There was Trent Alexander-Arnold who showed that hell has no fury like England completely scorned. Fabinho plays in his rightful position. Diogo Jota with another impressive introduction from the couch.
Perhaps that finish in the top four is a possibility after all.
Naturally, the focus was on Alexander-Arnold. After two weeks in which everyone else had expressed their views on his omission from Gareth Southgate’s last England squad, it was his turn to respond.
Liverpool got going again on Saturday, beating Arsenal 3-0 in a strong show
Jurgen Klopp’s squad seems to have regained their form at about the right time of the season
Trent Alexander-Arnold put in an excellent performance and tried to save his place for the European Championship
And he did, with enthusiasm. Bruce Banner came to mind during this response. ‘Do not make me mad. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. ‘Certainly not Arsenal.
There was an extra spice to Alexander-Arnold’s game. Arsenal became a personal punching bag in a performance that was more colossal than sulk and, especially for Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool won.
You just hope Alexander-Arnold and his teammates can convey that same outrage on Tuesday night. Real Madrid awaits in the Champions League. Turn it off on them too.
Klopp was careful not to dig out Southgate afterwards, knowing the feat said enough to the England manager, though he might as well have said, ‘Thanks for the motivation, Gareth.’
What Klopp actually said was, “Trent showed his class.” Concise and correct.
Alexander-Arnold has had a difficult season and was left out of Gareth Southgate’s last squad
The day they lost their title – Manchester City’s victory meant Klopp’s side could no longer catch them – it was like looking at Liverpool from the past.
And there was also something known to be disappointing about Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
The three most expensive players in Arsenal history started together for the first time since last season’s FA Cup final. Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe together cost £ 174.5 million, each of them signing a club record.
And yet, the lesson we learned was how dependent they have become on their academy graduates in Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a huge disappointment in the game when Arsenal fell flat
Fabinho controlled the game and was crucial in keeping Arsenal back in their own half
Without Smith Rowe picking up a lot of space on the left and Saka’s ingenuity on the right, it was all Liverpool. Granit Xhaka was also missed in midfield and Kieran Tierney limped away.
David Luiz has had surgery on his right knee and may not be back this season. If supporters had been allowed in the Emirates Stadium, it wouldn’t have been nice.
Fabinho was a major reason why Arsenal couldn’t escape their half and Jota breaking the deadlock was Liverpool’s least deserved after a dominant first hour.
For that first goal, Alexander-Arnold took possession of the right wing. Aubameyang’s feeble attempt to stop gave the Liverpool right-back time to cross. He placed the ball perfectly between two Arsenal defenders and on Jota’s head.
Diogo Jota was in great shape, scoring twice and proving why he deserves to start for the Reds
Alexander-Arnold was involved in the run-up to second, scored by Mohamed Salah, then was vital in the third by winning possession prior to Jota’s second of the game.
“I don’t want to have a funny discussion about Trent,” Klopp said. It’s Gareth’s decision and he’s blessed with the choice he has in that position. Trent is in really good shape and if someone says he isn’t, I have to say it’s wrong. ‘
To the top four, Jota added: “We have a chance to be there. It doesn’t matter whether you start or not, you have to be ready to make an impact. Everyone works hard and now we have that hard game against Real. ‘
Mikel Arteta was furious with the performance and admitted that the Gunners were being dominated
Arteta did not mince words and said, “A great shock to the system. “It was one of the worst. It really shocked me. Liverpool fully deserved to win the match, probably by a wider margin.
We were extremely poor. We apologize to our fans, this was far from the norm. I am responsible.’
He wasn’t real. The effort level of his players was pathetic. A year ago, Aubameyang may have been in talks to replace Sergio Aguero at City. Not now.
Liverpool had that little bit extra: the determination to win every second ball, every game and every challenge. And Alexander-Arnold led the way in giving Southgate a timely reminder.