30 Dec 2018

Liverpool extend EPL lead with 5-1 crushing of Arsenal

8:47 am on 30 December 2018

Roberto Firmino scored a hat-trick to help a rampant Liverpool crush Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield and open up a nine point lead at the top of the English Premier League.

Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino Photo: Actionplus

Arsenal stunned the home crowd by taking the lead in the 11th minute with Ainsley Maitland-Niles scoring his first league goal for the club as he connected at the back post with an Alex Iwobi cross.

It was the first time Juergen Klopp's side had trailed at home since December 30, 2017 but just three minutes later they were back on level terms.

Mohamed Salah jinked into the box and went down under a challenge but the ball fell to Firmino who made no mistake with a cheeky 'no look' finish.

Firmino then showed his full range of skills with a brilliant solo goal as he dribbled past three Arsenal defenders before slotting home with his left foot.

Sadio Mane made it 3-1, converting a low Salah cross after a brilliant cross- field pass from Andy Robertson and then on the stroke of halftime Salah made it 4-1 from the spot after he had been brought down in the box.

Firmino completed his hat-trick, from the penalty spot, driving home in front of the Kop after Sead Kolasinac was ruled to have pushed over Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool are nine points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who earlier missed the chance to close the gap with a 3-1 home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Third-place Manchester City, who are ten behind Liverpool, can move withing seven points of the leaders if they beat Southampton on Monday.