for a foul on Havertz before second-half substitute Leandro Trossard sealed the three points in injury-time on the counter, nutmegging Alisson in style.
“We knew the importance of the game today, the small margins of football and the gap would have either come bigger or smaller,” Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice told Sky Sports after the match.
“The only focus from everyone was to win and get three points.
“From start to finish it has been really positive and I think you could feel that today. It was a kick in the teeth to concede, but we knew we had a good 45 minutes [in the first half] and we had to go out there and give everything.
“Of course when you are competing for titles they will tell you every game is so important. To do it in the way we did that is the thing we live for.”
Here are 12 standout statistics from Arsenal’s big win:
– This was the 200th league meeting between Liverpool and Arsenal. This was the Gunners’ 67th win in the fixture (79 for Liverpool, 54 draws).
– Arsenal were well worth the three points, having registered 3.52xG to Liverpool’s 0.41. They registered 15 shots and seven on target to Liverpool’s 10 shots (just one on target).
– Despite going into the break level, Arsenal denied the visitors a single shot on David Raya’s goal in the first half. Liverpool’s first-half xG was just 0.10 to the hosts’ 2.03.
– Arsenal’s average xG per shot was 0.25. Liverpool’s average xG per shot was 0.04.
"There was a desperation about Arsenal"
Where were Liverpool lacking today? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/FHJ0ZlyXcj
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 4, 2024
– 3.52 is the most xG Liverpool have ever faced in a Premier League game, since expected goals stats started being recorded.
– Arteta’s Gunners remain unbeaten against ‘big six’ opposition in the league in 2023-24. They’ve won three and drawn three of their meetings with Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea this season.
– Liverpool’s only league defeat going back to April 1st was also in North London, away to Tottenham when they were reduced to nine men in September. Jurgen Klopp’s men had lost just one of their last 33 Premier League outings heading into this clash.
– Arsenal’s 15 shots are the most they’ve managed in a Premier League against Liverpool since August 2015.
–Man of the match Jorginho registered 70 touches, 43 of 50 passes completed, one chance created, four interceptions and covered 11.97km. It was his first Premier League start since November.
– Arsenal have opened the scoring in four successive league meetings against Liverpool – the last time that happened was a run of six from 1967 to 1970 (via Opta Analyst)
2 – Arsenal have won two of their four Premier League games against teams starting the day top of the table under Mikel Arteta (both wins against Liverpool), as many victories as they had in their previous 17 such matches prior to the Spaniard’s arrival (D4 L11). Competitors. pic.twitter.com/0uqEqzjA4m
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 4, 2024
– Gabriel Martinelli has scored five goals against Liverpool – his joint-most against any opponent (alongside Crystal Palace). The Brazilian has five goals and five assists in 10 appearances against Liverpool, averaging a direct goal contribution every 72 minutes.
– Arsenal continue awaiting their first clean sheet in a Premier League match against Klopp’s Liverpool. They’ve conceded in each of their last 17 league meetings with the Merseyside outfit.