Arsenal were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool in a dire defensive display on Sunday.
After Arsenal’s match against Stoke the previous weekend, the Gunners needed a good performance to put things right at Anfield, where they faced Liverpool on Sunday.
Arsenal made a couple of surprising changes for the match, with Sead Kolašinac being dropped so that Oxlade-Chamberlain could start, and Alexis Sanchez taking Lacazette’s place in the line-up, rather than Welbeck’s as was expected. Laurent Koscielny also rejoined the eleven after completing his suspension.
The first real chance fell to Liverpool, after Koscielny misjudged a header and Emre Can headed wide from the resulting attack. However, Arsenal quickly had a chance of their own, after Ramsey won the ball in midfield, starting a counter attack which ended in Welbeck missing the target after being played in by Alexis.
Liverpool continued to threaten offensively, and when Mohamed Salah looked certain to score Petr Čech had to be at his very best to deny him. Such was the quality of Emre Can’s pass that Salah perhaps should’ve done better.
Alexis Sanchez looked lively during the opening exchanges, but couldn’t quite create a chance to break the deadlock. On the other side, Oxlade-Chamberlain seemed to be doing no more than the bare minimum defensively.
Arsenal’s lack of effort defensively didn’t take long to cost them, as Gomez got free on the other side and put in a good ball which Roberto Firmino attacked and headed down into the Arsenal net to make it 1-0 after just 16 minutes.
In the following 5 minutes the Gunners didn’t look any better, conceding another big chance that Jordan Henderson couldn’t score from a one-on-one position. At the other end, Karius looked just as uncertain, but Arsenal couldn’t take advantage.
Players from both sides went into the referees book, with Dejan Lovren, Danny Welbeck and Joe Gomez all picking up yellows in the space of three minutes.
Salah then had the ball in the net again for Liverpool, but it was ruled out as he was clearly offside. But although the chances started to die down, Liverpool continued to create more than Arsenal, with Mané volleying wide. Alexis then scored an offside goal of his own, in the only chance the Gunners did create.
But it wasn’t the sign of anything to come, as the Gunners went from bad to worse, giving the ball away and being easily countered, with Roberto Firmino playing in Sadio Mané, who curled in a finish for 2-0 in the 40th minute.
With that it was half-time, and Arsène had clearly seen enough, taking off Aaron Ramsey, who was invisible defensively, for Francis Coquelin during the break. That wasn’t the only change, as Arsenal switched formation to a back-four, with Monreal and Hector Bellerín moving to the full-back positions.
The early signs were good, with Arsenal creating a couple of half-chances, but the defensive lethargy was still present, with Monreal caught on the ball to create another good chance for Salah. Bellerín then did exactly the same thing from an Arsenal corner, and this time Salah took advantage, with a free run through the entire Arsenal half to score and make it 3-0.
Still without a single shot on target, Arsenal made two more changes, bringing on Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud for Alexis Sanchez and Oxlade-Chamberlain in a desperate attempt to save the game.
But besides a half-chance for Lacazette, Liverpool continued to dominate, and didn’t look under any threat whatsoever from Arsenal. As a result, they added their fourth goal, as Salah found Sturridge with a quality cross to make it 4-0.
Salah had a chance to add to Arsenal’s misery late on, but 4-0 was enough.
An absolute disaster.