REPORT: Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool - Gunners Explode Back Into Title Race

Arsenal ignited their title challenge with a hard-fought win over Liverpool, thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard. 

The hosts took the lead inside the opening 15 minutes through Saka, before a defensive mix-up on the stroke of half time gifted Liverpool an equaliser. Martinelli restored Arsenal's advantage midway through the second half, before Trossard added the gloss to clinch the three points in stoppage time. The win sees Arsenal reduce the deficit at the top of the table to just two points.

Gunners Fast Start

Much like the FA Cup tie at the beginning of January, Arsenal started impressively and looked to assert their dominance on the game. Unlike then, their early pressure this time paid off. Saka had threatened twice in the opening exchanges, but it was third time lucky for the Arsenal man. Martin Odegaard cushioned a delightful pass into the path of Kai Havertz to send the German clear. One-on-one with the keeper, his shot was saved by Alisson, only for Saka to follow up and send the home crowd wild. 

Arsenal continued to probe, with Liverpool unable to cope with their high-intensity stemming from The Gunner's midfield duo, Declan Rice and Jorginho. The hosts continued to threaten, with a number of blocked attempts, while Gabriel saw his left-footed effort comfortably saved by Alisson. 

Defensive Mix Up

Despite their dominance and clear superiority, Arsenal went into the break level. William Saliba attempted to shepherd a ball back to David Raya, only for Luis Diaz to nick the ball past the Arsenal goalkeeper and deflect off of Gabriel and into the Arsenal net. The visitors had not had a shot on target, but somehow found themselves level. The game had changed through one mistake and like that, so had the atmosphere. 

Mikel Arteta was forced into a half-time substitution, with Oleksandr Zinchenko forced off with a calf issue and Jakub Kiwior coming on to replace him at left back. As the second half began, Liverpool looked to take control of proceedings. Shots from Cody Gakpo, Alexis MacAllister and Curtis Jones all came close in a matter of minutes. Arsenal were penned in and struggling to get a foothold on the game. 

Advantage Restored

But as the game went on, Arsenal once again began to probe. Havertz, whose movement and physicality was causing Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate problems, was denied a penalty. However, it wouldn't be long before The Gunners re-established their advantage. Gabriel played a long ball towards Martinelli that looked hopeful, but miscommunication between Van Dijk and Alisson presented a gaping goal for Martinelli to roll the ball into. The crowd were once again making themselves heard. 

Soon after it was nearly three. Kiwior found himself free in the box but could only direct his header straight at the goalkeeper. As the game drifted towards its conclusion, the Emirates faithful were preparing themselves for one last push. Konate then saw red for a second-bookable offence and as the game entered into seven minutes of added time, Trossard made absolutely sure of the three points. 

Collecting the ball on the left-hand side of the pitch, the Belgian created space with a smart turn before bearing down on goal. From an acute angle, he rifled a slightly deflected shot through the legs of Alisson. The game was done, and didn't Arteta and the home crowd know it. 

Arsenal will now believe that they are right back in the title race and will visit West Ham United next Sunday, looking to make it four consecutive wins and maintain the pressure at the top of the table. For now though, it's simply a case of enjoying an outstanding win.