LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 27, 2017: Liverpool's scoreboard records the 4-0 victory overt Arsenal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

WE’RE all human, and when a curve ball like the Liverpool No.1 being dropped for one of the biggest games of the season happens, it’s hard not to wonder why and worry about the impact on the game ahead. Good job The Reds cared not a jot about it all. Crowd and team seemed to converge on kick off and decide Liverpool as a collective was having none. So what a day. Here’s what some of The Anfield Wrap crew made of it all live, before, during and after…

PRE-MATCH: THE MIGNOLET MADNESS

Phil Blundell: Mignolet situation is a bit mad isn’t it? Half think he’s gonna sell him. If he was making a change he’d be on the bench.

Ian Ryan: Not Migs biggest fan but the timing seems odd, defo sounds like there’s more to it.

Gareth Roberts: It is odd. Particularly the ‘rested’ line. How knackered do keepers get?

Josh Sexton: Could be a personal reasons situation, but don’t they usually just say that it’s that?

Dan Vincent: Unless by rested, he actually meant ‘dead to me’. I’ve always felt at some point he’d throw Karius back in but didn’t expect it to be in a big league game and so soon into the season. My guess would be a falling out or an unexpected offer has surfaced.

Ian Ryan: Was poor against Watford but then plays the following four games and doesn’t do a lot wrong. Still issues for me around commanding his box and communication with defence. Big shout making the change today though for such a big game when the keeper will be called on a lot more than say Palace at home.

John Milburn: I reckon van Dijk  has made selling him a clause in his deal.

TEAM NEWS

Dan Vincent: Didn’t expect Sanchez to start over Lacazette.

Josh Sexton: Feels a big let off for our defence to not have both running at them

Dan Vincent: Deffo. Can see Matip and Lovren knocking out a little Kane-Alli-style handshake on seeing the team sheet.

Ste Evans: Still loads of pace in that front three for Arsenal. Got goals written all over it this game*

Ste Evo: *nailed on 0-0.

FIRST HALF

Gareth Roberts: Boss start from crowd and team. Feels like it’s a big occasion and everyone is treating it as so.

John Milburn: I’m up in the Upper Main — very vociferous for both YNWA and Tommy.

Salah’s chance

Ian Ryan: Ffs what a chance, has to score.

Gareth Roberts: That was a literally a goal as far as The Kop was concerned. What happened??

Josh Sexton: Took it with his right and ended up hitting it closer to his stomach. Trying to go back the way Cech had come.

John Gibbons: Both full backs very good so far.

Josh Sexton: Couldn’t see the logic in Gomez starting earlier but can now.

Gareth Roberts: What a start!

Josh Sexton: Get in! Great ball from Gomez, never doubted him

Ian Ryan: Gomez did great there, get in Reds.

Danny Morgan: Deserved that

Phil Blundell: How do their fans not run on the pitch and kill all their players? The laziness from Xhaka was unreal.

Josh Sexton: Firmino taking up central striker positions is something I could get used to

Dan Vincent: BOBBY FIRMINO MATE.

⁠⁠⁠⁠Josh Sexton: Hendo’s been boss

John Milburn: Firmino takes two with him wherever he goes. Like Luis used to.

Josh Sexton: Gini absolutely ruining lives there

Ian Ryan: Bobby and Gini sending multiple lads for Echos there.

John Gibbons: Hendo gets caught badly for their one chance but great apart from that.

Gareth Roberts: Matip’s had a good half here.

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Ian Ryan: Mane though, fucking never in doubt

Josh Sexton: How do you defend against these three?

Phil Blundell: Never seen a player like Firmino. How do you pigeon hole him?

Josh Sexton: He can go either way, if he drops you have to follow him otherwise he puts one of the fast lads through, if you let him go he’ll get in behind and can finish

Dan Vincent: Mane mate. Fuck me. If there’s a better wide player in the Premier League I haven’t seen him. He could net 20 this season as well, no danger.

Gareth Roberts: We’ve had loads of sides down the years that this front three would absolutely walk into all day.

John Milburn: Let’s make it certain in the window and back them up with quality numbers

John Gibbons: Right. Can we use half time to sort Emre Can’s contract out please?

Phil Blundell: Firmino’s touch on halfway for that goal was unreal. Just simple and did so much

Gareth Roberts: Fantastic half, that. Real defiance and intent about crowd and team that I was bang into. If you’re nit picking you want another one or two. If you’re not you’re flying because we’re bossing a team and a manager that is always round and about the top of the league and has a fella with Wenger’s record as boss. Remember before when everyone was talking about who is in goal? Nah.

Phil Blundell: I reckon these are closer to Everton than they are to us. That spell before half time when they just refused to press was bananas. What’s their game? I think there’s a serious argument that the big six is the big five.

SECOND HALF

⁠⁠⁠⁠Ian Ryan: Nothing silly here, Reds. Gomez on a booking with Sanchez playing over that side is a slight concern.

Ste Evans: Big 1o.

Gareth Roberts: Twat them Reds

Josh Sexton: Mo Salah, la…

Ian Ryan: He’s like the road runner, you ain’t catching that lad.

John Milburn: Rapid

 John Gibbons: Haha I loved them trying to pull Mane back

Danny Morgan: These have gone here. Gaps everywhere

Ian Ryan: Lets hit these for five again.

Phil Blundell: Cos they’re only a tenth of a football team compared to the boys in red.

Gareth Roberts: Imagine defending against that front three while trying to get out and play football. See you later…

Dan Vincent: MO SALAH MATE.

Josh Sexton: Bringing two strikers on here. It’s either gonna finish 3-3 or 20-0.

Josh Sexton: Standing ovation for Oxlade Chambo

Dan Vincent: Moreno has been boss. I love those mad scissor tackles. I’m into wild Albi.

Ian Ryan: Surprised Matip or Lovren haven’t chinned karius tbh.

Gareth Roberts: Albie has done well the empty-headed loon…

Ian Ryan: If Albie wasn’t on the floor he’d be trying to hang off that camera the mad loon.

Ian Ryan: My kecks are off

Phil Blundell: Jesus Christ. That was better than Wednesday.

Ste Evans: Outrageous

Josh Sexton: Salah’s got so much more in his locker than everybody said before he came. Defo not just a speed merchant

Gareth Roberts: What a time to be alive

Ian Ryan: Emre = beast.

Ste Evans: As good as he’s been in a red shirt there today, Emre. Superb.

FINAL WHISTLE

John Milburn: What time does Arsenal fan TV go live, blud? Arsenal weren’t that bad in the 5-1

Josh Sexton: Absolute belter that, a big win for The Reds is always great but it’s especially sweet when you send a rival into complete desolation. Some boss individual performances today too, although I think Karius may be the first ‘keeper to ever keep a clean sheet and be shite simultaneously.

Danny Morgan: Can’t underestimate how hard it is to judge what you do against this side. Sit in or come out you’re onto a loser it seems. Get the fuck in there. Massive that. The lads doing it for the Bank Holiday bevy. Heart them loads.

Ian Ryan: The Reds putting a nice little marker down there before the international break, lovely stuff. Can’t wait for that City game

John Milburn: Gomez had a brilliant game bar one incident first half — Can imperious, Gini renewed. The front three look torturous. The Reds look the real deal.

Ste Evans: As good as we were as an attacking force it feels a bit weird to single out the back four there but they were outstanding. Especially Matip and Gomez. Classy performance from both. The poorest Arsenal side I’ve seen in a long while that. But not sure any team in the League can live with us when we play like that.

Dan Vincent: Said it for a while now. Think we’re two players off potentially winning the League. That’s not being a tit after one performance. Genuinely think we’re that good going forward. Just hope we get them boxed by next week! Up the Reds!!!

Ian Ryan: Tend to agree. With a couple of smart additions this Liverpool team will take some stopping. There will be tougher tests to come than this Arsenal side but at times today we were just unplayable. Watching these lads this season will be loads of fun.

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