It was the first meeting this season from old foes and current first & second spot holders in the league. Liverpool FC came visiting to the Emirates stadium last night and Arsenal had a point to prove to their doubters after two back to back defeats at home – to Dortmund in the Champions League and to Chelsea in midweek in the League Cup. Arsenal showed resilience and quality to maintain their fine start to the season and stretch their advantage after Chelsea’s surprise loss at Newcastle United. But it was Liverpool who started things of brighter and took the game to the Gunners in the opening few minutes. Arsenal stemmed the flow and started attacking themselves.
Santi Cazorla gave Arsenal the lead with a fine first-half strike after his header struck the post and Aaron Ramsey scored his 10th goal of this campaign with a spectacular long-range effort on the hour. Captain Mikel Arteta gave a midfield masterclass in which he overshadowed his Liverpool counterparts to set the platform for a vital win that gave the club 3 points and a healthy 5 point lead over Liverpool at the top of the league standings. Arsenal were without the injured Jack Wilshere but there was still more than enough ability on display in both sides to make the first 45 minutes a thrilling spectacle. Arsenal, who were just finding their feet, took the lead after 19 minutes with a goal that was a tribute to Cazorla’s balance and technique. He recovered his position brilliantly to volley past Mignolet after hitting the woodwork with a header.
Liverpool might feel that they were denied an equalizer when referee pulled them back after a very quickly taken freekick after Bacary Sagna had fouled Luiz Suarez. Arsenal created more moments of danger as Olivier Giroud failed to profit from ex-Gunners defender Kolo Toure’s misplaced pass, then poked a shot straight at the keeper. After 59 minutes Ramsey made Liverpool pay for offering up time and space 25 yards out by finishing spectacularly high past Mignolet with the outside of his right foot. Mesut Ozil almost added a third as Arsenal ended in comfort. And this was a performance that will have increased Wenger and Arsenal’s confidence that they can maintain a serious challenge this season.