Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal: player ratings, heroes and villains as Reds cruise to commanding win

Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino were all on target at Anfield.

Liverpool emphatically bounced back to winning ways in the Premier League by putting Arsenal to the sword at Anfield.

The Reds were rampant in the second half and cruised to a 4-0 victory against the Gunners.

After a cagey opening, the deadlock was finally broken when Sadio Mane headed home in the 39th minute.

And Liverpool got their rewards for starting the second period on the front foot when Diogo Jota doubled their lead on 52 minutes.

Mo Salah got the goal he was desperate for when he was teed-up by Mane and finished into an empty net with 17 minutes remaining.

Then only seconds after coming on, Takumi Minamino put the gloss on the win with a tap-in in the 77th minute.

The heroes

- Sadio Mane: a coming together with Takehiro Tomiyasu, which resulted in Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta going at it in the technical area, really sparked Mane into life. He was pepped up and showed superb composure to head home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick. Is there a more under-rated aerial threat in the Premier League? Perhaps not.

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Arsenal. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Sadio Mane celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Arsenal. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Sadio Mane celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Arsenal. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

- Diogo Jota: what composure the Portuguese displayed to double the lead. Jota jinked past an Arsenal defender before leaving visiting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale on the turf and finishing into an empty net. A superb goal.

- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: every touch the midfielder took, he was booed by the fans of his former club. Did he care? Not in the slightest. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performances have been up and down this season but he was excellent against Arsenal. He provided the energy and thrust in midfield and almost grabbed himself a goal.

The villains

- Nuno Tavares: the Arsenal left-back was caught out on the ball when his side were trying to play out from the back which Jota fully profited from. Then played a poor pass later in the half that Mane got to, but, luckily, his pass to Mo Salah was poor.

- Mikel Arteta: so much was made about Arsenal’s 10-match unbeaten run ahead of kick-off. However, Arteta came spinning back down to reality as he was completely outwitted. The Gunners are still a long way off a title challenge. His touchline antics when the scoreline was goalless also backfired as it lifted the Anfield crowd.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta dejected. Picture: Clive Brunskill/ Getty Images
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta dejected. Picture: Clive Brunskill/ Getty Images
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta dejected. Picture: Clive Brunskill/ Getty Images

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: the Gunners skipper scarcely did anything all game. In the rare incident he broke through on goal, Aubameyang’s effort lacked conviction and Liverpool keeper Alisson made the save.

Player ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 7, Alexander-Arnold 8, Matip 7, Van Dijk 7, Tsimikas 7, Fabinho 8, Thiago 7 (Morton 84), Oxlade-Chamberlain 8 (Henderson 76; 6), Mane 8, Salah 8, Jota 8 (Minamino 76; 7).

Arsenal (4-4-2): Ramsdale 7, Tomiyasu 4, Gabriel 4, White 4, Tavares 3, Partey 5 (Elneny 84), Lokonga 4, Saka 5, Smith Rowe 6, Lacazette 5 (Odegaard 67; 5), Aubameyang 4.

What’s Liverpool’s next game?

The Reds return to action in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Klopp’s troops welcome Porto to Anfield, having already topped Group B with two games remaining to move into the last 16 of the competiton.