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Arsenal are the real deal! Gunners winners, losers and ratings as Martinelli and Saka star in Liverpool win

20:14 SAST 2022/10/09
Arsenal celebrate 2022-23
Mikel Arteta's side remain top of the Premier League after a stunning 3-2 win over Liverpool as their young attackers shone

Arsenal sent out a major statement to rest of the Premier League with a thrilling 3-2 win against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening. Two goals from Bukayo Saka and another from Gabriel Martinelli saw the Gunners past the Reds for the first time since 2020, a result that sees them move back above Manchester City to the top of the table.

Arsenal are now 14 points clear of Liverpool, who have only won two of their opening eight league games of the season.

Martinelli gave Arsenal the perfect start, scoring after just 58 seconds. Darwin Nunez deservedly levelled things up for Liverpool on 34 minutes, but Saka finished off some excellent work by Martinelli to restore Arsenal's lead just before the interval.

The visitors fought back again early in the second half through Roberto Firmino, but Saka's penalty 15 minutes from the end - after Gabriel Jesus had been fouled - was enough to finally earn Arsenal all three points.

  • Bukayo Saka Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2022-23

    The Winners

    Gabriel Martinelli

    What a performance! There is no bigger fan of Martinelli than Jurgen Klopp, but the Liverpool manager will be having nightmares about the Brazilian this evening. It wasn't just his goal, scored after just 58 seconds, or his lung-busting run to set up Bukayo Saka for the second. It was his all-round performance, which was electric from start to finish. The 21-year-old is now the youngest Arsenal player to score and assist against Liverpool in the same Premier League game, and Martinelli's goal was also the fastest Arsenal have scored in the Premier League since Robin van Persie struck against Sunderland in 2011. Gabriel Jesus has understandably taken the majority of the headlines this season, but Martinelli has been equally as impressive.

    Takehiro Tomiyasu

    It was a big call by Mikel Arteta to opt to move Tomiyasu out of position and play him at left-back. All eyes were on the Japan international as a result, especially with Kieran Tierney on the bench, but he produced an excellent performance against Mohamed Salah. He may not provide as much attacking threat as Tierney, but Tomiyasu was clearly picked ahead of the Scotland star to try and do a job Salah and negate Liverpool's threat down their left flank. And he did that exceptionally well, limiting Salah to just one shot before he was replaced with more than 20 minutes left.

    Bukayo Saka

    Saka tripled his goal tally for the season in just one game. The goals may have been a tap-in and a penalty, but they will do Saka the world of good for the season ahead. The winger will have been disappointed to have only scored one goal prior to this game, because he knows he has a responsibility to chip in and take the burden off Jesus. So this was a big game for him, and Arteta will hope it could be the game that really ignites Saka's season.

  • Gabriel Arsenal 2022-23

    The Losers

    Kieran Tierney

    All the talk ahead of the game was about who Arsenal would start at left-back, but the debate was based around Oleksandr Zinchenko or Kieran Tierney. So seeing Takehiro Tomiyasu named in the starting XI was a major surprise. Tactically, Arteta will have his reasons and there is certainly a good case for having a right-footed player up against Salah, who loves to cut inside off the left and get shots away. But even so, for Tierney the decision must have been a painful one. The Scotland international has already seen Zinchenko take his starting spot this season and now he has seen a right-back picked ahead of him when the Ukrainian was injured. Tough times for Tierney, although he did at least come on for the final minutes as a left wing-back.

    Gabriel Magalhaes

    Another game, another error by the Arsenal centre-back. In fairness, when he miscued his attempted clearance in the build-up to Liverpool's equaliser, there was still an awful lot for the visitors to do to take advantage. And they did that brilliantly, with Luis Diaz crossing for Darwin Nunez to score. But it's still difficult to ignore the error from Gabriel, who has struggled of late. This is far from the first mistake he has made that has led to a goal. There is no question yet that the Brazilian could come under pressure for his place in the team, but he has to find a way of eliminating the basic errors out his game.

    Liverpool's title hopes

    Even at this early stage of the season, you felt this was a game Liverpool needed to win to stay in the title race. We may only be 10 games in, but to be 14 points behind the league leaders already is a hammer blow to Jurgen Klopp's side's chances of winning the title. Defensively, they just don't look good enough.

  • Aaron Ramsdale Arsenal 2022-23

    Arsenal Ratings: Defence

    Aaron Ramsdale (6/10):

    Couldn't really do anything with either goal. Recovered from an early injury.

    Ben White (7/10):

    Continues to impress at right-back. Didn't stop getting forward on the overlap.

    William Saliba (6/10):

    Solid game, but got caught slightly out of position for Firmino's goal.

    Gabriel Magalhaes (6/10):

    Another error that led to a goal. Has to cut that out of his game. Played well other than that.

    Takehiro Tomiyasu (8/10):

    Excellent display. Kept Salah quiet all afternoon.

  • Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2022-23

    Midfield

    Thomas Partey (8/10):

    Really good second half. Struggled a bit before the break, but was excellent after the interval.

    Granit Xhaka (7/10):

    Impressive again. Played deeper than we have seen recently. Disciplined.

    Martin Odegaard (7/10):

    Superb assist for Martinelli's goal. Wasted a good opportunity early in the second half.

  • Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23

    Attack

    Bukayo Saka (8/10):

    Two vital goals. Showed nerves of steel with the penalty.

    Gabriel Jesus (7/10):

    Didn't get on the scoresheet, but set the tone with his work rate.

    Gabriel Martinelli (9/10):

    Electric performance. A goal and an assist. Never stopped running.

  • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Kieran Tierney (6/10):

    Came on as wing-back for the final 10 minutes.

    Eddie Nketiah (5/10):

    On for the final few minutes to give Jesus a breather.

    Fabio Vieira (5/10):

    Helped Arsenal see the game out for the final couple of minutes.

    Mikel Arteta (8/10):

    Made a big call playing Tomiyasu against Salah and it worked perfectly.