Arsenal moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 2-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger's men had gone into the game on the back of a League Cup defeat to Chelsea, but they bounced back to open up a healthy advantage over the chasing pack in the league following their London rivals' 2-0 loss at Newcastle United earlier in the day.
Arsenal made no mistake in underlining their title credentials at the Emirates, as they produced a dominant performance to secure victory.
Santi Cazorla opened the scoring as he pounced on a rebound after heading Bacary Sagna's right-wing cross against the post following a fine counter-attack from the hosts.
Liverpool had spells of pressure at various points in the match, but Arsenal killed things off after 59 minutes when Aaron Ramsey collected a square pass from Mesut Ozil on the edge of the area before unleashing a magnificent volley to all but the end the game as a contest.
Jack Wilshere was left out of the Arsenal starting XI due to an ankle problem, while Tomas Rosicky came in for the injured Mathieu Flamini.
Brendan Rodgers made just one change to the Liverpool side that beat West Brom 4-1 in their previous Premier League clash as Jon Flanagan replaced Glen Johnson to make his first start of the season at wing-back.
Arsenal created the first chance after five minutes, Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet producing a good save to deny midfielder Rosicky from close range following neat build-up play from the hosts.
Liverpool dictated possession for much of the early stages, but it was Arsenal who went ahead 19 minutes in as Cazorla showed great reactions to fire past Mignolet after initially hitting the woodwork.
Wenger's men looked to press home their superiority following the goal, Cazorla's long-range drive forcing another strong stop from Mignolet, who was called into action again to prevent Ramsey from doubling their advantage soon afterwards.
Cazorla was at the centre of the majority of Arsenal’s attacks, and the Spain international wasted another opportunity to increase the lead when he dragged a poor shot wide of the right-hand post just before half-time.
Liverpool went close to levelling in the early stages of the second half as midfielder Jordan Henderson fired narrowly over the crossbar following good work down the right from Luis Suarez.
But the visitors were fortunate not to concede a second as Olivier Giroud somehow shot wide after a mistake from Kolo Toure had allowed the France international striker to race through on goal.
Rodgers' men did not learn from that let off, though, and they were duly punished a few minutes later, Ramsey shooting past a helpless Mignolet with a sublime volley.
Liverpool threatened an unlikely comeback in the closing stages, Suarez twice spurning glaring opportunities and Wojciech Szczesny denying substitute Philippe Coutinho, but Arsenal saw out a deserved victory.
|Coach: A. Wenger|
for T. Rosický 72'
for K. Gibbs 78'
for Cazorla 84'
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