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ESPN3 12:45 PM UTC
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ESPN3 12:45 PM UTC
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 By Dave Usher

Liverpool's blistering attack of Firmino, Mane & Co. make easy work of Arsenal

Arsenal were blown away by a blistering display of attacking football from Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp's front three all got on the scoresheet and when he replaced one of them with Daniel Sturridge, he grabbed a goal too.

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Restricting Arsenal to no shots on target will have been pleasing for Klopp but it's the devastating attacking play that caught the eye. When Liverpool play like this nobody can live with them.


The only minor gripe would be that it wasn't an even bigger margin of victory, because it really should have been but for some wasteful finishing, especially from Mohamed Salah.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Jurgen Klopp's decision to rest Simon Mignolet was bizarre but it didn't prove costly as the 10 outfielders performed so well that Loris Karius was not a factor in the game at all. Klopp knew how to hurt Arsenal and the plan worked to perfection.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Loris Karius, 5 -- Surprisingly recalled to the side, the German had very little to do but still somehow managed to make the crowd nervy by repeatedly taking too long to clear the ball and inviting pressure on himself. He did make two excellent punches to clear potential danger though.

DF Joe Gomez, 7 -- Solid performance from the youngster. Picked up an early booking after hauling back Aaron Ramsey, but didn't let it affect him and did his job well. Produced a nice cross for the opening goal.

DF Joel Matip, 7 -- Not the most testing of games for Liverpool's defence but what they had to do they did well enough, and Matip never had to break sweat.

DF Dejan Lovren, 7 -- Booked in the first half when he was left exposed and isolated against Danny Welbeck, but as with Gomez he recovered well from it and was largely untroubled after that.

DF Alberto Moreno, 7 -- Lively and spirited as always, and despite one or two awkward looking challenges in risky areas he was largely mistake free. It's too early to say he's proved his doubters wrong, but he's doing OK.

MF Jordan Henderson, 9 -- Set the tone for the performance with his relentless pressing high up the pitch. He almost opened the scoring after winning the ball and then exchanging passes with Sadio Mane; but was unable to hit the target under pressure from Petr Cech. On a day when most were outstanding, Henderson's passing, covering play and leadership made him Liverpool's best player.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 8 -- The Dutchman has come in for some criticism in the opening weeks of the season but he was brilliant in this game. Strong in possession, dynamic in his running and diligent in his defensive work. Outstanding.

MF Emre Can, 8 -- Powerhouse performance from the German who is now showing that he can play the box-to-box role and be a factor in attack. He's made a terrific start to the season and tying him down to a new contract should be a priority now, as he's earned it.

FW Sadio Mane, 8 -- Brilliant, as usual. Arsenal's set up was suicidal and made life easy for Liverpool's attackers, and they ran riot. Took his goal beautifully, worked tirelessly to win the ball back and was generally just a menace.

Roberto Firmino got the scoring started when he converted on a straightforward header.

FW Roberto Firmino, 8 -- The Brazilian is the perfect foil for Liverpool's two speedy wide players as his intelligent movement and unselfish play drags defenders all over the place and creates space for his fellow forwards. Opened the scoring with a good header and was then involved in virtually every good thing Liverpool did.

FW Mohamed Salah, 8 -- He might miss a lot of chances but he's so dangerous with his speed and clever running that he never has to wait long for another one to come along. Could, probably should, have come away with a hat-trick but one goal and one assist is a more than acceptable afternoon's work.


FW Daniel Sturridge, NR -- It was the perfect situation to come into and he will have been delighted to open his account for the season with a routine header after an inch-perfect Salah cross.

MF James Milner, NR -- Somewhat unfortunate to have found himself on the bench to start this season but has looked good in the limited action he's had in midfield so far.

MF Marko Grujic, NR -- Given a late run out in midfield but didn't have much chance to make an impact.

Dave Usher is one of ESPN's Liverpool bloggers and the founder of LFC fanzine and website The Liverpool Way. Follow him on Twitter: @theliverpoolway.