Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Final score 2-0, Gunners extend lead atop table

Laurence Griffiths

Arsenal cruised to a 2-0 win against Liverpool thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey.

Arsenal brushed aside second-place Liverpool at the Emirates to cement their place atop the Premier League. Much had been made of the Gunners' supposed easy start to the season, but faced with a serious test in Brendan Rodgers' Reds, the hosts grabbed a pair of wonderful goals and blunted the vaunted strike partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez for a 2-0 win.

Arsenal drew blood early. Aly Cissokho failed to track Bacary Sagna's marauding run down the right flank, and the fullback made full advantage of the space, pinging in a lovely cross that was met with a header from the rather unlikely figure of Cazorla. Said header beat Simon Mignolet, but cannoned off the goalkeeper's right hand post. The danger wasn't over -- Cazorla's run took him right onto the rebound and the former Malaga man volleyed into the empty net.

Liverpool were down but not out. The visitors, who before the goal hadn't really gotten their dangerous strikers into the match, slowly started piling on the pressure. For some time after the break, which saw Philippe Coutinho deployed in place of the unfortunate Cissokho, Liverpool looked the likelier to score, and they might have managed to pull one back when Luis Suarez wriggled free but for a fantastic intervention by Laurent Koscielny.

As the Reds pushed forward, Arsenal found more space at the back and began to exploit it. Olivier Giroud should have doubled their advantage when he robbed Martin Skrtel only to put wide when one-on-one with Mignolet, but that miss turned out not to be too costly thanks to a moment of genius from Aaron Ramsey. Presented with the ball 30 yards out, the midfielder looked up, saw no particularly enticing passes and therefore opted to score himself. The shot was so sweetly-struck that Mignolet had no chance of keeping it out.

The visitors kept pressing forward despite the deficit. Suarez hit the post with 15 minutes to go as Liverpool desperately looked for a way back into the match. They wouldn't find one, although they probably should have taken advantage of a pair of Wojciech Szczesny errors at the death. Three minutes of injury time later, the Gunners had claimed an impressive -- and important -- win.

Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Kieran Gibbs (Thomas Vermaelen 78'), Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna; Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey; Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Tomas Rosicky (Nacho Monreal 72'); Olivier Giroud.

Goals: Cazorla 19', Ramsey 59'.

Liverpool starting lineup (3-5-2): Simon Mignolet; Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure; Aly Cissokho (Philippe Coutinho 45'), Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Steven Gerrard, John Flanagan (Victor Moses 68'); Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge.

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