LIVERPOOL, England (REUTERS) - Liverpool rediscovered flashes of their most vibrant attacking form to repel an Arsenal fightback at a jubilant Anfield on Saturday (March 4) and leapfrog Arsene Wenger's men in the battle for Champions League places.
Goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum put Liverpool into third place in the Premier League as they completed their double over the Gunners with the sort of elan - especially in the first half - that they had displayed regularly before the New Year.
Wenger was presented with another difficult evening as his decision to leave top scorer Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott on the bench hardly seemed justified amid Liverpool's first-half dominance.
When he brought the Chilean on for the second half with Arsenal two down, the Gunners perked up with Sanchez setting up a Danny Welbeck goal in the 57th minute.
Yet even as Anfield grew increasingly nervous in a much more even affair, Wijnaldum ended the home fans' worries by converting an injury-time soother on the break.