There are some days that remind you why we love football.
Days when the torture of watching Arsenal all becomes worth it.
Saturday was one of those days.
I don’t think I was alone in expecting Arsenal to deploy ‘Plan Manchester City’ for Liverpool’s visit but instead they went at them from the off and fashioned their first chance after just 22 seconds.
For the first 15 minutes, only two great saves from Simon Mignolet kept Liverpool in the game but after dominating the opening period, Arsenal dropped off and were lucky not to find themselves one down.
So very Arsenal.
It was Hector Bellerin who opened the scoring with a drop of the shoulder and a beautifully curved left-foot shot. His second of the season and the standard was set for the goals Arsenal would produce.
An eight minute blast destroyed Liverpool and put Arsenal out of reach, Mesut Ozil’s free-kick the pick of the bunch no matter what Steve McManaman says about it being poor keeping. Alexis Sanchez broke his mini-goal drought with another superb effort from distance just moments later.
It was 3-0 and the game was over before the 45 was up.
The second half saw a more conservative approach from Arsenal as they showed they have learned from previous capitulations as Liverpool were reduced to long-range efforts before Anthony Taylor handed them the flimsiest of lifelines with a penalty.
Hector Bellerin can perhaps consider himself lucky to have remained on the pitch after he fouled Sterling, who also made sure by diving. Henderson’s penalty was poor but Ospina’s weak hand couldn’t keep it from crossing the line.
Unlike in previous games, however, there was no sign that Arsenal would throw this away and when Emre Can was dismissed for his second yellow after coming through the back of Danny Welbeck, the game was finished.
All that was left was for Olivier Giroud to pick up his customary goal and he duly obliged as the clock ticked over into injury time with a thumping effort that gave Mignolet, who had previsouly denied the Frenchman from close range at a corner, no chance.
The win moves Arsenal into second and with Liverpool in fifth place some nine points adrift of the Gunners, Champions League football looks all-but secured for another season.
What a way to start the weekend!