Liverpool preserved their 100% start to the Premier League season as Mohamed Salah scored twice to add to Joel Matip’s first-half header in a dominant performance at Anfield in a 3-1 win over Arsenal. The Gunners, the only other side in the top flight to win their first two games, had opportunities to shock Liverpool in a tight first half, especially when record £72m signing Nicolas Pepe shot straight at keeper Adrian after running clear. Liverpool took control when Matip put them ahead with a powerful header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner four minutes before the interval.
And any hopes manager Unai Emery had of watching his side mount a recovery were snuffed out in the 49th minute after a moment of madness from new signing David Luiz, who needlessly dragged Salah back in the area. Liverpool’s Egyptian attacker drilled home the penalty and then embarrassed Luiz again out on the touchline at the start of a dazzling run that ended with a low, curling finish into the bottom corner just before the hour. Arsenal substitute Lucas Torreira pulled one back late on, but nothing was getting in the way of Liverpool’s 12th successive league victory, equalling their best sequence in the top flight under Kenny Dalglish between April and October 1990.
Arsenal have suffered badly here in recent seasons, losing 5-1 last season and 4-0 in Arsene Wenger’s final season. Once again, despite taking their time to hit top gear, Liverpool’s ruthlessness and intensity simply proved too much for Arsenal. Luiz has a track record of success that suggests he may be able to bring moments of quality to Arsenal’s defence after his surprise £8m move from Chelsea – but there is no escaping he has the enduring capability to be a complete liability. Arsenal have now failed to win any of their past 23 away league games against fellow ‘Big six’ sides (D8 L15) – during this run they have conceded 53 goals while keeping just one clean sheet.