Premier League

Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Emirates Stadium
Mesut Ozil, Simon Mignolet
Mesut Ozil scored Arsenal's second from a free-kick - his first goal since February
  • Arsenal score three goals in eight first-half minutes
  • Liverpool nine points behind Gunners
  • Arsenal 10 wins from 11 league matches
  • Can shown first red card of Liverpool career

Arsenal tightened their grip on a place in the Premier League's top four while inflicting damage on Liverpool's Champions League aspirations with a convincing victory at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners set the platform for a vital three points with a devastating burst of three goals in the last eight minutes of the first half from Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Confidence is high - Wenger

Raheem Sterling - starting up front for Liverpool after the midweek interview with the BBC that cast further doubt on his long-term Anfield future - battled hard and won a late penalty from which Jordan Henderson pulled a goal back.

In reality, however, this was little other than an afternoon of unrelenting misery for an abject Liverpool, who had Emre Can sent off for two bookable offences before Olivier Giroud delivered the final blow with a spectacular fourth for Arsenal in the closing seconds.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will feel a place in next season's Champions League is now within his grasp but Liverpool's hopes are fading as they followed up the 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United by being convincingly outplayed.

The win puts Arsenal nine points ahead of Liverpool with seven games left, while manager Brendan Rodgers' side also trail Manchester United by five points before Saturday's meeting with Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Sterling was a man in the spotlight after his outspoken explanation of his contract impasse at Anfield - and while he fought as hard as any Liverpool player to fashion something in a losing cause, he was powerless to influence events.

Liverpool were without captain Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel, who were serving three-match suspensions for stamping in last month's match against Manchester United.

The decision to draft veteran Kolo Toure into defence, while he was certainly not solely to blame, contributed to a calamitous first 45 minutes at the back for the visitors.

Arsenal away-day blues for the Reds
Liverpool have won just one of their past 19 away games in all competitions against Arsenal (W1 D7 L11).

Toure was rescued by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet when he was caught in possession as Arsenal swarmed all over Liverpool in the early moments - but once they settled down it was suddenly the Gunners who looked under pressure.

Indeed, it was Liverpool who should have gone ahead after 18 minutes when Philippe Coutinho sent Lazar Markovic through on goal but he mysteriously passed on responsibility to Sterling, matters made worse by the failure to find his intended target.

There was little indication of the mayhem to come as the game moved towards the interval - but Arsenal delivered three heavy hits to Liverpool in the final eight minutes of the half.

Top four near impossible - Rodgers

Bellerin's finish for the first, cutting in from the the right before a precise left-foot finish into the bottom corner, was exemplary but the defending of Liverpool's Alberto Moreno was nothing short of shambolic as he virtually ushered his opponent into a dangerous position.

Arsenal's second came three minutes later as Ozil curled a delightful 25-yard free-kick beyond Mignolet and the third arrived on the stroke of half-time when Sanchez scored with a thunderous shot from the edge of the area - although it passed suspiciously close to Liverpool's keeper before going in.

Rodgers introduced Daniel Sturridge for Markovic at the start of the second half in the hope he would act as the catalyst for an unlikely comeback but it was Arsenal who came close to a fourth as it required a fine reflex save from Mignolet to divert Giroud's header over the top.

Liverpool were offered some hope with 14 minutes left when they were awarded a penalty for Bellerin's foul on Sterling. Henderson's penalty was not exactly convincing but it did the job as it sneaked past Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.

Any Liverpool hopes of a comeback were soon snuffed out when Can, who had been shown a foolish yellow card for dissent, made a wild challenge on Arsenal substitute Danny Welbeck and was sent off.

It was fully deserved but there was an element of justification to Liverpool's protests after Bellerin escaped a second yellow card after conceding a penalty.

Giroud's final goal was simply the gloss on a fine Arsenal display - and the final insult for Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling started in a central role for Liverpool, having played out wide in recent weeks
Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin put the home side ahead with the second goal of his Arsenal career
Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson has scored in four of his past five Premier League appearances
Emre Can, Danny Welbeck
Emre Can received the first red card of his Liverpool career after a second bookable offence
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud has now scored 10 goals in his past 10 matches for Arsenal in all competitions
Ticket protest flags
Fans of both Liverpool and Arsenal staged a protest at the game about rising ticket prices



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Ospina
  • 39BellerínBooked at 70mins
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6KoscielnySubstituted forGabrielat 49'minutes
  • 18Monreal
  • 34Coquelin
  • 19Cazorla
  • 16RamseySubstituted forFlaminiat 62'minutes
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forWelbeckat 73'minutes
  • 17Sánchez
  • 12Giroud


  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 7Rosicky
  • 14Walcott
  • 20Flamini
  • 23Welbeck
  • 49Macey


Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 22Mignolet
  • 23CanBooked at 84mins
  • 4K Touré
  • 17Sakho
  • 14Henderson
  • 21Leiva
  • 24Allen
  • 18Moreno
  • 50MarkovicSubstituted forSturridgeat 45'minutes
  • 10Coutinho
  • 31Sterling


  • 1Jones
  • 2Johnson
  • 6Lovren
  • 15Sturridge
  • 19Manquillo
  • 29Borini
  • 32Brannagan
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamLiverpool
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 4, Liverpool 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 4, Liverpool 1.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Santiago Cazorla tries a through ball, but Danny Welbeck is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 4, Liverpool 1. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

  6. Post update

    Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Nacho Monreal.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a headed pass.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Kolo Touré.

  9. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Emre Can (Liverpool) for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

  11. Post update

    Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson tries a through ball, but Daniel Sturridge is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

  14. Post update

    Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal).

  16. Post update

    Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 3, Liverpool 1. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  19. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) after a foul in the penalty area.

  20. Post update

    Penalty Liverpool. Raheem Sterling draws a foul in the penalty area.