In pictures: Liverpool v Arsenal
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Liverpool made light work of Arsenal on Saturday in the wake of a growing injury crisis at the club and Jurgen Klopp may have found the answer he’s long been looking for in the process. The Reds kept pace with league-leaders Chelsea with a dominant 4-0 win over Arsenal at the weekend.
Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino got on the scoresheet as Arsenal struggled to cope with Liverpool’s attacking style of play.
It could have been even more for the hosts if not for another inspired performance from Aaron Ramsdale.
Liverpool were dominant all over the pitch, particularly in midfield.
Klopp was handed a boost with Fabinho fit and available to play against Arsenal, but the international break wasn’t kind to Liverpool in terms of injuries.
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Jordan Henderson picked up a niggling issue with England, while Andy Robertson also suffered a knock with Scotland.
Henderson was deemed fit enough to come off the bench against Arsenal, but there was no place for injured midfield trio Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and James Milner.
Such is Liverpool’s current injury crisis in midfield, Klopp handed a Premier League debut to young Tyler Morton in the second half.
Liverpool were already in a strong position at that point and, while the attacking trio stole the headlines, the midfield pairing of Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain equally impressed.
Both players have had their injury troubles over the past 18 months, but it seems they’ve put that behind them.
And they were on top of their game against Arsenal, with the midfield pair working in tandem to link up with the attacker.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was providing space for the likes of Salah and Mane with his mazing runs while Thiago showcased his passing ability and calm approach to the game.
There were some question marks on both players heading into the new season, particularly Oxlade-Chamberlain given his lack of fitness over the past few seasons.
Thiago struggled to put a run of games together following his length spell on the sidelines as well and had seemingly fallen down the pecking order.
But it looks as though both players will play an integral part in Liverpool’s title hopes, particularly over the festive period.
Valued at a combined £38.7million on transfermarkt, Klopp may well have found the answer he’s been searching for in the midst of their injury crisis.
Liverpool have already secured top spot in their group with two games remaining, meaning Klopp could choose to rest some of his first-team regulars against Porto on Wednesday.
But three league games against Southampton, Everton and Wolves over the course of seven days will test Liverpool’s strength in depth and both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago will be called upon.
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