Final, 3-1 Liverpool: There goes the final whistle. The Reds win by two goals.
Liverpool has returned to winning ways thanks to a performance that will fill fans with encouragement. Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino starred in the first half, as Liverpool coasted into the break with a two-goal lead. But Danny Welbeck’s strike restored drama to the contest. The result hung in the balance until Georginio Wijnaldum confirmed Liverpool’s win with a late goal.
Mane was our man of the match.
The deserved victory completes Liverpool’s rare league double against Arsenal.
The Reds move up to third place in the Premier League standings. Arsenal drops to fifth.
That’s all for now, and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion coming up on NESN.com/soccer.
90th minute +1, 3-1 Liverpool: Georginio Wijnaldum scores on the counter-attack to seal the win for the Reds.
Divock Origi passed into the area for the Dutchman, who arrived with perfect timing.
We should have known he’d score, and a late goal always was coming.
90th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: There will be three minutes of added time in the second half.
84th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Hector Bellerin crosses into the penalty area. Lucas Perez heads it well wide.
83rd minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Divock Origi heads James Milner’s free kick off the post, and Arsenal clears the rebound out of danger.
80th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Divock Origi replaces Philippe Coutinho in Liverpool’s first substitution.
79th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: The referee shows Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka a yellow card for dissent.
76th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Joel Matip heads Philippe Coutinho’s free kick inside Arsenal’s goal-mouth, but he can’t put enough power on it to beat Petr Cech.
74th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Arsenal makes its last two substitutions. Lucas Perez replaces Olivier Giroud, and Theo Walcott comes on for Danny Welbeck.
68th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: The referee shows a yellow card to Emre Can for a professional foul on Alexis Sanchez.
67th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Here’s further proof Sadio Mane has been unstoppable in a Liverpool jersey.
59th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Sadio Mane finds Philippe Coutinho on the counter-attack, but Shkodran Mustafi blocks the Brazilian’s cross out for a corner kick.
56th minute, 2-1 Liverpool: Danny Welbeck cuts Liverpool’s lead in half.
Alexis Sanchez led the direct attack, slotting a pass forward to Welbeck, who dinks his finish over Simon Mignolet.
54th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Georginio Wijnaldum collects a blocked free kick and shoots from 25 yards out, but his effort lacks the power to trouble Petr Cech.
50th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Inside Arsenal’s penalty area, Sadio Mane combines with Roberto Firmino, whose deflected shot falls mercifully to Petr Cech.
48th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Olivier Giroud heads Nacho Monreal’s cross on goal, but Simon Mignolet saves it off the crossbar.
Arsenal is playing with renewed vigor early in the second half.
46th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: The second half is under way.
Arsenal made a substitution at halftime, replacing Francis Coquelin with Alexis Sanchez.
Halftime, 2-0 Liverpool: That’s the end of the first half. The Reds lead by two.
The scoreline will have Anfield buzzing, as the Reds have confirmed their dominance over Arsenal. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane finished moves in which Liverpool opened Arsenal’s defense with startling ease. Liverpool played well but not outstanding. Arsenal played so badly, it should be thankful to be down by just two goals.
45th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: There will be two minutes of added time in the first half.
44th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: A deflection falls kindly to Philippe Coutinho inside Arsenal’s penalty area but he can’t beat the on-rushing Petr Cech with his quickly taken shot.
39th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Sadio Mane doubles Liverpool’s lead, having received Roberto Firmino’s pass on the right side of Arsenal’s penalty area and beaten Petr Cech with a fine finish.
Mane and Firmino each have a goal and an assist to their credit.
35th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: The referee shows Francis Coquelin a yellow card after successive professional fouls.
28th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Petr Cech saves Philippe Coutinho’s powerful drive from 20 yards out.
24th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Liverpool has dominated the first 25 minutes, as Arsenal struggles to find its rhythm.
Liverpool hasn’t played outstanding soccer so far, but it has been far better than the visitors, and the lead is deserved.
18th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: The Reds still have Arsenal under intense pressure. Another goal could be coming.
16th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Roberto Firmino’s goal rewarded the Reds for their fast start. They have a habit of scoring early.
Ninth minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Roberto Firmino puts Liverpool in front with an emphatic finish from five yards out. Liverpool has gone direct and struck gold.
Sadio Mane crossed from the right to Philippe Coutinho, who failed to make contact with the delivery but allowed it to roll to Firmino.
The Brazilian finally is back on the scoresheet. Of course, he does so against Arsenal.
Fifth minute, 0-0: Following a corner kick, Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin shoots on goal from 20 yards out, but his effort doesn’t trouble Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Fourth minute, 0-0: Liverpool starts on the front foot, controlling possession and territory early on. But the Reds only have a corner kick to show for their early advantage.
Kickoff, 0-0: The Liverpool-Arsenal Premier League game is under way at Anfield.
Pregame: Ragnar Klavan returns to Liverpool’s starting lineup for the first time since the FA Cup loss to Wolves on Jan. 28. He’ll partner Joel Matip in central defense, while Lucas Leiva drops to the bench.
The rest of Liverpool’s lineup is unchanged from the side that lost to Leicester City on Monday.
Arsenal has made one eye-popping change, dropping Alexis Sanchez to the bench and opting for Olivier Giroud at center forward. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger explains why the Chilean superstar initially will watch from the sideline.
Sanchez has been Arsenal’s chief goal threat for the last two-plus seasons.
But Giroud has enjoyed success against Liverpool.
Dropping Sanchez is a seismic gamble by Wenger. He could alter Arsenal’s familiar 4-2-3-1 formation.
11:45 a.m.: Here are the starting lineups:
11:30 a.m. ET: Liverpool’s Premier League game against Arsenal on Saturday at Anfield justifiably will command the attention of the soccer world.
Two of the Premier League’s biggest and most popular teams are set to clash in a game that promises excitement, drama and, of course, goals.
Arsenal occupies fourth place in the Premier League standings with 50 points after 25 games, while Liverpool sits fifth with 49 points after 26 games. The teams have little chance of catching Chelsea and winning the Premier League title. But both clubs are in the hunt for a top-four finish and a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
If Liverpool and Arsenal reproduce the form they’ve shown this season against top-six opponents, home fans should leave Anfield with smiles on their faces.
But plot twists occur throughout every Premier League campaign. Will this game mark another pivot point?
Liverpool vs. Arsenal kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET. Join us right here for all the action from Anfield.
Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com