Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool: Jota and Firmino fire Liverpool to within a point of Manchester City

By Sports Desk March 16, 2022

Liverpool moved just one point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race after beating Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Second half goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino were enough to seal victory for Jurgen Klopp's men, who avoided some scares before taking control just before the hour.

Mohamed Salah started the game on the bench after picking up a slight foot injury in Saturday's 2-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, with Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz and Jota making up the Reds' forward line.

Mikel Arteta will be unhappy with the result but his side remain in fourth place, a point ahead of Manchester United with two games still in hand, while Liverpool are now breathing down City's neck at the top.

Virgil van Dijk had Aaron Ramsdale working early as he headed a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner towards goal, but the Arsenal goalkeeper was able to palm it away.

The Gunners had the better of the first half without really creating any chances, though Gabriel Martinelli in particular was troubling Liverpool down the hosts' left side.

Sadio Mane had the ball in the net early in the second half though it was ruled out for offside, before sloppy play from Thiago gave Martin Odegaard the chance to score, but Alisson made a fantastic save to deny the Norwegian.

Thiago made up for that mistake shortly after with a tremendous throughball for Jota, whose left-foot shot squirmed past Ramsdale at his near post to give the visitors a 54th-minute lead.

Klopp decided to make two changes immediately after with Jota and Luis Diaz coming off for Salah and Firmino, and it was the latter who doubled the lead just after the hour mark, with the Brazilian flicking an Andy Robertson cross into the net from close range.

What does it mean? Imperious Liverpool giving us a title race

If we're honest, most people thought it was over. Man City were 14 points clear at the top just a few weeks ago, albeit Liverpool had two games in hand at the time.

Now, after 29 games each, the Reds sit just a point behind Pep Guardiola's side, and will go top for at least a brief period if they avoid defeat to Watford at Anfield in their next league game.

Liverpool have now won their last nine Premier League games, scoring 23 goals and conceding just two in this run. Away from home, the Reds have only failed to win five of their 15 league trips this season (D3 L2).

Jota the slotter downs Gunners again

Some players have better records against some teams than others. Robbie Fowler had a great record against Arsenal, Roberto Firmino has a very good record against Arsenal, and Diogo Jota has an outstanding record against *checks notes*… Arsenal.

The Portugal international has scored six goals in last five appearances against the north London side in all competitions. Indeed, only Jamie Vardy (five) has netted as many goals at the Emirates Stadium as a visitor than Jota.

Arsenal's woeful Reds record continues

The hosts were more than a match for Liverpool in the first half, but just could not find that extra bit of quality to ensure the score matched their efforts, similarly to how they lost to Man City at home earlier in the season having played well.

Arsenal have now won just one of their last 19 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (D8 L10), beating them 2-1 at home in July 2020 after Klopp's men had already been crowned champions.

What's next?

Arsenal travel to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday while it's FA Cup quarter-final action for Liverpool as they head to Nottingham Forest – who knocked the Gunners out in the third round – on Sunday.

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