Liverpool beat Arsenal 2-0 to reignite Premier League race

AP , Thursday 17 Mar 2022

Liverpool reignited the Premier League title race and came within a point of the top spot with a 2-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday after scoring two second-half goals to extend their winning streak to nine games.

Mohamed Salah
Liverpool s Mohamed Salah, right, and Arsenal s Thomas Partey battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium in London, Wednesday, March 16, 2022 (AP)

Diogo Jota and substitute Roberto Firminho found the net within eight minutes of each other after a flat first-half performance from the visitors at Emirates Stadium.

Liverpool now has 69 points, one behind Manchester City, which slipped up with a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace on Monday. If Liverpool can win its remaining nine matches, including against City on April 10, the Reds will win the league.

Jota beat Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the near post in the 54th minute after the Liverpool forward latched onto a throughball from midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Ramsdale got a hand to Jota's shot, but the keeper should have done better to keep the ball out.

The goal sparked wild celebrations in the away end as the Liverpool players ran over to their fans in the corner. That was Jota's last action on the field as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made a double substitution, bringing on Mohamed Salah, who had recovered from a foot injury, and Firmino.

It didn't take long for Firmino to repay his manager's faith. Left back Andy Robertson drove to the byline before cutting it back for the Brazilian, who flicked the ball past Ramsdale for Liverpool's second in the 62nd.

Firmino jumped over the advertising boards and was hugged by the ecstatic Liverpool fans.

Before the goals, Arsenal's defense had largely been alert to the Liverpool threat. But the Gunners failed to capitalize on their energetic first-half performance.

Arsenal worked both flanks in the opening interval, trying to get the ball quickly up the field to forwards Gabriel Martinelli on the left and Bukayo Saka on the right. But the final ball let the Gunners down time and time again.

Martinelli made a fine run down the left in the 15th minute and stormed past right back Trent Alexander-Arnold before delivering a low cross that nearly found striker Alexandre Lacazette. But Robertson did well to clear the danger for Liverpool.

Martinelli nearly pulled back a goal for Arsenal in the 88th, but his rolling shot just missed squeezing in at the far post.

The result ended Arsenal's five-game winning streak, with the Gunners remaining in fourth place with 51 points. They are a point ahead of Manchester United, but Arsenal has two games in hand.

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