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Arsenal: Disaster FOUR-seen!

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If there was such a thing as a tale of two unsubtle incongruities, this certainly was it! Enough kudos and laudations to the home team — Liverpool, for giving us every reason to adore the beautiful round-leather game. And on the other hand, heavy knocks to Arsenal for brazenly pestering both fans and neutrals alike with shameless display of footballing inanities. A shambolic display from a team, at best in a sorry state!

Both teams tweaked their line-ups with some unlikely starters — Liverpool opting for Loris Karius in goal and Danny Welbeck at the tip of the Arsenal attacking arrow, with Alexandre Lacazette having his butts on the cold bench.

The Gunners frontline of Alexis Sanchez and Welbeck combined early on in the 7th minute, but the Englishman fluffed the opportunity. Liverpool, however, quickly settled in, and Mohamed Salah could have put them in front in the 10th minute. Alberto Moreno and Roberto Firmino combined brilliantly to set up the Egyptian who had only Petr Cech in sight, but the Reds’ number 11 was unable to match his cogitation with his pace, as he hit smack dab at the Gunners’ goaltender.

Liverpool continued to boss the game, and their probing and throbbing eventually paid off in the 16th minute with Firmino nodding home off a Joe Gomez’s sublime cross.

The goal sprung Arsene Wenger’s lads to some form of life; with some ecliptic forays into the Reds’ vital area. But that was the best they could afford! Jaded and unenthusiastic, Arsenal’s general disposition was like flat soda to children, surprisingly uninspiring.

Jurgen Klopp’s troops looked exquisitely confident on the ball with some eloquent crisp passes — reminiscent of what a certain North London team usually exhibit.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Firmino and Sadio Mane continued to dismantle Arsene Wenger’s armoury with ease. Unchecked! Arsenal lacked leadership on the pitch — as they always have, since Titanic sank! Sanchez looked disorientated, Mesut Ozil uninterested (as he ignominiously was last time out against Stoke), Welbeck, all over the place like a chicken that just had its head severed from the body.

And as expected (from their dominance on the day), it was Klopp’s troops who fired a second shot in the 40th minute when the rampaging Mane took the Arsenal defense to the cleaners with a solo run in another counter-attacking irruption. Excitement for the Reds’ fans. Klopp as animated as ever! Arsenal completely dazed in the first half.

The second 45 minutes kicked off, with Wenger tinkering his formation and personnel with the introduction of Francis Coquelin for Aaron Ramsey — ostensibly to stop the bleeding!

But it was Liverpool still in the driver’s seat. And Salah should have scored in the 54th minute with a glorious chance. The Egyptian, however, who had been a ‘thief’ all day, stealing every ball from his opponent, ‘stole’ the ball again in a counter-attack move, and ran straight on like a mad bull running from its barbecue-merchant owner, and slotted past Cech. Arsenal deflated! Liverpool ecstatic!

Wenger, in a state of distrust apparently, sought solace in his French compatriots as he threw in Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette — with the hope for a ‘French revolution!’ Still there was no redemption for a Gunners’ show that was all over the show! Hector Bellerin saved Arsenal further embarrassment in the 59th minute when he cleared a goal-bound effort as Mane sought to rub salt on Arsenal’s gaping wound.

With the job almost done, Klopp could afford the luxury of replacing Mane with Daniel Sturridge in the 74th minute. It took just 3 minutes for the injury-prone Englishman to say Arsenal’s final prayers in the 77th minute as the striker headed home a sumptuous cross from the impressive Salah. Arsenal fully demolished! Penny 4 ya thoughts Wenger!

Last season, Liverpool had this unrivaled penchant for destroying the ‘big’ teams. Their display so far, a glaring reminder of their antecedent. Now they need to see all teams as big if they must fulfill their potential this time out.

For Arsenal, methinks the race for the title is over for Wenger and his boys even before crunch time.

Yes, again, penny 4 ya thoughts Wenger!

Liverpool Vs Arsenal (4:00pm) : Sunday, August 27, 2017

By Uche Atuma

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