Liverpool overcome Arsenal in 7-goal thriller

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Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-3 in the opening game of the season
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Liverpool found victory in the first game of the season against Arsenal at the Emirates as the Reds overcame the Gunners in 4-3 Premier League classic.

Jürgen Klopp’s Reds looked to get off to a positive start this season hoping to take advantage of a weakened Arsenal side, with the likes of Giroud, Koscielny, and Özil not deemed fit enough to play following their recent return from the Euros over the summer.

Injuries to Mertesacker and Gabriel resulted in an inexperienced centre back pairing in Callum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding. However, the first half proved to be more or less a disaster for the Reds, as a lethargic looking Liverpool cancelled each other out with their opponents.

The deadlock was broken in the 28th minute as a turning Lallana was dispossessed of the ball and fed into Walcott on the edge of the 18, leaving Moreno to charge his man down and delivering an extremely rash challenge, resulting in a penalty. However, Simon Mignolet turned up big, saving Walcott’s effort. Yet, only a minute later, Walcott was found all alone again in the same area of the 18, and with Moreno caught sleeping and unable to recover, delivered a pinpoint strike into the bottom left corner of the net.

 

A disjointed Liverpool was undeservedly saved at the end of the half though, as the Reds drew themselves level after a fabulous free kick from Philippe Coutinho against the run of play, the two sides went into halftime at 1-1. The second half started brilliantly for Liverpool, much improved, in which the away side went 2-1 up following a special cross from Wijnaldum into Adam Lallana’s path, in which the Englishman took off his chest and finished sublimely past Petr Cech.

Liverpool then looked like a team rather than a bunch of newly introduced individuals and grabbed a third in the 55th minute, as Nathaniel Clyne’s low cross into the box was met with the deftest of touches from who else but Philippe Coutinho once more, collecting his brace. Soon after it became 4, Mané this time being released down the wing and, after cutting inside, finishing brilliantly into the far corner of the net.

Yet, only a minute after, the score changed to 4-2, as substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain did brilliantly by cutting between two men and finishing at the near post. It could have been made 5 for Liverpool as Firmino released Coutinho down the left hand side, but the Brazilian came down with a leg cramp in attempt to reach the ball, forcing a substitution to be made with Can coming on to see the game out. Reason to worry began following a 75th minute Arsenal free kick, in which substitute Santi Cazorla delivered the perfect ball onto Chambers’ head who converted at the far post. 4-3, already a Premier League classic.

After the third goal, Liverpool did very well in staying disciplined in holding a high line, preventing any more pressure that Arsenal attempted to throw forward in hopes of an equalizer. In the end, this classic ends in a superb Liverpool win.

Final score: Liverpool 4, Arsenal 3

Man of the match: Philippe Coutinho

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