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Arsenal take advantage of Alisson horror-show to ignite title race

Bukayo Saka celebrates Arsenal's opener against Liverpool at the Emirates on the 4th of February, 2024
Mikel Arteta's Arsenal defeated Liverpool 3-1 at the Emirates to firmly insert themselves in the Premier League title race.

Arsenal began as the hungrier side, the team with the momentum, and that energy paid off as Bukayo Saka pounced on a rebound from Kai Havertz’s shot to break the deadlock.

The Gunners headed into the match five points adrift in the title race against a Liverpool side that have won four out of four in the league since the 1-1 draw between the sides at Anfield.

It meant a win was required to truly haul Mikel Arteta’s side back into contention.

Liverpool did not manage a shot on target during the first-half but went in level after a mix-up between William Saliba and David Raya resulted in a Gabriel own-goal.

In the second half, the seesaw battle continued, and Arsenal reclaimed the lead after Liverpool‘s defensive mishap.

The Gunners trio were outdone by a combined Virgil van Dijk and Alisson’s howler midway through the second half that ended with Martinelli gleefully dispatching the ball into an empty net.

Ibrahima Konate was then sent off for a second booking when he fouled Kai Havertz during the increasingly fractious closing stages before substitute Trossard brought the house down.

Mikel Arteta celebrated wildly as his team narrowed the gap to Liverpool at the top of the PL table to just two points. The Gunners not only intensified the title race but also handed Liverpool their first defeat in 12 matches across all competitions.

Klopp admits Arsenal were better

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his side were second best to Arsenal – but only just.

“In general it was not our day and Arsenal deserved the three points – even in strange circumstances,” he told Sky Sports, referencing the Gunners’ second goal.

“We found a way and we had to adapt in a lot of moments. We had to bring a lot of players back from injury and into certain positions.”

“We had the situations where it was close and they had problems with us.”

“In the second half, if you keep it open, then Arsenal and the crowd can become nervous.”

“It was close, Arsenal were under pressure but I really thought in the first half we found our way into the game.”

“A lot of things came together and sometimes that happens.”

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