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Arsenal ratings: Declan Rice simply brilliant as the Gunners’ rock but Saliba a bag of nerves after first-half blunder

ARSENAL came out on top in a battle of defensive blunders to beat Liverpool 3-1 and move two points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Prem leaders.

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and sub Leandro Trossard netted for the Gunners, with Liverpool replying though a farcical Gabriel Magalhaes own goal but having Ibrahima Konate sent off for two bookings.

Declan Rice produced one of Arsenal's electric individual displays

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Declan Rice produced one of Arsenal’s electric individual displaysCredit: Reuters
William Saliba was to blame for Liverpool's equaliser

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William Saliba was to blame for Liverpool’s equaliserCredit: Reuters

Emirates boss Mikel Arteta might be especially pleased with his side’s flowing first half – and their mix of craft with graft after the interval.

Here’s how Arsenal rated after deservedly ending Liverpool’s 21-match unbeaten run in domestic games.Â

DAVID RAYA – 7/10

Great early catch from a cross and subsequent throw-out for Gabriel Martinelli that sparked a counter that almost led to Arsenal’s opener.

Arguably could have come out sooner to deal with the ball that William Saliba tried to block off before Luis Diaz forced an own goal.

But that would be harsh on the Spaniard.

OLEKSANDR ZINCHENKO – 6

Looked comfortable on the ball and kept Arsenal ticking over but was taken off at half-time, so must have been for a slight injury concern.

Bukayo Saka fires in an effort on the Liverpool goal

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Bukayo Saka fires in an effort on the Liverpool goalCredit: AFP

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WILLIAM SALIBA – 5

Was looking like having another one of his solid, dependable outings in an Arsenal shirt before his dithering in the box allowed Diaz to get his toe to the ball and force the equaliser.

Came across like a bag of nerves from there on out. One of his poorer outings for the club.

GABRIEL – 6

It will go down as his own goal, but there was nothing he could do as he raced back towards his net trying to cover for his centre back partner’s mistake.

Other than that, he won his aerial battles and had a good tussle with Diogo Jota.

BEN WHITE – 7

Brilliant on the ball. Looks back to his best after a brief drop in form as he battled a slight injury, but still managed to pick up a booking for timewasting over a free-kick.

DECLAN RICE – 9

No notes. Simply brilliant. Never has an off game. Was Arsenal’s rock, especially in their more challenging moments after the own goal.

JORGINHO – 8

Lead from the front and gave Arsenal’s midfield some snarl and bite, which was definitely needed. A few bone-crunching tackles were roared like a goal.

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MARTIN ODEGAARD – 8

So lively yet again. Sparking the press, urging his team forward before the pass that split Liverpool’s defence and put his boys ahead.

BUKAYO SAKA – 7

Somehow could not head in after just 10 minutes from Martinelli’s inch-perfect cross but made amends with a calm rebound finish moments later.

However, his energy could not be questioned and remained a real threat.

GABRIEL MARTINELLI – 9

Showed great pace to beat Ibrahima Konate after Raya’s distribution and cross should have been put away by Saka. Had Trent Alexander-Arnold on toast for most of the first half.

Was then ready to pounce on a woeful mistake at the back from Liverpool to give Arsenal the lead again.

KAI HAVERTZ – 7

Put through by Odegaard and had an age to pick his place past Alisson. The end result was a poor attempt straight at Alisson – lucky he had Saka to spare his blushes.

Should have won a penalty when hauled down by Alexis Mac Allister in the box after the break.

Did some much-appreciated donkey work with clock ticking away to win Arsenal possession, and one of those occasions got Konate sent off.

Leandro Trossard celebrates after making it 3-1 in stoppage time

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Leandro Trossard celebrates after making it 3-1 in stoppage timeCredit: AFP

SUBS

JAKUB KIWIOR (ZINCHENKO, 45) – 6

Came on to do a job defensively and did just that. Was alert at the near post to fire away Liverpool corners and did his best to copy Zinchenko’s modern full-back impersonation.

Almost went one better with a header that should have made it 3-1.

LEANDRO TROSSARD (MARTINELLI, 74) – 7

Put in some shift getting up and down the left flank with defensive covering holding the ball up in the latter stages.

And then, a moment of brilliance, flicking past Harvey Elliot, storming towards the goal from a tight angle and his effort nicked off Van Dijk’s toe and through Alisson’s legs.

REISS NELSON (SAKA, 77) – 6 Â

Like Trossard, not a lot of time to make a difference and was tasked with chipping in at the back when asked. One notable headed clearance in the box late on.

Mikel Arteta saw his side outplay leaders Liverpool for large spells

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Mikel Arteta saw his side outplay leaders Liverpool for large spellsCredit: AP

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