Liverpool brush past Arsenal
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: as it happened
Peeep peeep peeeep! 3-1 it ends. Arsenal competed well in the first half and, before Joel Matip's opener for Liverpool, had more than one chance to take the lead. However, once the hosts got themselves in front they took complete control, two second-half goals by Mohamed Salah ensuring that, despite Lucas Torreira's late strike for the Gunners, Jürgen Klopp's men secured a club-record 12th straight Premier League win. With nine points from a possible nine so far this season, Liverpool stay top of the table; with four defeats from their last four visits, Arsenal's poor Anfield run goes on.
Arsenal win a free-kick that is just about in shooting range, with Luiz and Pépé standing over it. Can they set up a grandstand final 60 seconds? No, no they cannot. Luiz slaps it comfortably over the crossbar.
Adam Lallana came on for Firmino a few minutes ago, I neglected to tell you.
Four minutes of time added on.
Maitland-Niles flights a cross over to the back post, where just for a moment Lacazette looks like he might have a shooting chance. A second goal now would really put the cat among the pigeons... but his touch isn't on the money, and the chance is lost. The Frenchman is left appealing for a handball, but a VAR check says nothing doing.
Guendouzi is off, replaced by Mkhitaryan.
Arsenal pull one back! Aubemeyang cuts it back for substitute Torreira to shoot from just inside the 18-yard box. Although Henderson initially manages to block, the Uruguayan gets a second bite at the cherry and fires low past Adrián.
There are shouts for a Liverpool penalty as Firmino flops to the floor under Xhaka's challenge, but Anthony Taylor says no. Jürgen Klopp's men are heading provisionally three points clear at the top, with Manchester City still to play Bournemouth tomorrow afternoon.
Alexandre Lacazette is on for Arsenal, Joe Willock making way.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was in the Arsenal side that lost 4-0 here almost two years ago to the day, comes on for Mané.
Milner has to be alert to head a far-post Pépé cross towards Aubameyang out for a corner, which comes to nought. Liverpool are heading for a club-record 12th straight victory in the Premier League.
That could so easily have been four. Salah is suddenly tearing at the Arsenal defence, and when he cuts it back across goal, Sokratis' block is all that prevents Mané from tapping in.
Liverpool make their first substitution, James Milner coming on for Wijnaldum, who departs to warm applause.
They're not far away from getting one back there, though. Monreal heads a corner on towards the back post, where Luiz and Aubameyang are waiting - but neither can capitalise, and Liverpool clear.
Arsenal are rocking. Robertson advances into the box and sees a shot blocked, before Firmino draws a smart stop from Leno when he pings one at goal moments later. The Gunners are flirting with another heavy beating at Anfield.
Emery responds by making his first change, replacing Ceballos with Lucas Torreira. It hasn't been quite such a successful afternoon for the Spaniard today.
And there, indeed, is Liverpool's third! Salah with his second! Receiving the ball out on the right flank, he leaves Luiz for dead, scuttles into the Arsenal box, and curls a low finish past Leno and into the far corner. Too easy.
Robertson swings over a cross from the left, but it's just a fraction to high for Salah and the forward can only direct his header over the bar. Arsenal should be back in it, but seem just as likely to concede a third, to be honest.
Sokratis is in a heap after taking a powerful Alexander-Arnold drive in the head, I think it was. It was a good block, too; the right-back was in an inviting shooting position just inside the penalty box.
Oh, Aubameyang. He takes far, far too long. The striker has a wonderful chance to halve Liverpool's lead when Pépé releases him in behind the Liverpool defence, but the Gabon international dallies, dallies and dallies a little more, and Van Dijk nips in to put it behind for a corner, which comes to zip.
Salah takes, and Salah scores! 2-0 to Liverpool! You don't get much more emphatic than that. The Egyptian rifles it into the top corner, sending Leno the wrong way.
And straight away Liverpool have a chance to double their lead! Luiz is penalised for a tug on Salah, and the hosts have a penalty!
Peep! Back underway at Anfield.
Peep peep peeeep! Arsenal weathered an early Liverpool storm to look far more settled and even carve out a couple of good opportunities to score - particularly when Nicolas Pépé squandered a one-on-one chance after half an hour. It was all Liverpool after that moment, however, and Jürgen Klopp's men go into the break one to the good courtesy of Joel Matip's firm header into the top corner. See you in 15.
They really do. The ball now falls to Wijnaldum to shoot from the edge of the box, and only a last-ditch block prevents the Dutchman from curling one towards Leno's right-hand corner.
Salah isn't far away from conjuring up a second. The Egyptian turns on the right-hand edge of the box, plays it to Mané and drives into the danger area to pick up the return... but a dark blue shirt is there just in time to nick it off his toes and send it behind. From the corner, Mané then nods a free header off target. Arsenal need the half-time whistle now.
And they get their reward with the opening goal! Matip nods the hosts in front! Liverpool win another corner, and the Cameroonian rises highest at the back stick to power his header past Leno and into the top corner!
Ufff! Salah turns and shoots powerfully towards Leno's right-hand corner, but it flies just wide! Moments after, Firmino runs at the Arsenal backline and shoots from the edge of the box... but it's well blocked. Liverpool have stepped the pressure back up on Arsenal in the last couple of minutes.
A foul on Mané sees Liverpool win a free-kick 40 yards or so out from goal, and Luiz has to look alive to clear Robertson's delivery at the back post. Via a spot of pinball in the penalty area, the corner finally falls to Alexander-Arnold, whose shot is blocked.
Liverpool's corner is cleared by Arsenal, whose quick break suddenly finds Pépé baring down on Adrián! His low finish is weak, though, and the hosts survive. Should be 1-0 to the visitors.
Liverpool have a corner, but before it's taken we have a VAR check for a red card, I'm not exactly sure what for. Whatever the possible infringement was, the chaps in the video booth say carry on... and moments later Pépé should score!
So close from Pépé! Leno easily claims a Liverpool free-kick delivery from the right, and when Arsenal mount an attack of their own they get their club-record signing into a very, very similar shooting position to his previous effort a few minutes earlier. He gets a much cleaner strike on this one... but it flashes just inches wide of Adrián's top corner!
Real Madrid vs Real Valladolid live on AS English
By the way, we've also got live coverage of Real Madrid's LaLiga clash with Real Valladolid, which has just kicked off at the Bernabéu. Join Robbie for that one.
Having begun Saturday as the Premier League's top two, incidentally, Liverpool and Arsenal are guaranteed to end Saturday as the Premier League's top two, despite no fewer than five other top-flight fixtures being played earlier today.
Right away, Liverpool carve out a shooting chance of their own, thanks chiefly to a rather suspect bit of passing from Ceballos. However, Leno isn't too hard-pushed to grab hold of Mané's strike from just inside the box. "The game's just starting to come to life now," says our co-commentator on Spanish TV.
Arsenal are looking much more confident now. Liverpool knock it about in front of the visitors' defence for a prolonged period, before Ceballos wins it back and releases Willock to surge up the field and feed Pépé. He gets it out of his feet and pings a left-footed strike at goal, but it's straight at Adrián.
Ha! Just as I write that, Arsenal are inches from taking the lead. Fresh from his howler against Southampton, Adrían has an utter 'mare, haring out of his box to clear an Arsenal attack and succeeding only in plopping the ball right at Aubameyang's feet. With the goal gaping, the striker tries to lift it over the last line of defence and into the net... but it drops just wide!
A reminder that the last time Arsenal won here, this little Spanish magician was on the scoresheet in a 2-0 victory back in September 2012. On the evidence of the first 10 minutes, the North Londoners won't be breaking their barren Anfield run.
Liverpool win a corner on the right. Alexander-Arnold delivers, and when the ball drops at Wijnaldum's feet the Dutchman has a chance to shoot... but slices high, wide and handsome.
Ooh, now Arsenal do get themselves over the halfway line and onto the front foot.. Pépé picks it up on the right wing and has the chance to run at the Liverpool backline.. but treads on the ball. Ah. Cue derision from the Anfield faithful.
Henderson almost lays it off to Firmino to shoot inside the Arsenal box, but the Gunners clear. Liverpool win it straight back and are back on the attack, though. The visitors haven't been out of their half yet.
It's been all Liverpool possession so far. The hosts win a free-kick in the left-hand channel, but David Luiz is there to clear the delivery at the far post.
Close! Andy Robertson immediately sticks on the after-burners down the left wing and pings a low cross-cum-shot towards Leno's left-hand post. A stretching Roberto Firmino can't quite get a toe on it.
Peeeeep! Underway at Anfield
Our Spanish television coverage has Arsenal in a 4-3-1-2 with Ceballos the most advanced midfielder behind Aubameyang and Pépé. Which, at least in my slightly tactically-illiterate estimation, amounts to the same thing as a 4-4-2 diamond.
Our match referee is Anthony Taylor, by the way.
Reminder: How and where to watch
If you're still wondering how you can take in today's clash at Anfield, then wonder no longer. Avail yourself of our guide on how and where to watch.
4-4-2 diamond formation for Arsenal?
The word seems to be that Aubameyang and Pépé will play as a front two in a 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond. Liverpool are, as ever, expected to set up in a 4-3-3.
After impressing on his full debut in last weekend's 2-1 win over Burnley, on-loan Real Madrid man Dani Ceballos - whose name does not, I repeat does NOT translate as 'Danny Onions' - starts in midfield once more for the visitors.
Pépé makes full debut, Lacazette on bench
Meanwhile, Arsenal head coach Unai Emery also makes two changes his team - and the headline news is that club-record summer signing Nicolas Pépé comes in for his full debut for the Gunners, while striker Alexandre Lacazette drops to the bench. Meanwhile, Reiss Nelson also makes way as Granit Xhaka returns in midfield, having recovered from a back problem.
Fabinho and Henderson return for Liverpool
For hosts Liverpool, there are two changes to the side that won at Southampton last weekend, as Fabinho and Jordan Henderson replace James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield. With Alisson still out with a calf strain, Istanbul-hero-turned-St Mary's-villain Adrián continues in goal, having (or so the Reds hope, at least) got this season's major rick out of his system.
Arsenal team news:
Starting line-up: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Willock, Pépé, Ceballos, Aubameyang
Substitutes: Martínez, Chambers, Kolasinac, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Nelson, Lacazette
Liverpool team news:
Starting line-up: Adrián, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Salah, Firmino, Mané
Substitutes: Kelleher, Milner, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi
Liverpool vs Arsenal: preamble
Evening! Welcome to our live coverage of the game of the weekend in the Premier League, as Arsenal visit Liverpool with what must be a mix of cautious optimism and extreme trepidation.
Like their hosts, the Gunners have claimed two wins from two thus far in the English top flight - the first time in a decade that they have kicked off their campaign with a maximum six points. Make it three victories from three today, and they will have registered their best start to a league season since the newly-annointed 'Invincibles' in 2004/05. And yet. Oh, and yet.
Arsenal's recent trips to Anfield have not been altogether successful, one might venture to say. The North Londoners have not won at the stadium for seven years now, and their last three visits have yielded a trio of defeats at a total cost of 12 goals against - most recently in December 2018, when a Roberto Firmino hat-trick steered Liverpool towards a thumping, 5-1 victory.
However, it's also fair to say that Arsenal are far from the only side to have got no change out of Liverpool on Merseyside: it's been 41 games, and getting on for two and a half years, since Jürgen Klopp's side lost on their own patch in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, the European champions' 2-1 triumph at Southampton last weekend stretched their winning league run to 11 straight matches. Three points today would equal a 29-year-old club record for consecutive top-flight victories, and establish their longest ever such sequence in the Premier League era.
I for one am decidedly pessimistic about Arsenal's prospects today!
Now watch them turn Liverpool over.