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Arsenal pushed Liverpool to 14 points behind at the top of the table with England international and Nigerian descendant Bukayo Saka netting two goals in 3-2 defeat of Reds at the Emirates Stadium.

The result obviously returned the Gunners to top of the league, erasing the anger of their fans which in the past six meetings Arsenal has failed to score and not beating Liverpool since July 2020.

The match started with an early pace from Arsenal, creating the right impact with Gabriel Martinelli netting the opener in just 58 seconds in the first half after a brilliant through pass from Martin Odegaard. The emerging character of Liverpool starting matches slowly was exposed by the excellent combination of play at the visitors defence with both Saka and Martin Odegaard delivering the magic.

While Liverpool tried to fight back in some minutes of the first half, and gradually regained possession with Nunez beauty to watch moving the balls forward in effort to score, the Gunners defense was seen to handball against Gabriel but the center referee ignored it before a clearance for safety from Arsenal defender.

Arsenal fought back to reclaim their confidence but it wasn’t easy in some parts of the later first half as Nunez kept the pressure on Arsenal’s defense. And eventually when Gunners found their rhythm in the closing stages of the first, it was clear their intent for another goal was a matter of few seconds. That paid off, again despite Darwin Nunez excellent performance with Saka scoring (45+4) after a build counter, tucking the ball from Martenlli’s cross to get the ball at the back of the post.

It will be recalled for the audience who had a viewing opportunity during the match live, Nunez had equalised in the 34th minute after being a leading character in Liverpool’s attack. He levelled the score after a long ball over the top from Alexander-Arnold was missed by Gabriel and Diaz quick cross found Nunez for reward as the ball passed Arsenal’s goalkeeper.

At the start of the second half Liverpool coach had made changes with Alexander –Arnold substituted for Joe Gomez, precisely to check the pace of Martinelli who was impressive in the game. While Firmino replaced Lius Diaz, the changes paid off with the Reds having maintained momentum, pressuring Arsenal for the equaliser from Firmino in the 53rd minute.

With the score levelled 2-2 Arsenal pressured back after in an intense effort to keep possession and Arteta’s inputted Barcelona style of good distribution of the ball was classy. This led to Thiago Alcantara fouling Gbariel Jesus on the calf and Bukayo Saka didn’t disappoint as he converted the awarded penalty in the 76th minute to seal a win for Arsenal.

Obviously the absence of Sadio Mane who has left to Bayern Munich was felt in the match for Liverpool as Mohammed Salah could not click to a high profile. The reason being Liverpool lacked the player to hold the ball and probably create space for Salah, paving way for the easy flow of goals.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s boss Mikel Arteta feels satisfied with his player’s performance! Saying it was special beating Liverpool considering the atmosphere and how the players played. It was a deserved win Arteta said.  

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