Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal: Player ratings as the Reds dismantle the Gunners

Sadio Mane celebrates Liverpool's opening goal in a 4-0 romp against Arsenal
Sadio Mane celebrates Liverpool's opening goal in a 4-0 romp against Arsenal / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Liverpool delivered a decisive response to the end of their own unbeaten run by emphatically bringing Arsenal's undefeated sequence to a close with a crushing 4-0 romp on Saturday afternoon.

Arsenal actually managed to frustrate their prolific hosts with a compact 4-4-2 off the ball, narrowing the gaps between the lines as Liverpool dominated possession almost exclusively in front of the neon yellow shirts for much of the opening 20 minutes.

A touchline tete-a-tete between Jurgen Klopp and an uncharacteristically enraged Mikel Arteta only served to shift Liverpool's mounting attack up a gear. Aaron Ramsdale had already scrambled the ball off Sadio Mane's toes before juggling his own parry away from Mohamed Salah as the first half drew to a close.

Mane finally broke the deadlock from a brilliantly arced set piece delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 39th-minute, much to Klopp's excessive delight.

Arsenal continued to play out from the back amid Liverpool's feverish closing down after the interval. However, the sporadic turnovers which peppered the first half were ramped up by the Reds' fine tuning to their press during the break.

Liverpool had already thrice won the ball in Arsenal's defensive third within the opening exchanges of the second half before a combination of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander-Arnold and Salah funnelled Nuno Tavares infield. The buccaneering fullback tried to pass his way out of the cul-de-sac but teed up Diogo Jota, who left Ben White, then Ramsdale helplessly sprawled on the turf before doubling Liverpool's lead on 52 minutes.

Salah completed the set of goals for Liverpool's front three as the game approached its final 15 minutes, volleying Mane's square ball into an empty net after a brutally incisive move from the hosts which started all the way back with Alisson in goal.

Within a matter of seconds of his substitution, and just four minutes after their third, Takumi Minamino provided the finishing touch to another surgical sequence, concluding a commanding victory which takes Liverpool into second place.

Liverpool player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Kostas Tsimikas, Bukayo Saka
Kostas Tsimikas (left) tussling with Arsenal's Bukayo Saka / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Alisson (GK) - 6/10 - Very little to do.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 7/10 - A constant thorn in Arsenal's side from dead balls and open play.

Joel Matip (CB) - 5/10 - Stumbled a few times, much to the fear of the Anfield crowd.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - 7/10 - Repeatedly closed down by Bukayo Saka which limited his expansive passing range, but as imperious as ever off the ball.

Kostas Tsimikas (LB) - 6/10 - Provided little opportunity for Liverpool to actively miss the Andy Robertson.

2. Midfielders

Fabinho, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Fabinho (bottom) made a stunning intervention to halt an Arsenal counter led by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Thiago Alcantara (CM) - 7/10 - Floating around midfield while constantly scanning for chinks of light between the lines, Liverpool's audacious orchestrator often found those gaps.

Fabinho (CM) - 8/10 - Mopping up superbly behind the forward surges from almost every other teammate.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (CM) - 7/10 - Made a crucial intervention to keep the game goalless by hooking a leg around to block Bukayo Saka's header from close range and impressive throughout.

3. Forwards

Mohamed Salah (RW) - 8/10 - Finally got the goal his perennially penetrative performance warranted.

Diogo Jota (ST) - 8/10 - Against his favourite opponents, Jota showed remarkable composure when walking the ball into the net but might have had more.

Sadio Mane (LW) - 7/10 - Involved in the thick of the action both on and off the ball, a janky opening to the game will be immediately forgotten by his goal contributions.

4. Substitutes

Takumi Minamino (ST) - 8/10 - As instant impacts go, Klopp could hardly have asked for more.

Jordan Henderson (CM) - 6/10

Tyler Morton (CM) - N/A

Arsenal player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Mohamed Salah, Aaron Ramsdale
Aaron Ramsdale (bottom right) denied Mohamed Salah on multiple occasions / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Aaron Ramsdale (GK) - 7/10 - Arsenal hung into the first half by his fingertips but the perfectionist in him may be disappointed with how it all ended.

Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB) - 4/10 - Didn't shirk away from the battle with Mane but too often came out second best.

Ben White (CB) - 5/10 - Keen to stride forward through the swathes of Liverpool pressure with the ball at his feet with decidedly mixed results.

Gabriel (CB) - 5/10 - Caught out by a sensational delivery for Liverpool's opener but may have paid more attention to the prolific forward on his shoulder.

Nuno Tavares (LB) - 3/10 - An error-strewn performance that is one to forget for the 21-year-old.

6. Midfielders

Thiago Alcantara, Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey (right) was routinely bypassed by Liverpool's midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Thomas Partey (CM) - 4/10 - Failed to convey any sense of calm or control as Arsenal imploded in the second half.

Albert Sambi Lokonga (CM) - 4/10 - Increasingly swamped by the flood of red shirts materialising around him, Lokonga was a little harshly hooked within ten minutes of the restart.

Alexandre Lacazette (AM) - 4/10 - Skirting around the fringes of the contest before being replaced.

7. Forwards

Bukayo Saka, Thiago Alcantara, Kostas Tsimikas
Bukayo Saka sandwiched between Thiago Alcantara and Kostas Tsimikas / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Bukayo Saka (RW) - 6/10 - As ever, Arsenal's brightest spark on a damp squib of an evening to end their unbeaten run.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - 4/10 - Managed to fire off his first shot on target against Liverpool in his seventh Premier League meeting against the Reds but scarcely close to scoring.

Emile Smith Rowe (LW) - 5/10 - Spent more time defending then any flickers of attacking threat.

8. Substitutes

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (CM) - 5/10 - Scarcely brought an overarching sense of incision or control in midfield.

Martin Odegaard (AM) - N/A

Mohamed Elneny (CM) - N/A