Saka sinks troubled Liverpool as Arsenal regain top spot

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Mikel Arteta hailed Arsenal’s “character” as they returned to the top of the Premier League and plunged Liverpool into turmoil after Bukayo Saka’s double inspired a thrilling 3-2 win on Sunday.

Arteta’s side have emerged as title challengers and this hard-fought success at the Emirates Stadium was another significant statement of intent.

Saka put Arsenal back in front late in the first half, but although Roberto Firmino equalised after the interval, Saka’s nerveless penalty sealed Arsenal’s eighth win from their nine league matches.

“It’s great, especially the way we played and the atmosphere we generated. We deserved to win,” Arteta said after Arsenal moved one point clear of second placed Manchester City.

“We needed to hang in there. The connection, the way the unit worked, I was really happy with that. The team dealt with it with a lot of maturity and composure.”

Without a win in their last three league games, Jurgen Klopp’s men are languishing 14 points behind Arsenal in 10th place. 

“I saw a team with the right attitude and put in a proper fight, but in the second half I didn’t see these football moments as much,” Klopp insisted.

Klopp had already conceded it was unlikely they would win the title after such a disappointing start and few would disagree now.

“We don’t have to look yet at the table, but we know where we are. We are not top. We have to sort it and we will,” Klopp said.

Responding to Arteta’s plea to show “no fear”, Arsenal tore into Liverpool as they launched a blistering counter that gave them the lead after just 58 seconds.

– Sucker punch –

Diaz whipped over a superb low cross and Nunez slid in to flick his shot past Aaron Ramsdale from six yards.

Thiago Alcantara carelessly surrendered possession and Martinelli teased Jordan Henderson and Alexander-Arnold before sliding over a low cross that Saka gleefully converted from close-range.

The Brazilian was picked out by Diogo Jota’s inch-perfect pass and his sublime finish into the far corner matched the quality of the assist.

Saka infamously missed a crucial penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy, but he held his nerve with an emphatic finish. 

Originally published as Saka sinks troubled Liverpool as Arsenal regain top spot


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