Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
Walcott 31 Oxlade-Chamberlain 64 Chambers 75 Coutinho (45+1, 56) Lallana 49, Mane 63

It was not the start that Arsene Wenger or Arsenal had hoped for. The Gunners boss has called the Premier League a world championship of managers. After his first locking of horns with one of his adversaries, it was Jurgen Klopp’s side who triumphed in a high action, high drama affair at the Emirates stadium on Sunday. Theo Walcott had just missed a penalty after being bundled over by Alberto Moreno in the area. Moments later however, and the Arsenal number 14 was on target, putting his side in the lead. With the half time break approaching, Liverpool were awarded a free kick which the impressive Philippe Coutniho despatched into the far corner of Petr Cech’s net. The Gunners were then blitzed in a seven minute second half Reds’ burst as firstly Adam Lallana and then Coutniho again gave the visitors a 3-1 lead. With more than half an hour to go. Sadio Mane raced through to clip in an amazing fourth goal for Liverpool, as the Gunners looked shellshocked. There was a response however when substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain beat Simon Mignolet at his near post and when Calum Chambers rose to head in for a 4-3 scoreline, Arsenal were on the verge of completing an amazing comeback. Despite further pressure from the home side, that was not to happen however as the Reds regrouped and could have added to their lead. Boos rang out at the final whistle, as just like last season’s opener against West Ham, the Gunners had been beaten at home on the opening day of the new season.

Arsenal enjoyed a lively start and looked fit and full of inventive play in the north London sunshine. Alexis Sanchez found Aaron Ramsey, whose shot was well struck, but straight at Simon Mignolet, in a good passage of early pressure play from the home side.

Liverpool’s response was to get bodies behind the ball, but when they did muster their first attack of note, Nathaniel Clyne fired low at Petr Cech, following a neat build up from left to right. It would serve a sign of their intent.

The Gunners were without the bulk of their Euro 2016 players, except for Ramsey who seemed to have carried on from where her left of for Wales. Francis Coquelin’s cross found its way to Ramsey who was enjoying a commanding first half. But despite the ball getting trapped under his feet Ramsey managed to get a shot away which was deflected for a corner.

As his confidence began to grow, the former Wales captain then spotted Mignolet off his line, and tried an audacious chip from 40 yards which sailed over the Liverpool goal.

The visitors began to stir and the lively Roberto Firmino went close, and then saw his fizzing cross elude his team mates in the Arsenal area.

When Walcott was felled by Moreno, he duly received a yellow card, and Arsenal were awarded a penalty. To quizzical looks around the Emirates stadium, up stepped Walcott himself to take the spot kick. It wasn’t the best taken and Mignolet was able to save with ease, diving to his right. A poor penalty from Walcott, but within moments, Walcott was on hand to finish from a swift counter 1-0, and assist from Alex Iwobi.

Arsenal looked comfortable and could have been further ahead, but Georginio Wijnaldum saw a shot which Cech gathered as Liverpool sniffed a leveller. Then a tale of two free-kicks. Alexis Sanchez struck wide when well placed and when Rob Holding gave away a free kick in first half time added on, Coutinho struck a perfect shot which Cech was unable to get close to.

Deprived of first team centre backs, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny, Holding and Chambers looked at ease, until the former gave away that free kick. A second half blitz would then see the visitors storm into as stunning second half lead.

Arsenal were carved open, Wijnaldum crossed, the unmarked Lallana had time to chest the ball down and hit home. Soon afterwards, Liverpool had a two goal cushion. Once again they targeted the Gunners left hand side. Clyne powered in from right, to cross for Coutinho to tap in for a 3-1 lead.

Liverpool were rampant. Firmino teased a cross, which Coutinho forced Cech to save. Matters deteriorated for Arsenal as Iwobi and Ramsey were substituted due to injuries. On came Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla respectively, yet the brilliant Reds grabbed a fourth goal. Mane cut in from the right and struck a shot which saw Cech beaten.

There was still plenty of time left and Arsenal were still attacking. Oxlade-Chamberlain took matters into his own hand, by cutting in from the left and unleashing a shot, which beat Mignolet at his near post.

Wenger brought on Granit Xhaka for his first taste of Premier League football since his summer arrival. Coutinho had run himself ragged and was taken off due to severe cramp.

Arsenal weren’t in search of another goal! and Chambers rose to head in for an incredible 4-3 scoreline to the Reds. The game became stretched and as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Coquelin misunderstood each leaving the ball for the other, Wijnaldum fired wide, as Liverpool held on for all three points.

The loss was a bitter disappointment for Arsenal, and calls will be made for Wenger to arrest what many perceive as obvious and ongoing failings in his side. Correcting those with a quality defensive pairing and a quality striker, and Arsenal will be serious contenders for the title. After several defeats over recent seasons which could easily have been avoided, the trick is for Wenger to accept that analysis, and then allow his players the best opportunity to fulfil their evident potential.