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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019
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Liveblog

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As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail paul@the42.ie, tweet @the42_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

We’ll have the team news for you momentarily.

Here are the teams…

ARSENAL: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Can, Toure, Sakho, Allen, Lucas, Moreno, Henderson, Coutinho, Markovic, Sterling.

Brendan Rodgers calls Raheem Sterling a “very strong character” on BT Sport.

He adds that there was “never any thought of leaving him out”.

‘Arry Redknapp is on punditry duty for BT Sport today, and not everyone’s best pleased.

A lot of attention will be on this man today…

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Liverpool - Emirates Stadium Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

We’re underway…

1Mins

Good positive start by Arsenal.

Joe Allen is robbed of possession in a dangerous area, and Alexis Sanchez — who only has one goal in his last 12 appearances — shoots narrowly wide from distance.

2Mins

More pressure from Arsenal as Liverpool lose the ball in midfield.

The ball is worked across the box to Cazorla, who forces Migolet to dive to his right and make an excellent save.

5Mins

Ramsey bursts through on goal and Mignolet saves before it’s just about cleared away by the Liverpool defence.

This is an absolute onslaught already with just five minutes played.

6Mins

Liverpool seem to have made a tactical tweak already.

Jordan Henderson is occupying the right wing-back position, with Markovic moving into the centre alongside Allen and Lucas.

9Mins

Arsenal have had 74% possession so far.

That gives a vivid sense of just how dominant they’ve been in these early stages.

Still 0-0 though.

9Mins

Arsenal are playing a very high line at the moment and have Liverpool penned back.

However, as we saw in the Champions League against Monaco, the Gunners are prone to quick counter-attacks, with centre-back Per Mertesacker in particular lacking pace.

With someone as fast and talented as Sterling in attack, Liverpool certainly have every chance of hitting Arsenal on the break if they can get hold of the ball at all.

16Mins

Finally some pressure from Liverpool.

Henderson plays it to Sterling on the edge of the box, but the youngster’s cross is overhit and Arsenal clear eventually.

It’s been a very good game to watch so far.

18Mins

Great opportunity for Liverpool!

Markovic is played through on goal and he unselfishly tries to play it across to Sterling for a tap-in.

However, the Serbian international overhits his pass, and a big chance goes begging for Liverpool.

21Mins

Ramsey’s cross is straight at a defender and another Arsenal attack peters out.

The Gunners have been a little sub-par in recent minutes, following their lightning start.

As I type, Arsenal concede possession and Sterling drags a shot just wide from outside the box.

26Mins

The Arsenal defence is looking very unconvincing right now.

A ball in from Henderson — who is afforded far too much space — has just missed Sterling.

Liverpool controlling the game now, following their difficult start.

31Mins

37Mins

Hector Bellerin gets his second goal in Arsenal colours.

The full-back curls the ball beautifully into the net from a tight angle to give the Gunners the lead.

40Mins

Arsenal win a free kick on the edge of the box.

Ozil curls it beautifully into the net, but could Mignolet have done better?

The Belgian goalkeeper’s positioning wasn’t great, as he was beaten at his near post.

41Mins

A miscommunication at the back, as Toure clears for a corner despite Mignolet seemingly well placed to collect the ball.

That incident sums up the conspicuous sense of panic characterised in Liverpool’s backline play right now.

44Mins

Arsenal are running riot now.

Some great build-up play ends with Sanchez blasting the ball into the net from the edge of the box.

Again, it looks as if Mignolet could arguably have done better.

HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 3-0 LIVERPOOL

So are Liverpool’s Champions League hopes about to be extinguished?

Daniel Sturridge is currently warming up intensively for the Reds, but Liverpool will surely need a minor Istanbul-esque miracle to rescue this game.

It’s been a strange half, with Arsenal dominating the opening stages, before Liverpool had a good 15-minute spell.

Nevertheless, Wenger’s men have largely been the better team and deserve their comfortable lead.

However, as spectacular as Arsenal’s goals have been, Liverpool will feel all three efforts were preventable.

Moreno was beaten far too easily by Bellerin for the opener, while Mignolet arguably could have done better for the second and third goals.

Furthermore, sloppy passing in dangerous areas, coupled with some inept finishing down the other end, has compounded Liverpool’s problems.

The second half is underway…

48Mins

Can is booked for a nasty, mistimed tackle as signs of frustration begin to show for Liverpool.

Meanwhile, for Arsenal, Gabriel has replaced Laurent Koscielny, who had a slight achilles problem before the game, and so is presumably not being risked to play any longer.

53Mins

Sanchez plays a great ball through that both Sakho and then Giroud just miss.

This could get embarrassing for Liverpool, as they push forward looking for goals, as Arsenal look to exploit them on the counter-attack.

As I type, a cross is floated in, and Mignolet does well to parry away Giroud’s subsequent powerful header.

56Mins

A snap shot from the edge of the box by Can is well saved by Ospina.

This game has been played at an incredible pace that shows no sign of letting up.

62Mins

Decent instinctive effort by Coutinho from about 30 yards out that goes just wide.

Flamini has come on for Ramsey for Arsenal to give their defence more protection.

65Mins

Liverpool are really going for this now, while Arsenal appear content to sit back and soak up the pressure.

It looks like it’s going to be an interesting finish to this game.

As I type, Sterling goes down in the box, amid claims that Bellerin impeded him.

It would have been a soft one, if given, judging by replays.

69Mins

Danny Welbeck is now on for Arsenal — not a bad player to have the luxury of introducing.

Meanwhile, still no signs of a Liverpool comeback, with Arsenal looking relatively comfortable as we approach the final 15 minutes of this game.

75Mins

PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL!

75Mins

Sturridge beats his man and Bellerin clearly takes him down.

78Mins

It wasn’t the best of penalties from Jordan Henderson.

The keeper got a hand to it and perhaps should have kept it out, but Liverpool won’t care.

79Mins

Here’s a look at Henderson’s goal.

https://vine.co/v/OlHMntaexVT

81Mins

85Mins

Can gets a second yellow for a late tackle on Welbeck.

It’s stupid from the youngster, particularly as he knew he was already on a booking.

That surely ends Liverpool’s previously slim hopes of a draw,

86Mins

Michael Owen gives Alexis Sanchez the man-of-the-match award, acknowledging that it “hasn’t been his finest game for Arsenal,” but praises his “outstanding” work-rate.

You won’t be getting any complaints from us over that decision.

90Mins

Giroud is played through by Alexis Sanchez.

The striker beats his man and fires into the top corner to score his sixth consecutive Premier League goal.

FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 4-1 LIVERPOOL

“They’ll all be scrapping it out now to try and avoid the Europa League” – Harry Redknapp on what Liverpool have to look forward to.

Here’s what Giroud’s last-minute goal looked like.

https://vine.co/v/OlH1hIO9I1M

So that’s that. Arsenal march on while Liverpool’s Champions League hopes appear to be in tatters.

Arsenal ultimately secured a comfortable and deserved win thanks to a number of fine individual goals.

It doesn’t look great from the Anfield club’s perspective, however.

Brendan Rodgers may look back on a big chance at 0-0 as being the key moment, when Markovic found himself through on goal, but over-hit a pass to the onrushing Sterling.

In truth though, a 20-minute first-half spell aside, Arsenal were comfortably the superior team.

Liverpool undoubtedly made it easier for them however, with individual mistakes contributing to each of the goals.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll have plenty more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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