Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool: Visitors steal victory in Emirates thriller

The Reds blew the hosts away in a pulsating 20 minute spell, although Wenger's side almost snatched a draw late on

Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool: Visitors steal victory in Emirates thriller
Adam Lallana celebrates after scoring | Image: Getty images
Arsenal
3 4
Liverpool
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny (Xhaka, min. 65), Coquelin; Walcott, Ramsey (Cazorla, min. 61), Iwobi (Oxlade-Chamberlain, min. 59); Sanchez.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno; Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum (Stewart, min. 88); Mane, Firmino, Coutinho (Can, min. 68).
SCORE: 1-0, min, 31, Walcott. 1-1, min. 45, Coutinho. 1-2, min. 49, Lallana. 1-3, min. 56, Coutinho. 1-4, min. 63, Mane. 2-4, min. 64, Oxlade-Chamberlain. 3-4, min. 75, Chambers.
REFEREE: Michael Oliver. Booked: Lallana (min. 25), Moreno (min. 28), Lovren (min. 41), Xhaka (min. 86)

Liverpool began their first full season under Jurgen Klopp with a thrilling 4-3 victory against Arsenal.

The inquest into Arsene Wenger's transfer dealings will continue post-match as his side dismantled after taking the lead in the first half. Two goals from Philippe Coutinho and one each from Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane gave the Reds a 4-1 lead after Theo Walcott put Arsenal ahead.

Walcott, who had missed a penalty just over a minute before scoring, gave Alberto Moreno a horrible time in the first half and Klopp will certainly be looking to add depth at left back. 

The Gunners had a spirited final 20 minutes, but goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers - despite making the game exciting for the netrual - were not enough as their fans jeered after full-time. Wenger's spending in recent years hasn't been sufficient and the side has hardly improved, despite their second-place finish last season. 

Lack of experience not a problem for seemingly assured defensive pair

Wenger’s line-up caused a stir before the game. Starting the match were young central defensive pair Rob Holding and Chambers due to the unavailability of GabrielPer Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. However, the inexperienced pair certainly did not look out of place. 

It was another Arsenal defender, Nacho Monreal, who had the first clear-cut chance of the game; exchanging passes with Alexis Sanchez before firing straight at Simon Mignolet

Monreal's opposing full-back, Nathaniel Clyne, then had the Reds' first shot on target twelve minutes into the game when his 30-yard low drive found the grateful hands of Petr Cech

Liverpool's questionable defending their detriment 

For all the debate about Arsenal's defensive capabilities before the game, it was Liverpool's back four that looked more shaky in the opening stages. This time Moreno got in on the act when his poor defensive header almost allowed Monreal a route to goal, however, the Liverpool left-back was able to retreat quickly and concede a corner. 

Moreno's inadequacies were slightly more obvious soon after when he rashly brought Walcott down in the penalty area and referee Michael Oliver had no choice but to give one of the most obvious penalties he will award all season. 

Walcott stepped up to take the kick himself, but Moreno's blushes were spared as Mignolet dived low to his right to beat the ball away. 

It was a poor attempt from Walcott, but the exiled England international wasn't to be denied when he took advantage of more hapless defending from Moreno to give the Gunners the lead. The Spaniard was caught ball-watching and failed to retreat with his fellow defenders, leaving a gaping hole for Walcott to exploit and he fired low and across Mignolet to put his side ahead. 

Coutinho stunner sees half end level

Giorginio Wijnaldum came close to opening his Reds account but his tame effort was easily dealt with by Cech. 

However, when you have a magician such as Coutinho in your team, you can always expect them to pull you out of trouble. Just before half-time, the Brazilian picked himself up having been fouled by Holding and curled the ball majestically over the wall and into Cech's top corner from 30 yards. 

Roberto Firmino and Francis Coquelin contest for possession | Photo: Getty images
Roberto Firmino and Francis Coquelin contest for possession | Photo: Getty images

Liverpool complete emphatic turn-around early in the second half

The Reds were much improved in the second half and soon found themselves ahead. Lallana found himself on the end of a wonderful passing move to chest the ball down and drive the ball into the back of Cech's goal. 

The midfielder was slightly lucky not to receive a red card in the first half for a lunge on Aaron Ramsey, but the England international was heavily involved in the move that led to his side's third goal - the ball being tapped home by Coutinho for his second of the game. 

The game seemed dead and buried when Mane twisted and turned his way into the Arsenal penalty area, before crashing his first competitive Liverpool goal into the top corner. However, just minutes later, substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain created a very similar opportunity, although this one went in via a deflection from Dejan Lovren to give the Gunners a slight glimmer of hope. 

That hope was increased when Chambers directed a header past Mignolet with 15 minutes remaining, but it wasn't enough for Arsenal as they lose to Liverpool at home for just the second time in 16 years.