Liverpool 3 vs 1 Arsenal
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Firmino dances his way into the left-hand side of the Arsenal penalty area on a great run as he brushes off several tackles. He then tries to tee up Mane, but he’s unable to get the ball to reach the Senegalese midfielder and Arsenal just about hold on.
Liverpool work the ball around really nicely as they try to carve open the Arsenal back line with a quick attacking move, but it’s brought to an end by a disappointing shot from Clyne that sails comfortably over the top of the crossbar.
Coutinho weaves his way towards the Arsenal box on a wonderful run before being hauled down by Monreal, and now it’s Liverpool who have been presented with a free-kick in an incredibly dangerous position. Can they make it count?
Wonderful save by Mignolet! Arsenal come back once again, this time through Monreal. The full-back gets himself into a pocket of space over on the left wing before swinging a cross right on to the head of Giroud, but the striker’s bullet header is somehow clawed away by an acrobatic stop from Mignolet.
It’s been a near-perfect first half for Liverpool, who head down the tunnel with a well-deserved two-goal lead against a very lacklustre Arsenal side. The visitors have created very little going forward, leaving the Liverpool back line with almost nothing to do so far. At the other end, meanwhile, the Reds’ front line has been on fire, with Coutinho, Firmino and, in particular, Mane all causing plenty of problems in front of goal.
Mane picks up the ball in a promising position on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area and spins quickly before unleashing a cross-cum-shot towards the far post, but, off balance, he’s unable to find a team-mate or the back of the net and instead sends the ball sailing comfortably wide of the goal.
Yellow Card Francis Coquelin
Coutinho flies towards the Arsenal penalty area before going down under a challenge from Coquelin, but the referee immediately signals to play on, despite a few half-hearted pleas from the Liverpool players for a free-kick.
Mane spins round Monreal on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area before trying to tee up Wijnaldum with a poked pass, but it’s overhit by the attacking midfielder and is just about dealt with by the visitors.
A hopeful ball forward finds Giroud on the edge of the Liverpool box, and the Frenchman does well to rise high above his marker before nodding the ball down to Xhaka. The midfielder then unleashes a first-time strike from 25 yards out, but it’s far too powerful and fails to hit the target.
Xhaka’s cross from the corner is poor and can only find Milner, but he’s presented with another chance to whip a cross into the penalty area. His second ball into the box is just as ineffective, however, and this time it’s Matip who’s there to deal with it.
Arsenal are caught sleeping in the middle of the pitch, allowing Adam Lallana to pick up the ball in a promising position. Emre Can then blasts a great lofted pass over to Clyne on the right flank, and the full-back does well to fire a cross off Monreal and out for a corner.
Philippe Coutinho threads an impressive through-ball into the Arsenal penalty area and towards Roberto Firmino, who then spins and tees up James Milner. The full-back then tries to whip a cross into the box but is unable to do so and has to settle for a corner, which fails to result in a chance on goal.
We’re off! Arsenal get us underway, attacking from left to right.
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