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Diogo Jota And Roberto Firmino Can’t Stop Making Arsenal Look Bad

Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino love scoring against the Gunners, and both did so again on Wednesday.

Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino love playing against Arsenal. In a back-and-forth match between the two teams on Wednesday, it was those two men who once again who scored as the Reds moved to within a point of league-leading Manchester City.

Jota scored with his final touch of the game and Firmino tallied eight minutes later as Liverpool won 2-0 at Emirates Stadium. Jota has seven goals in seven games against Arsenal with Liverpool; Roberto Firmino’s nine league goals against the Gunners are the most of any Reds player. 

Arsenal came into the match on a five-game winning streak in Premier League play, taking a firm grasp of the fourth and final Champions League place. While Wednesday’s result won’t effect that positioning — the Gunners still have two more games in hand on their closest rivals — it was a deflating defeat for a team that had been one of the best in England over the last month. 

After looking supremely organized in the first half, Arsenal’s defense began showing cracks moments into the second when Sadio Mané scored a goal that was (correctly) ruled offside. It was a sign of things to come as the Gunners once again failed to contain Liverpool, which also won 4-0 at Anfield this season. Liverpool also ousted Arsenal from the Carabao Cup, 2-0 on aggregate. 

Moments after Arsenal could have capitalized on a wayward back-pass by Thiago, Liverpool opened the scoring with a piece of play that initially lulled the Gunners defense to sleep before springing into life. 

Diogo Jota vs Arsenal

With Thiago given about seven years on the ball, the midfielder was able to pick out a perfect through ball for Jota after Cédric Soares completely lost track of him. Jota did the rest, beating Aaron Ramsdale at his near post to quiet the home fans. 

After the goal, Jota and Luis Díaz were replaced by Mohamed Salah and Firmino, and it was the Brazilian who struck for the second. After Arsenal failed to clear its lines, Andrew Robertson picked out Firmino with a goal that looked easy but was the product of intimate understanding between the Liverpool veterans. 

Another Brazilian had some of the few good moments for the home side. 

Gabriel Martinelli, recently included in Brazil’s squad for his first World Cup qualifiers later this month, was a handful for Trent Alexander-Arnold and the right side of Liverpool’s defense. The winger was Arsenal’s primary outlet going forward and produced this moment of magic that nearly resulted in the game’s first goal. 

Martinelli also came closest to scoring for Arsenal when his late curling effort whizzed past the far post. 

Manchester City hosts Liverpool on April 10 in what will be the game of the season in the Premier League. 

Wednesday was an odd one for soccer fans in the U.S. Despite three great games on at the same time across two competitions, none were on TV. NBC decided to air Law & Order reruns all day instead of either Arsenal-Liverpool or Brighton-Spurs. The Champions League matches were only available on Paramount+ in English, a real shame considering the landmark CBS broadcast that included all women. 

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