Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez were both on target for Arsenal in their win over Liverpool in the English Premier LeagueReuters

An eight-minute spell littered with three astounding goals was all it took for Arsenal to creep further up and pull to within four points of leaders Chelsea, while leaving Liverpool licking their wounds following defeat to another rival in consecutive English Premier League games.

The Gunners have been purring since the turn of the year and that purr continued to produce outstanding music with Hector Bellerin, via a wonderful finish, Mesut Ozil, courtesy a crisp freekick, Alexis Sanchez, through a sumptuous thump, and Olivier I-cannot-stop-scoring Giroud, from a curler from heaven, giving their side a comfortable-as-they-come 4-1 win over Liverpool, who got their consolation goal from Jordan Henderson from the penalty spot, before their night was compounded by the late sending off of Emre Can.

Four points is the difference now between Arsenal and Chelsea, who play Stoke City later today, one of their two games in hand, but Arsene Wenger will be smiling like a Cheshire cat having watched another masterfully controlled performance from his wards.

Arsenal got off to a stirring start, giving Liverpool a few hear-attacks in the first ten minutes, with only Simon Mignolet, via wonderful saves to stop Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, deployed in the right-wing position, stopping the home team from opening the scoring.

Liverpool weathered that storm just about and then looked to find their own attacking groove at the other end, with Raheem Sterling, in particular, looking to make a statement after all the drama surrounding his future. Sterling would have made it 1-0 on 19 minutes for Liverpool too had Lazar Markovic, clear on goal, not overhit a pass through to his teammate with the forward waiting to get his foot on the ball and guide it into an empty goal.

But, that chance was not to be and Arsenal refound their rhythm towards the end of the first half, a rhythm which brought Liverpool tumbling down.

All three goals, scored from minute 37 to 45, were things of beauties, with Bellerin starting the goal glut via a wonderful left-footed strike into the bottom corner. Ozil found Ramsey on the right with a perfect ball, and the midfielder just waited for Bellerin to come in, with the Spaniard cutting onto his left foot and placing the ball past the right of Mignolet.

That goal would have been satisfactory enough at halftime after the storming start from the Gunners, but it got so much better for the home team, with Ozil, who was getting a little frustrated having given the ball away a couple of times, taking the freekick having won it and thumping it past Mignolet who could not stop the ball despite it flying to the end he was covering.

It was 3-0 and game done on the stroke of halftime as Ramsey found Alexis Sanchez on the edge of the box and the result was inevitable. The Chilean, who has not been able to flow the goals as easily as he would have liked in the second half of the season, skipped past Kolo Toure, made some space for himself and let fly a bullet which Mignolet could do nothing about.

Liverpool needed to get an early goal if they were to make a game of it in the second 45, but Arsenal played well within themselves from an attacking point of view, and with it not giving their opponents the space. And even if Henderson pulled one back on 76 minutes, after Bellerin, who could have easily seen a second yellow for fouling Sterling unnecessarily, it was always way too late.

And indeed, instead of having a real go in the final 10 minutes, Liverpool were put on the back foot again, as Can, on a yellow card, decided to scythe down substitute Danny Welbeck, with referee Anthony Taylor left with no option but to give a second yellow.

Santi Cazorla, who was not his usual Cazorla self on the afternoon as a whole, nearly made it 4-1, but his strike, after a wonderful move, hit the outside of the post. However, the second half goal for Arsenal would come via their main man Giroud, who just let fly a beautiful curler from the edge of the box to add to his ever-burgeoning goal tally.

Also read