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Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool: gunners overcome 10-man visitors to reduce gap at top of Premier league table

Arsenal football players

At half-time, the big Premier League clash of the weekend was very finely poised at 1-1, but the second half unravelled horribly for Liverpool, who ended up losing having conceded three goals and with 10 men on the pitch. Jurgen Klopp’s side still have a two-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, but Arsenal reduced that gap to remain very much in the title race.

Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard were on target as Arsenal cut the gap on leaders Liverpool to two points with a 3-1 victory in a crunch clash in the title race at the Emirates Stadium.
The contest was hyped as a ‘must-not lose’ for The Gunners and Mikel Arteta’s side were dominant against the lacklustre Merseysiders for much of the first half.
Saka gave the hosts a deserved lead on 14 minutes when he fired a rebound into an empty net following a superb save from Alisson to deny Kai Havertz.
Liverpool could easily have fallen further behind but somehow levelled just prior to the break. A calamitous mix-up at the back allowed Luis Diaz to stab Ryan Gravenberch’s clipped pass onto Gabriel, with the Brazilian defender inadvertently flicking the ball into his own net.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were much-improved following the interval but it was Arsenal who regained the lead on 67 minutes after it was their turn to be the beneficiaries of some comical defending.
Martinelli chased a hopeful, long ball over the top and got his reward for the pursuit as a shocking miscommunication between Alisson and Virgil van Dijk allowed the Brazilian to step past the duo and roll the ball into an unguarded goal.
Liverpool never looked like levelling again and their misery was compounded when Ibrahima Konate was sent off for a second yellow card two minutes from time, with substitute Trossard somehow squirming a third goal through Alisson, via a nick off Van Dijk, in stoppage time.
The result sees Arsenal move up to second place and cut the gap on Liverpool to two points after 23 matches played. Manchester City sit in third spot, three points further back but with two games in hand.
Liverpool will now look to bounce back at home to Burnley next Saturday. Arsenal visit West Ham on Sunday.
TALKING POINT – ARSENAL REIGNITE TITLE CHALLENGE AS LIVERPOOL FAIL TO TURN UP
This was an excellent performance from Arteta’s side as they banished the memory of their FA Cup loss to the same opponents last month by ensuring three teams remain on the lips of everyone discussing the title race.
The big winners on the day were Arsenal and their belief will be galvanised, but Man City will be quietly delighted as they can now regain the initiative at the summit. If they win both of their games in hand they will be top and that mission starts with Brentford away on Monday.
It was a day to forget for Liverpool with the ever-reliable Alisson and van Dijk enduring a torrid time. However, it remains just the second league loss of the season for the Merseysiders who will feel they have the fixtures ahead to bounce back, with the clash with Man City at Anfield looming large on their March horizon.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – GABRIEL MARTINELLI (ARSENAL)
The Brazilian seems to relish games against Liverpool and he was a thorn in the visiting defence throughout. His lively runs into the space on the left were a feature of the first half and he got his reward with a fortunate goal that was the crucial strike in the battle of two heavyweight sides.
PLAYER RATINGS
Arsenal: Raya 7, White 8, Saliba 8, Gabriel 6, Zinchenko 7, Rice 8, Jorginho 8, Odegaard 8, Saka 8, Martinelli 9, Havertz 8. Subs: Kiwior 7, Trossard 7, Nelson 6,
Liverpool: Alisson 4, Alexander-Arnold 4, Van Dijk 4, Konate 5, Gomez 6, Mac Allister 6, Jones 6, Gravenberch 6, Diaz 7, Gakpo 5, Jota 5. Subs: Nunez 5, Elliott 6, Robertson 6, Thiago n/a.
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