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Played
February 8, 2014 3:45 PM EAT
Anfield — Liverpool
Referee:‬ M. Oliver‎
Attendance:‬ 44701‎
 
Mikel Arteta 69′ (PG)
 
 
 
 
Top of the Match
Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling
Liverpool
Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling
Liverpool
Flop of the Match
Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil
Arsenal FC
Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil
Arsenal FC

Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal: Rampant Reds humiliate Wenger's men

The hosts scored four goals within the first 20 minutes to stun Arsene Wenger's side and move themselves to within five points of the leaders in the Premier League title race

By Christopher Devine

Raheem Sterling Liverpool Arsenal Premier League 02082014
Getty Images
Liverpool spectacularly enhanced their Premier League title credentials with a remarkable 5-1 home victory over leaders Arsenal on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's men came into this fixture having not lost a league game at Anfield since March 2007, but were ruthlessly exposed in a scarcely believable opening 20 minutes.

Martin Skrtel was the unlikely scorer of Liverpool's first two goals, the centre-back twice converting Steven Gerrard set-pieces, before Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge found the net with Arsenal in total disarray.

There was no way back for the shell-shocked visitors and Sterling added his second early in the second half as Liverpool hit five against Arsenal for the first time in 50 years.

VIEW FROM ANFIELD
By Wayne Veysey

What a statement of intent this was from Liverpool. Arsenal were ragged and impotent but the hosts were breathtaking. The majesty of their attacking play, led by pace king Raheem Sterling and the peerless Luis Suarez, was something to behold as they produced the defining performance of the Brendan Rodgers era.

Talk of an unexpected title challenge this season is perhaps far fetched, but only Manchester City are as fun to watch in the Premier League as the vibrant team that Rodgers is assembling.
A Mikel Arteta penalty reduced Arsenal's arrears with 21 minutes remaining, but provided precious little in the way of consolation.

Brendan Rodgers' men now lie just five points behind the London club, who face a stiff task to bounce back from a first defeat since they were beaten 6-3 at Manchester City on December 14 in a similarly eventful match.

An unchanged Liverpool moved ahead inside the first minute, Skrtel converting a left-wing free-kick with his knee after Gerrard's inswinging delivery appeared to brush the boot of Arteta.

Skrtel made a crucial clearance at the other end when Simon Mignolet charged from his goal, and then doubled his side's advantage in the 10th minute.

After Jon Flanagan had been denied at the near post by Wojciech Szczesny, Skrtel met the resulting corner with a looping header that beat Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, stationed on the far post.

With Liverpool rampant, Sturridge sent a lobbed finish wide having been played through by Luis Suarez, who subsequently struck the post with a thunderous 25-yarder on the turn before Kolo Toure prodded the rebound wide with an open goal gaping.

Per Mertesacker headed wide from a corner, but Arsenal, who welcomed Jack Wilshere back from injury, remained second-best and fell further behind after 16 minutes.

Mesut Ozil was dispossessed by Jordan Henderson and a swift break resulted in Suarez laying on a simple finish for Sterling.

A sublime throughball from Philippe Coutinho provided Sturridge with another one-on-one four minutes later, and this time the England international made no mistake, scoring for the seventh game in succession across all competitions.

Although Arsenal belatedly checked Liverpool's momentum, the hosts retained control and pulled further clear seven minutes after the break.

Sterling was given time to cut in from the left and scored at the second attempt after his initial tame strike had been kept out by Szczesny.

Wilshere was booked for a petulant foul on Sterling that summed up Arsenal's frustration before Wenger made a triple change in the 61st minute, introducing Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky and Lukas Podolski.

Arteta pulled one back from the penalty spot after Gerrard had brought down Oxlade-Chamberlain, and also tested Mignolet with a low free-kick, but by then the game was effectively over as a contest.

Sturridge, Gerrard and Suarez were all substituted to sum up Liverpool's dominance, while Sterling spurned a chance to complete his hat-trick in the closing stages.


Liverpool

22
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
3.00
4
Kolo Toure
Defender
3.00
20
Aly Cissokho
Defender
3.00
37
Martin Skrtel
Defender
1′ 10′
3.50
38
Jon Flanagan
Defender
4.00
8
Steven Gerrard
Midfielder
10′ 76′
4.50
10
Coutinho
Midfielder
20′
3.50
14
Jordan Henderson
Midfielder
47′
3.50
31
Raheem Sterling
Midfielder
16′ 52′
4.50
7
Luis Suárez
Striker
16′ 85′
4.00
15
3.50

Arsenal FC

3.00
1
2.00
3
2.00
4
2.50
6
1.50
17
Monreal
Defender
61′
1.50
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
69′
3.00
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
59′
1.50
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
61′
3.00
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
2.00
12

Substitutes

1
Bradley Jones
Goalkeeper
 - 
34
 - 
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
 - 
24
Joe Allen
Midfielder
66′
3.00
33
Jordon Ibe
Midfielder
76′
 - 
6
Luis Alberto
Midfielder
 - 
9
Iago Aspas
Striker
85′
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
21
 - 
25
2.50
28
3.00
7
Tomas Rosicky
Midfielder
61′
2.50
9
 - 
23
 - 
44

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Own Goal
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  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
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  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2