Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool: Bukayo Saka double helps Gunners regain top spot

Gabriel Martinelli scores for Arsenal against Liverpool in the Premier League

Bukayo Saka’s penalty settled a thrilling encounter and put Arsenal back on top of the Premier League with victory over Liverpool at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal got off to a perfect start when Gabriel Martinelli put them ahead after 58 seconds but Liverpool responded well and striker Darwin Nunez deservedly got them level when he slid home Luis Diaz’s cross after 34 minutes.

Saka restored Arsenal’s lead in first-half added time after Martinelli broke clear on the counter-attack only for Liverpool to level once more eight minutes after the break when substitute Roberto Firmino, on for the injured Diaz, fired beyond keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Liverpool, who felt they were denied a penalty when defender Gabriel handled in the first half, felt a further sense of injustice when Thiago Alcantara was penalised for a challenge on Gabriel Jesus with 14 minutes remaining, with Saka coolly converting from the spot.

Arsenal’s biggest statement

Arsenal hinted at their maturity and progress when they overpowered Tottenham in their last Premier League game but this was the biggest signal yet that they are heading firmly in the right direction under manager Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners started at lightning pace with that Martinelli goal but what will have pleased Arteta even more was the manner in which Arsenal responded to Liverpool’s two equalisers, gathering themselves to get back in front and ultimately close out the win.

In the past, Arsenal’s mentality has been fragile but here they showed the strength and resilience to hold their nerve against a Liverpool team that has made a habit of getting the better of them in recent years.

Martinelli was outstanding for Arsenal, tormenting Liverpool’s defence throughout as he scored the first goal then led the breakaway that saw Saka restore their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

The penalty that decided the game infuriated Liverpool but Saka showed confidence and composure to step forward and drill the resulting spot-kick past Alisson.

And Emirates Stadium now carries a real feeling of unity behind Arsenal and their manager, who has put together an impressive blend of youth and experience that suggests bigger things are to come for this side.

Liverpool vulnerable once more

Liverpool have developed a nasty habit of falling behind in games, often early on, and it is an ominous sign of their vulnerability this season.

Arsenal took less than one minute to slice through the visitors, Brazil forward Martinelli winning his first battle with Trent Alexander-Arnold to put Jurgen Klopp’s side on the back foot instantly.

Liverpool showed character to come back twice but they are currently a shadow of the side that challenged for four trophies last season and it looks already as if their Premier League target will be limited to challenging for a top-four place.

They are easy to get at and concede too many goals, with Alexander-Arnold struggling badly – although his removal at half-time may well have owed more to an ankle injury sustained when he tried to stop a Martinelli cross in a first-half challenge than his performance.

Liverpool’s defensive colossus Virgil van Dijk looks more suspect than at any time since he came to Anfield, while the midfield balance does not look right.

In attack, Mohamed Salah is desperately out of sorts. It was still a surprise to see the Egypt forward substituted given his ability to create goals out of nothing, but he was so anonymous at the Emirates that he can have little complaint at his removal.

Player of the match

Gabriel MartinelliGabriel Martinelli

with an average of 8.50


  1. Squad number11Player nameGabriel Martinelli
    Average rating


  2. Squad number7Player nameSaka
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  3. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
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  4. Squad number8Player nameØdegaard
    Average rating


  5. Squad number12Player nameSaliba
    Average rating


  6. Squad number18Player nameTomiyasu
    Average rating


  7. Squad number3Player nameTierney
    Average rating


  8. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating


  9. Squad number4Player nameWhite
    Average rating


  10. Squad number5Player namePartey
    Average rating


  11. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale
    Average rating


  12. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
    Average rating


  13. Squad number14Player nameNketiah
    Average rating


  14. Squad number21Player nameFábio Vieira
    Average rating



  1. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating


  2. Squad number23Player nameDíaz
    Average rating


  3. Squad number27Player nameNúñez
    Average rating


  4. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating


  5. Squad number6Player nameThiago Alcántara
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  6. Squad number2Player nameGomez
    Average rating


  7. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Jota
    Average rating


  8. Squad number5Player nameKonaté
    Average rating


  9. Squad number14Player nameHenderson
    Average rating


  10. Squad number21Player nameTsimikas
    Average rating


  11. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
    Average rating


  12. Squad number32Player nameMatip
    Average rating


  13. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating


  14. Squad number19Player nameElliott
    Average rating


  15. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating


  16. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating




Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 4White
  • 12Saliba
  • 6Gabriel
  • 18Tomiyasu
  • 5Partey
  • 34Xhaka
  • 7SakaSubstituted forFerreira Vieiraat 90+4′minutes
  • 8ØdegaardBooked at 45minsSubstituted forTierneyat 82′minutes
  • 11Martinelli
  • 9Gabriel JesusSubstituted forNketiahat 90+1′minutes


  • 3Tierney
  • 14Nketiah
  • 16Holding
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 21Ferreira Vieira
  • 23Sambi Lokonga
  • 24Nelson
  • 27Oliveira Alencar
  • 30Turner


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-ArnoldSubstituted forGomezat 45′minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 32MatipSubstituted forKonatéat 69′minutes
  • 4van Dijk
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 14Henderson
  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 11SalahSubstituted forFabinhoat 69′minutes
  • 20JotaSubstituted forElliottat 81′minutes
  • 23DíazBooked at 6minsSubstituted forFirminoat 42′minutes
  • 27Núñez


  • 2Gomez
  • 3Fabinho
  • 5Konaté
  • 7Milner
  • 9Firmino
  • 19Elliott
  • 28Freitas Gouveia Carvalho
  • 47Phillips
  • 62Kelleher

Michael Oliver

Match Stats

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Match ends, Arsenal 3, Liverpool 2.

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