Liverpool bounced back from their shock defeat to struggling champions Leicester with a great, energetic performance against Arsenal, who started the game with their talisman Alexis Sanchez on the bench and were largely unproductive. Arsenal were outrun and outmuscled in every part of the pitch and every second ball and 50/50 challenge seemed to go Liverpool's way, especially in the first half as goals from Firmino and Mane saw them enter halftime with a 2-0 lead. Alexis tried to rally Arsenal back, setting up Welbeck’s goal but it was in vain as Liverpool closed out the win with a breakneck counter finished off expertly by Wijnaldum.
Liverpool Player ratings
Mignolet – 7/10
Not a lot to do for him in the first half but made a couple of smart saves and showed good distribution when Arsenal notched up a gear in the second period. He was up for the challenge making an excellent save from a Giroud header and was involved in the build-up to the first goal with a great ball over the top.
Clyne – 6/10
The Liverpool right back did well to get forward but his decision-making in the final third could have been better. But Clyne struggled to deal with Alexis after he came on.
Matip – 8/10
Joel Matip an excellent game with good interceptions and blocks to keep Arsenal away from goal. His block off a shot from Sanchez late in the game led to the third goal.
Chances created in the first half at Anfield:
Joel Matip (1)
No threat on offer from the away side. pic.twitter.com/nojcNLSduN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 4, 2017
Klavan – 8/10
Rightly chosen ahead of Lucas, he was much more natural at centre-half and did well to get himself ahead of the Arsenal attackers inside his penalty area and prevent them from getting onto the ball.
Milner – 7/10
Was great as an attacking outlet from the left but was caught up the pitch on occasions. Made to run hard by Bellerin but was up for the challenge. His delivery from set pieces and going forward were good as well.
Can – 6/10
It was not the best game for a man who was already struggling for form. The German got booked and didn’t look comfortable in the second half as Arsenal started to grow into the game.
Wijnaldum – 7/10
Gini Wijnaldum was useful in keeping possession and worked hard throughout, with excellent runs forward from midfield. His run into the box was matched by an excellent finish to get himself a goal and wrap up the game. The Dutchman has delivered in big games, scoring against Manchester City, Chelsea and now Arsenal.
Lallana – 9/10
Arguably the best player on the pitch, Lallana broke up play excellently and didn’t afford any comfort to Arsenal defenders in the first half. He was efficient on the ball as well and the way he turned and waited for Origi to get onside before delivering an excellent ball to help make the third goal was just fantastic.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 5, 2017
Coutinho – 7/10
Coutinho had a tidy game and his control and footwork in tight spaces were exceptional as he looked bright every time going forward. Looks to be coming back into form after struggling with injury for a couple of months.
Mane – 9/10
Great running and was a threat to the Liverpool defenders all night. Did well to unselfishly pick out an unmarked Firmino for the opener and took his goal with a powerful finish into the corner.
Firmino – 8/10
Another Brazilian with great footwork, Firmino's delicate touches and eye-catching pieces of skill was crucial in giving Liverpool the lead. He was productive going forward but seemed to tire as the game went deep into the second half.
Origi – 7/10
Was sent on to finish the game off and he did exactly that by laying on a great assist for Wijnaldum.