Arsenal 4 Liverpool 1
( Bellerin 37, Ozil 40, Sanchez 45, Giroud 90+, Henderson 76, pen )

Not many teams rout Liverpool. Arsenal routed Liverpool in the most convincing of fashions at the Emirates stadium to send another warning signal to their Premier League rivals. The title race is not over, and if the Gunners keep on firing, things could get very interesting come the latter games of the season. Arsenal were simply brilliant! Hector Bellerin curled in a sublime opener. An in the mood Mesut Ozil delivered a delicious free kick to double the lead. With half time approaching, Alexis Sanchez won the ball before racing away, side stepping Kolo Toure before letting fly with a thumping shot which deceived Simon Mignolet. Jordan Henderson got Liverpool on the score board with a penalty awarded after Bellerin had clipped Raheem Sterling’s heels. Within the first few minutes of time added on however, Olivier Giroud finished off with a left footed strike adding deserved gloss to his and Arsenal’s afternoon. The Reds miserable afternoon was compounded when they were reduced to ten men with Emre Can receiving a second yellow card for scything through the back of substitute Danny Welbeck

The win takes Arsenal into second place in the Premier League – temporarily at least, leap frogging Manchester City, and now just four points behind leaders Chelsea who have two games in hand. Both City and Chelsea play later this week end.

The Gunners were urged to be ” at it,” from the off by Arsene Wenger who had suggested that his side’s post International break performances have seen levels dip due to the different demands of the Premier League. He needn’t have worried as roared on by an expectant Emirates’ faithful Arsenal delivered in the most ruthless of ways.

A mere 20 seconds on the clock saw Alexis gauge a sighter at goal which Mignolet was relived to see fly just wide of his post. The Belgian keeper would be the busier of the two on show and actually managed to keep the Gunners’ firepower spiked for much of the game. Looking at the 4-1 final scoreline perhaps and maybe that will not become immediately evident.

Cazorla tested Mignolet with a low shot which he managed to get a glove onto to scramble a save. Only five minutes had gone when Kolo Toure dallied on the ball. Aaron Ramsey nicked it to place a shot which had the beating of Mignolet, until another glove saved the ball, which was still loose. Cazorla raced in for the follow up, but found that Toure had recovered his ground to clear for a corner. The game was ticking over nicely for the Gunners and the mismatch of Per Merterscker defending against the pacy Sterling saw an interesting moment after 12 minutes, when the German pulled off a great recovery tackle on the England man.

But despite all Arsenal’s opening domination, it was Liverpool who should’ve been in front. Lazar Markovic sprinted out wide. The pass to Sterling was slightly in front of him, and with Ospina out of position, and a now facing a gaping goal, the Liverpool striker couldn’t connect.

Liverpool have been adjusting to their controversial three man defence, but with Martin Skrtel through suspension , Toure, Mamadou Sakho and Can struggled and would get little relief as Arsenal sensed goals. Before then, Philippe Coutinho unleashed just wide of Ospina’s upright and when Cazorla lost possession, Sterling saw another shot fly just wide of the post.

Then a lethal 8 minute Arsenal burst put the result beyond doubt. Ozil fed Ramsey on the left. He found Bellerin, who was allowed to turn inwards and run before placing a delicious left foot shot beyond Mignolet for the opener after 37 minutes. It was his second Premier League goal of the season. Three minutes later and Arsenal had a second. Ozil won a free kick twenty five yards out. The German was in consultation with Alexis and Cazorla over her would take it. Focused and with the goal in his sight, Ozil let fly with a curled beauty which nestled beyond Mignolet’s dive, kissing in off the post for a 2-0 scoreline.

Arsenal were rampant and were hungry for more. In first half time added on, Bellerin passed to Ramsey. Alexis took over and sidestepped Toure before powering an unstoppable shot in over Mignolet. The force of the ball and its pace proving too much for the Liverpool keeper.

Wenger was forced to bring on Gabriel for Laurent Koscielny who he later revealed had a slight thigh injury. The Brazil defender acquitted himself well alongside Mertersacker in defence.

Fresh from his March player of the month award, Giroud all strength and intelligent hold up play, responded with left footed first time shot just off target. After 54 minutes, his control from Ospina’s kick out, allowed him to feed Sanchez. Giroud took the return pass but just failed to connect with only Mignolet in front of him. Ozil was having the sort of game which Arsenal fans have long recognised he has in him, and his cross for Giroud’s towering header, saw Mignolet keep out another Gunners’ goal, by getting a palm to it.

Liverpool tried to get back in the game. Can produced a shot, which Ospina had to fully dive to push away for corner.

Just past the hour mark, Wenger brought on Mathieu Flamini for Ramsey and his fighting spirit would accompany that of Francis Coquelin who had another commanding midfield outing. Bellerin was shown a yellow card for impeding Sterling, and that avenue would bring Liverpool some joy later on.

With tired legs aplenty, Ozil was replaced by Welbeck, who looked lively for his brief outing. But first Liverpool scored from the penalty spot, after Bellerin had brought down Sterling. Jordan Henderson squeezed his spot kick just past Ospina, but it was his initial poor kick out which put his team in danger, and leadi to the penalty.

Arsenal still showed plenty in their neat football and when Giorud and Welbeck combined, the England man raced away, but hit off target from a tight angle.

Welbeck was enjoying his cameo role, and was too good for Can, slipping past the Reds number 23. As he began to drive forward however, referee Anthony Taylor brought play back after the earlier collision of Toure and Henderson. Sensing his pride had been hurt, Can sought misguided retribution on Welbeck, scything through the Gunners’ striker, earning a second yellow card as well as his marching orders.

Cazorla deserved a goal and almost got it after another neat passing team move, and a shot which clipped Mignolet’s post and away for a goal kick.

There would however be time for an Arsenal fourth goal in second half time added on. Alexis outpaced his marker, and sent the ball into Giroud who having gone past Toyre, finished clinically with a sweeping left footed drive to make it 4-1. There was still time for Welbeck to flash past Mignolet’s upright, as Arsenal produced a convincing performance which is seeing them begin to purr at just the right time.