Liverpool gunned down the Gunners with a five-star performance at Anfield, Martin Skrtel and Raheem Sterling both scored a brace each, as the hosts claimed the three points with a stunning 5-1 win.
Arsene Wenger’s league leaders arrived at Merseyside in confident mode, but were annihilated inside the opening exchanges, first Slovakian defender Skrtel scored twice in 10 minutes, Sterling and Daniel Sturridge added another two goals giving Liverpool a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Sterling netted the fifth goal early in the second half and then the only stain on Liverpool’s clean sheet came through Mikel Arteta’s spot kick, on what was a perfect day for Brendan Rodgers as his side increased their chances of a top four finish and dented Arsenal’s title hopes.
Liverpool came racing out of the blocks and the signals of a disastrous 90 minutes for the flat-footed Arsenal defence came in the opening minute when Skrtel diverted in Steven Gerrard’s angled free-kick.
The Merseysiders doubled their lead from another set-piece minutes later as Skrtel got onto the score-line again, this time showing great agility to glance Gerrard’s corner past Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the goal-line.
Every time Liverpool went forward they looked like threatening the away sides’ goal and Sturridge should have made it 3-0 after 12 minutes when Luis Suarez sent him clear with a delightful pass, but the England man put his effort wide.
Moments later, another opportunity was just inches away as Suarez smashed the past from 30 yards out when a corner fell to his feet and Kolo Toure prodded the rebound away from an empty net.
Arsenal had their first attempt on goal on the quarter hour mark when Per Mertesacker flashed his header across the goal from Santi Cazorla’s corner.
A wave after a wave of attack terrorised Arsenal and the third goal eventually came, Sterling tapped in a simple chance from Suarez’s cross to the back post.
Wenger at this point was on his feet, almost motionless, and it just got worse when Philippe Coutinho put in a perfectly timed pass to Sturridge, who made no mistake slotting in to make it 4-0 to Liverpool.
The hosts continued the second half where they left the first as Sterling broke the offside trap for 5-0 after 52 minutes. Toure’s pass put him through on goal, after having his initial effort saved by Wojciech Szczesny, the winger took his chance on the second attempt.
On the hour, Wenger made three changes sending on Kieran Gibbs, Lukas Podolski, and Tomas Rosicky for the desperately poor Mesut Ozil, Oliver Giroud and Nacho Monreal.
Suarez demonstrated his world-class ability on 63 minutes as he placed a free-kick towards the top corner and his effort was tipped over the bar at the last second by Szczesny.
Arsenal finally put the ball in the net after 69 minutes, when the Liverpool skipper Gerrard brought down Chamberlain in the box and Arteta hammered the penalty down the middle past the keeper.
The home side closed the game out on 5-1 and now Arsenal’s impressive season to date faces some real questions marks surrounding their title chances.
On the other hand, Liverpool continue their search for a Champions League return by claiming the fourth sport.