Premier League

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Champions fight back to maintain perfect start

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Anfield
Diogo Jota celebrates with team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho
Former Wolves forward Diogo Jota is the 13th player to score on his Premier League debut for Liverpool

Liverpool's new £45m signing Diogo Jota grabbed a home debut goal as the champions demonstrated their determination to retain an iron grip on their Premier League crown by coming from behind to record an impressive victory against Arsenal at Anfield.

The Gunners, who had won their opening two league games, went ahead after 25 minutes when Alexandre Lacazette took advantage of Andrew Robertson's error to bundle a close-range finish past Alisson but ended well beaten.

Liverpool, who maintained their 100% start to the season and moved second behind Leicester City, responded instantly as man-of-the-match Sadio Mane, who was perhaps fortunate when a high arm into the face of Kieran Tierney was only punished with a yellow card early on, pounced two minutes later after Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno could only push out Mohamed Salah's shot.

And Liverpool went ahead before half-time when Robertson atoned for his earlier error by getting on the end of Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross to beat Leno.

Liverpool were far superior but Arsenal will rue a great chance missed by Lacazette, who shot tamely at Alisson when he was clean through with the score 2-1 and their night was complete when Jota, making his Anfield bow following his move from Wolves, shot low past Leno from the edge of the area.

Liverpool already looking ominous

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises new signing Diogo Jota after home debut goal

Liverpool's response to Arsenal taking the lead sent a powerful message to anyone with hopes of challenging Jurgen Klopp's side for the Premier League title this season.

In contrast to the collapse we saw from Manchester City once Leicester City took control at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Liverpool simply went through even higher gears after Lacazette pounced to give the Gunners the lead.

Led by the irrepressible Mane, Liverpool were back on terms within two minutes and a tidal wave of attacks saw them ahead by the interval.

Mane is the star of the show at Liverpool at the moment, outshining even Salah with his potent mixture of pace, work-rate and goal threat.

The attacker may have rode his luck early on, however, when he caught Tierney full on with that raised arm and might have been very relieved to only see the yellow card produced by referee Craig Pawson.

Liverpool's squad strength was also on display, with new signing Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson missing through injury, they coped impressively and the icing on the cake was provided by Jota's lively late cameo, in which he missed a great chance, had one taken off him by Salah and then scored in a moment which clearly delighted Klopp on the sidelines.

The challengers will have hopes of depriving Liverpool of a second successive title - but on this evidence it will take some doing.

Arsenal still a work in progress

Mikel Arteta admits Gunners were outclassed by Liverpool

Arsenal have plenty of reasons for optimism under Mikel Arteta, fuelled by last season's FA Cup win and a good start to this term.

This, however, was an illustration of just how far they have got to go and why it is perfectly understandable Arteta is not getting carried away and stressing just how much rebuilding still needs to be done.

Arsenal flirted with danger as they knocked the ball around at the back in the face of Liverpool's high press, not helped by the lack of quality on the ball when they did work it into midfield.

On the other side, however, they were right in this game until the closing moments and should have scored when Lacazette raced clear only to send a weak finish at Alisson with the score 2-1.

Arsenal return here on Thursday hoping to do better in the Carabao Cup at the start of a run of games that will provide further tests for Arteta, with visits to Manchester City and Manchester United and a home game against table-topping Leicester City.

'They are superior to us in many aspects' - what the managers said

Liverpool manager Klopp told BBC Sport: "I'm completely happy with our performance. We played good football, we were flexible, we mixed it up.

"I'm really pleased for Diogo Jota. Top, top guy. It's so difficult to improve a team like ours. He's been on my list for two or three years, he's here now."

On joining Leicester and Everton on nine points, he added: "[Everton manager] Carlo Ancelotti did super business. I'm not at all surprised. Leicester is Leicester. They play some good football. Who cares in this moment who is up there? It's just the start."

Arsenal boss Arteta said: "We were in it for a big part of the game. The reality is they are superior to us in many aspects. You could see that in some phases.

"I'm really happy in the way the team competed and kept believing. This is the standard we have to reach. We are on a different journey. They've been together five years, we've had a few months. We have a long way to go in many things."

Arteta's Arsenal letting points slip - the stats

  • Liverpool have won their last five home league games against Arsenal, their longest run against them since a run of seven between 1981-1988.
  • Since Arteta's first game in charge in December 2019, Arsenal have dropped more points from winning positions than any Premier League side (18).
  • There have been 166 goals scored in Premier League meetings between Arsenal and Liverpool, at least seven more than any other fixture in the competition.
  • Liverpool had 21 shots against Arsenal, taking their total in their three games this season to 61 - at least 17 more than any other side.
  • Robertson has scored or assisted a goal in seven of his last eight Premier League games for Liverpool.
  • Mane has scored in four of his five home league games against Arsenal for Liverpool.

What's next?

Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield once again in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Thursday (19:45 BST).

Arsenal then host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday (14:00) and Liverpool travel to face Aston Villa later that day (19:15).

Player of the match

ManéSadio Mané

with an average of 8.20


  1. Squad number10Player nameMané
    Average rating


  2. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating


  3. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Jota
    Average rating


  4. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating


  5. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating


  6. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating


  7. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
    Average rating


  8. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating


  9. Squad number12Player nameGomez
    Average rating


  10. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating


  11. Squad number8Player nameKeita
    Average rating


  12. Squad number5Player nameWijnaldum
    Average rating


  13. Squad number7Player nameMilner
    Average rating


  14. Squad number18Player nameMinamino
    Average rating



  1. Squad number8Player nameDani Ceballos
    Average rating


  2. Squad number3Player nameTierney
    Average rating


  3. Squad number1Player nameLeno
    Average rating


  4. Squad number9Player nameLacazette
    Average rating


  5. Squad number16Player nameHolding
    Average rating


  6. Squad number25Player nameMohamed Elneny
    Average rating


  7. Squad number23Player nameDavid Luiz
    Average rating


  8. Squad number15Player nameMaitland-Niles
    Average rating


  9. Squad number2Player nameBellerín
    Average rating


  10. Squad number12Player nameWillian
    Average rating


  11. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating


  12. Squad number30Player nameNketiah
    Average rating


  13. Squad number14Player nameAubameyang
    Average rating


  14. Squad number19Player namePépé
    Average rating




Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-ArnoldBooked at 49mins
  • 12Gomez
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 8KeitaSubstituted forMilnerat 79'minutes
  • 3Fabinho
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forMinaminoat 90+1'minutes
  • 10ManéBooked at 3minsSubstituted forJotaat 80'minutes


  • 7Milner
  • 13Adrián
  • 17Jones
  • 18Minamino
  • 20Jota
  • 27Origi
  • 76N Williams


Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Leno
  • 16Holding
  • 23David Luiz
  • 3Tierney
  • 2BellerínBooked at 68mins
  • 25Elneny
  • 34XhakaSubstituted forCeballosat 60'minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 12WillianSubstituted forPépéat 68'minutes
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forNketiahat 74'minutes
  • 14Aubameyang


  • 6Gabriel
  • 7Saka
  • 8Ceballos
  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 19Pépé
  • 30Nketiah
  • 31Kolasinac
Craig Pawson

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 3, Arsenal 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 3, Arsenal 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by James Milner.

  4. Post update

    Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Takumi Minamino replaces Roberto Firmino.

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 3, Arsenal 1. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Rob Holding.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Kieran Tierney tries a through ball, but David Luiz is caught offside.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mohamed Salah with a through ball.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Diogo Jota replaces Sadio Mané.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Naby Keita.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).

  17. Post update

    Bernd Leno (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah replaces Alexandre Lacazette.

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