LIVERPOOL (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp lauded his side’s desire for more success as they soared clear at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Arsenal thanks to Mohamed Salah’s double late last Saturday.
Klopp’s men lifted the Champions League last season, but narrowly missed out on a first Premier League title in 29 years to Manchester City by one point.
Liverpool and City look set to do battle for the title again, but the Reds opened up an early five-point lead over the champions, who face Bournemouth on Sunday, with a dominant display over the Gunners.
“A brilliant game from my side so early in the season,” said Klopp.
“Outstanding. A performance full of power, full of energy, full of greed, full of passion. That’s what you need against such a good team like Arsenal.”
Both sides started with the only 100 per cent records left in England’s top-flight, but Liverpool demonstrated the chasm that still exists behind them and City.
Arsenal have now lost their last three visits to Anfield by a combined score of 12-2 and early season optimism was snuffed out despite promising signs from club record signing Nicolas Pepe.
The Ivorian was handed his first start since a GBP72 million move from Lille and showed why he was so coveted by posing a constant threat on the counter-attack.
Liverpool were camped in the Gunners’ half for the opening 10 minutes, but the visitors were nearly gifted the lead when Adrian, deputising for the injured Alisson Becker in goal, got in Virgil van Dijk’s way as he dealt with a hopeful long ball for Pepe.
The ball fell to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but his chipped effort drifted inches wide.
Pepe then became the first player to dribble past Van Dijk in the Premier League for nearly 18 months as he showed his blistering pace and sent a curling effort from outside the area just wide.
But his big chance to change the course of the game came when he dribbled past Andy Robertson to burst clear on goal, but his shot was weak.
“Liverpool are doing amazing (things) during many years, but I think if we score first it could be another game,” said Arsenal centre-back David Luiz.
Liverpool cranked up the pressure before half-time and got the breakthrough on 41 minutes when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner was met powerful by Joel Matip’s header.
Once in front, the European champions showed their class to roll through the gears in the second-half and to hand Arsenal another Anfield beating.