Trent Alexander-Arnold saluted Liverpool’s “massive” 2-1 win at Chelsea as the Premier League leaders maintained their perfect start to the title race on Sunday.
Alexander-Arnold put Liverpool on course for a sixth successive league win this term with a blistering first half free-kick at Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Firmino doubled their lead before the break, but Chelsea were on top in the second half and got one back through N’Golo Kante.
That set the stage for a tense finish as the visitors held firm under a barrage to move five points clear of Manchester City.
“It’s massive for us. We have come here in good form, tried to execute the game-plan and bounced back from a set back in midweek. We’ve shown we are a good side,” Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports. “You can’t expect to come here and have it your own way. They are a proud side and were going to come out fighting. The last 25-30 minutes were really tough.”
Alexander-Arnold revealed Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson had considered taking the set-piece before deferring to the England defender, who blasted in for his first goal since November 2018.
“Hendo wanted the free-kick at first and then thought it was too close for him,” he said. “I thought it was too close to go over the wall, I had to go to the keeper’s side, a good roll and tried to hit it as hard as I can.”
Liverpool had luck on their side as Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta had a first half equaliser disallowed by VAR for offside against Mason Mount. Alexander-Arnold admitted it was a significant momentum swing.
“It is a mental setback for the other team. You think you have scored, celebrate, get back in position and all of a sudden the goal has been cancelled,” he said.
AUBA CAPS GUNNERS’ COMEBACK
At the Emirates, ten-man Arsenal twice came from a goal down to claim a much-needed 3-2 win over Aston Villa in dramatic fashion thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s free-kick six minutes from time.
The Gunners’ winless run in the Premier League seemed set to stretch to four games when John McGinn gave Villa the lead and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s sending-off four minutes before half-time gave Unai Emery’s men a mountain to climb.
Nicolas Pepe’s first Arsenal goal from the penalty spot briefly brought the Gunners level, but Wesley soon restored Villa’s lead.
Arsenal showed spirit as Calum Chambers looped home an equaliser before Aubameyang took centre stage to rifle home a free-kick from the edge of the area to lift Arsenal to fourth.
Earlier, West Ham inflicted more away-day pain on Manchester United, beating Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team 2-0 at the London Stadium.
Andriy Yarmolenko’s goal shortly before half-time and a wonderful late Aaron Cresswell free-kick mean United have not won away from Old Trafford in any competition since March.
West Ham moved into fifth but it was a chastening day for Solskjaer’s men as they slipped to eighth.