LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool handed Arsenal a harsh reality check Saturday by tearing through the Gunners in the second half for a 4-0 win in the Premier League.
A resurgent Arsenal side had the chance to climb above Liverpool in the standings with a win, but Juergen Klopp’s side gave the visitors a reminder that there is still a big gulf in class between the teams.
Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season had ended at West Ham before the international break but the Reds looked back to their best at Anfield.
Sadio Mane scored the opener in the first half and Liverpool then dismantled Mikel Arteta’s side after the break, with Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and substitute Takumi Minamino running up the scoreline.
Arteta got into a heated shouting match with Klopp on the touchline when the game was still scoreless, and the incident seemed to spark both the Anfield crowd and Liverpool’s players.
Arsenal was on a 10-match unbeaten streak but goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had already needed to make several good saves before Mane nodded home Alexander-Arnold’s free kick in the 39th minute, having been left unmarked in the six-yard area.
Liverpool started the second half at a furious pace and former Arsenal player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a chance to double the lead when the influential Fabinho intercepted Bukayo Saka’s pass, but the midfielder steered a shot wide of the post.
Arsenal kept turning the ball over and Nuno Tavares gifted Liverpool the second goal when he gifted a pass straight to Jota who showed real composure to side-step Ramsdale and score into an empty net.
Arsenal kept being pinned back and the third goal came 17 minutes from time when Mane burst down the left to cross for Salah to volley home his 16th of the campaign, before Minamino scored his first Anfield goal just 48 seconds after replacing Jota.
The win lifted Liverpool provisionally into second place, four points behind leader Chelsea. Arsenal remained fifth.