Arsenal cut Liverpool's Premier League lead to two points after a hard-fought victory at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal suffered their second league defeat this season, their first since a controversial loss at Tottenham in late September. The Gunners had a lightning start, with Bukayo Saka giving them a 14th-minute lead after Alisson saved from Kai Havertz. However, Liverpool dominated proceedings, and Gabriel Martinelli scored the goals that secured three crucial points.

Liverpool carried more momentum after the interval, with Alexis Mac Allister going close twice and Curtis Jones just off target. The Gunners were the next beneficiaries of a calamitous error, this time between Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, which saw them restore their lead after 67 minutes. Alisson rushed from his goal and kicked fresh air as Van Dijk tried to deal with a long clearance, leaving Gabriel Martinelli with the simplest of finishes into an empty net.

Liverpool's misery was compounded in the closing stages when defender Ibrahima Konate was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Havertz, before substitute Leandro Trossard added a third in stoppage time, with Alisson once again at fault as he allowed a routine near-post shot through his legs.

Arsenal showed great character to gather themselves and reassert their authority, resulting in a win that will send belief surging through Arteta and his players. This victory was the perfect response to their recent FA Cup third-round loss to Liverpool, when they paid the price for missing a succession of chances.

After a win at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, the Gunners have been in the heart of the Premier League title race. At the heart of this win was the exciting Martinelli, a constant threat to Liverpool as well as a goalscorer, while Declan Rice was imperious in midfield.

Liverpool did not deserve anything from this display, as their off-colour nature summed up by the manner of the two goals that gave Arsenal a victory they fully merited. Liverpool have coped superbly with the absence of Mohamed Salah, but they failed to mount the traditional surge that has been their trademark. There is no need to panic for the Reds, who are still clear at the top of the table, but there will be real disappointment that they delivered such a poor performance in a game where they could have killed off Arsenal's title challenge.


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