Liverpool are all but eliminated from Champions League contention and Arsenal are very much so alive in the English Premier League title hunt, as Arsenal beat Liverpool 4-1 on Saturday in London. Arsenal controlled much of the possession in the first half and had a balanced effort with four goals by four seperate players. Arsenal is now second in the English Premier League, only four points behind Chelsea, but third place Manchester City has one game in hand and Chelsea has two in hand. Liverpool still five points behind Manchester United for fourth place in the English Premier League, but have to worry about Tottenham and Southampton catching Liverpool from behind, as they are only one point behind the Reds.
Liverpool were dominated in the first 15 minutes of the game, only holding 25% of possession, but where able to regain control and even had a great chance on goal in the 19th minute. Lazar Markovic streaked down the right wing and had Raheem Sterling in the middle of the field, but missed him on the pass. There was a clear chance on goal for Sterling, a goal that could have changed the pace of the game. Liverpool fought hard in the first half before the first Arsenal goal, but were hapless in the end. Jordan Henderson scored a consolation goal in the 76th minute after Raheem Sterling was taken down in the box, but it was too little too late for the visitors. Defender Emre Can received a red card in the 84th minute and will miss Liverpool’s tie with Blackburn in the FA Cup on Wednesday.
Arsenal dominated this game from the start, as Liverpool barely crossed midfield until the 10 minute mark of the game. Arsenal got their first goal from an unlikely source in Bellerin, but the usual suspects of Ozil, Sanchez, and Giroud were all also on target for Arsenal. Although Arsenal has a minimal chance in the English Premier League, they do play London rivals, and first in the table, Chelsea on April 26th and have the best form in the English Premier League in 2015. Arsenal will play Burnley next Saturday and look for their eighth straight English Premier League victory.
Here are the highlights:
Héctor Bellerín Scored in the 37th Minute For Arsenal
Liverpool had all of the momentum in the middle of the first half, but fullback Héctor Bellerín scored for Arsenal in the 37th minute. This was the first away goal allowed by Liverpool since December 14th, 2014 and Bellerín’s second goal of the season for Arsenal
Mesut Özil Scored in the 40th Minute For Arsenal
Mesut Özil sent a free kick over the Liverpool wall and into the left hand corner to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead. This was the fourth goal of the year for Özil and Arsenal’s 20th goal off of a set piece.
Alexis Sanchez Scored in the 45th Minute For Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez scored for Arsenal against Liverpool right before halftime to give Arsenal a 3-0 lead. The goal was Sanchez’s 14th of the English Premier League season, breaking a tie with Olivier Giroud for the most goals for Arsenal in the English Premier League season.
Jordan Henderson Scored on a Penalty Kick for Liverpool in the 76th Minute
Raheem Sterling is brought down in the box by Hector Bellerin and Jordan Henderson scores his sixth English Premier League goal of the season.
Olivier Giroud Scored in the 92nd Minute For Arsenal
Olivier Giroud cuts the ball in from the right and scores on the bottom left hand corner to give Arsenal a 4-1 lead. This was Giroud’s 14th goal in the English Premier League.
Goals: Arsenal- Hector Bellerin (37′), Mesut Özil (40′), Alexis Sánchez (45′), Olivier Giroud (91′); Liverpool- Jordan Henderson (76′)
Shots (on goal): Arsenal- 16(10); Liverpool- 13 (2)
Tackles: Liverpool- 25; Arsenal- 24
Fouls: Liverpool- 9; Arsenal- 7
Possession: Liverpool- 51; Arsenal- 49%
Yellow Card: Emre Can, Liverpool (49′, 84′ red card); Hector Bellerin, Arsenal (70′)
Liverpool (3-4-3): Mignolet, Can, Toure, Sahko, Allen, Lucas, Moreno, Henderson, Coutinho, Markovic, Sterling
Liverpool Reserves: Jones, Johnson, Lovren, Sturridge, Manquillo, Borini, Brannagan
Arsenal (4-5-1): Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Coquelin, Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Sanchez, Giroud
Arsenal Reserves: Macey, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Welbeck
Arsenal has seen their season get a boost from new addition Alexis Sanchez and a surge from Olivier Giroud. Each has scored 13 goals this season. After finishing only three points out of automatic qualification for the Champions League in 2013-2014, Arsenal has come back stronger in 2014-2015 and is third in the English Premier League in goals. After a battle to be the starting goalie, David Ospina has sealed the starting job over Wojciech Szczesny and has only allowed eight goals in his past 10 games, posting four clean sheets. Arsenal plays four teams in the top half of the table in their last eight English Premier League games of the season, so their race for the Champions League in 2015-2016 is still very much on. Arsenal also has the semi-finals of the FA Cup to look forward to, on April 18th at Wembley Stadium against Reading.
Liverpool was in outstanding form before a 2-1 loss to Manchester United on March 22nd and still is only five points out of Champions League qualification. Goal scoring is the issue for the Reds, as they have averaged 1.48 goals this season after averaging 2.66 goals per game in 2013-2014. Simon Mignolet has evolved into an outstanding goalie this season; in fact he has not allowed a goal on the road in the English Premier League since Robin van Persie scored in the 71st minute for Manchester United on December 14th. Liverpool’s schedule does get easier after the game with Arsenal, as the average table spot for their remaining seven games is only 11.7. Liverpool does have a pivotal replay of their FA Cup quarterfinal match away to Blackburn on April 8th.