LONDON (REUTERS) - A clinical Liverpool beat Arsenal 2-0 to cut Manchester City's once double-digit lead at the top of the Premier League table to a single point on Wednesday (March 16), leaving the title race wide open.
Arsenal, who had won their last five league games, had arguably dominated the first half, but the game tipped decisively early in a frenetic second half as Liverpool extended their own relentless run to nine straight wins.
Their breakthrough came just minutes after a misplaced backpass had almost gifted Arsenal a goal, when Portuguese Diogo Jota got ahead of the London side's defence on 54 minutes to beat goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at his near post.
The result was effectively sewn up eight minutes later by Roberto Firmino who squeezed his finish under the Arsenal goalkeeper again after his side had twice failed to clear the ball from their box.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will have been pleased with his side's sharp performance, if not the result, as they remain in a top-four, Champions' League spot, one point ahead of Manchester United and with two games in hand.
"They really raised the level today but unfortunately games are won in the boxes," he told reporters.
"We opened the door and they went to that door and scored two goals."
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was visibly delighted after the game that his side secured the win and ratcheted up the pressure on City who they play in just over three weeks' time.
“We’ve obviously had a good period. It’s what we need. We’re one point (behind), but it’s still the same. We have to win football matches. We then face City, then all the others," he said.
“Hopefully all the players come back fit from international duty. Then we have an early kickoff against Watford. It’s better to be one point behind than 14 points.
“We know we have a special group here and we’re trying to squeeze everything we can out of the situation.”