Three goals in eight minutes secured a well-fought, crucial win for the Gunners.
We started brightly with a spell of early pressure; all over the pitch we were hunting in twos or threes to win every ball back and regain possession.
Liverpool couldn’t deal with our movement and were repeatedly conceding possession in dangerous areas, right on the edge of their box at times, and Simon Mignolet was forced to make two great saves in opening minutes.
However, our high defensive line resulted in our defence getting caught out by a few decent through-balls and we were reminded that this was indeed still Arsenal we were watching. For a significant period in the first half, our defence appeared shaky and not quite as organised as usual.
Thankfully, this spell of uncertainty soon came to an end towards the close of the first half, when we scored three blinding goals in quick succession, leaving Liverpool stunned and simply unable to come back despite getting a penalty in the second half.
Our passing throughout was short, fast and accurate – an aspect of our game that, on our day, very few teams can beat us at.
Saturday was our day.
David Ospina 7
He didn’t have a huge amount to do. However, he could have done a lot better for the Liverpool penalty; he got a hand to it and really should’ve pushed it out.
Hector Bellerin 9
The confidence he has going forward now is brilliant to see and what a finish. Any striker would be proud of that goal – the fact that he’s a decent rightback and can score like that is just an added bonus. Lucky to avoid a second yellow when he conceded the penalty, but he’s young.
Per Mertesacker 8
He seemed a little edgy and a tad sloppy in a couple of his clearances. However, I’m sure this was just down to being rusty and I’m not worried.
Laurent Koscielny 7
He seemed a little ‘off’ today. He got dragged around too easily, which isn’t the Kos we’re used to. He was subbed off early in the second half though, so perhaps he just wasn’t feeling it today due to a small injury or knock he was carrying.
Nacho Monreal 9
It’s rare that Monreal has a sub-par game now and Saturday was one of his best. Such a solid performance and he dealt with Daniel Sturridge with ease. Also made a few superb clearances.
Francis Coquelin 9
He never stops working to get the ball. His interceptions in vital areas are crucial and he made at least three in the first half alone.
Santi Cazorla 9
What else is there to say about Cazorla? Beautiful passing and moving throughout; would’ve loved for that goal that bounced off the post to have gone in for him.
Aaron Ramsey 8
Back to his best as an assist machine. He was everywhere at once and always trying to cross the ball into the box to create a goal, even if it didn’t quite come off every single time. Hopefully he’s not seriously injured and he can carry on improving on the pitch.
Mesut Ozil 8
Ironically, he was a little sloppy today. However, despite this, he had his usual moments of sheer brilliance and a fantastic goal scored from a freekick to boot. His diagonal pass out right to Ramsey, which led to Bellerin’s goal, was sensational.
Alexis Sanchez 9
The energy this guy has is unreal. I knew we were in for a good game from him when he made that stunning long pass across the pitch to Mesut Ozil, which Ozil unfortunately couldn’t bring down and control.
He just never stops; I’m so happy he got a smashing goal to show for it.
Olivier Giroud 9
He started relatively quietly on Saturday. However, he warmed into the match quickly and worked his derrière off to get his stoppage time goal. A superb strike which he made look easy.
Solid, disciplined and controlled.
Mathieu Flamini 6
Came on the pitch and instantly gave away a foul. However, he did seem to calm down a little and remained reasonably solid.
Danny Welbeck 7
He’s good at nicking the ball and intercepting high up pitch, while simultaneously annoying the opposition defence and inviting them to kick him, which Emre Can did and got sent off. He could still pass earlier, though.