Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2: Second-half goals from Jota and Firmino put the Reds just one point behind Manchester City.
JURGEN KLOPP delivered on his pledge to be a constant annoyance as irrepressible Liverpool closed the gap on league leaders Manchester City to just one point.
In what is shaping up to be the mother of all title races, the eccentric German has pledged to upset his team’s fiercest rivals all the way to the finish line.
Even though Arsenal gave it their all to halt Liverpool’s onslaught, they were unable to prevent the Reds from winning their eighth league title in a row.
Klopp was ecstatic after goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino in the second half, much to the chagrin of the Emirates crowd.
In the build-up to this match, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta claimed that his team is miles away from the current top two.
So he should take heart from the fact that for much of this fiercely competitive match, there was very little to choose between these two sides.
But there won’t be much consolation for the tenacious Spaniard, whose team’s own winning streak was shattered by costly errors from Englasd internationals Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka.
Arteta understands that losing to a Liverpool squad of this caliber is not a disgrace, but he and his teammates must now guarantee that this setback does not derail their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Arsenal are pleased of the fact that they have yet to concede from a corner in the Premier League this season.
But that record was nearly shattered after just two minutes when Virgil van Dijk was granted an uncontested header, forcing Aaron Ramsdale to make a diving save.
Against an Arsenal defense prone to the press, there was a rare early sight of goal for a Liverpool squad missing the dynamism of leading scorer Mo Salah.
The Egyptian winger was still recovering from a foot injury sustained in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Brighton and was only well enough to start the game from the bench.
Chances were few and far between on a filthy night of torrential North London rain, with neither team willing to throw caution to the wind.
When Gabriel Martinelli pushed his way around the back to fire an appealing low cross into the danger area, he almost picked Liverpool’s pockets.
Fabinho was able to clear from right in front of his own goal after Alex Lacazette failed to gamble in the six-yard area.
The lack of goalmouth action demonstrated the mutual respect between these two teams given that Arsenal is no longer the soft touch they once were.
It wasn’t long ago that Liverpool would consider success over Arsenal a foregone conclusion, and Klopp’s record of only one defeat in 17 games showed they shouldn’t have had too much to worry about against these opponents.
But these Arsenal teenagers have found a new level of toughness, and now that they’ve figured out how to keep 11 men on the field, they’re no longer a pushover.
With referee Andre Marriner ready to let the players slam into each other, this was the ideal occasion for Arteta’s youngsters to demonstrate their worth.
When Sadio Mane was knocked off the ball without a free-kick being granted, Klopp became enraged and participated in a lengthy and passionate argument.
And it was evident that he was fed up with his team’s lack of success when he chastised Fabinho for a careless clearance straight into touch.
A long ball over the top provided Mane with a half-chance on the stroke of half-time, but he pushed his shot miles wide on the stretch.
Two minutes after the break, the Senegalese international had the ball in the net, but he had obviously strayed offside to receive Jordan Henderson’s pass.
When the effervescent Martinelli moved past three defenders before producing another attractive cross that none of his teammates could complete, it should have been Arsenal who were celebrating.
An even greater chance came and passed in the 51st minute when Lacazette intercepted Thiago Alcantara’s startling back throw, but Martin Odegaard’s little hesitation was enough for Alisson to make a critical stop.
And Arsenal were made to pay for it four minutes later as Thiago adjusted his radar and delivered an inch-perfect through ball for Jota.
Arsenal had been caught sleeping at the defense for the first time all evening, and Jota made them pay the price with a shot that past Ramsdale inside his near post despite the keeper putting a strong hand to the ball.
That would be Jota’s final contribution to the evening’s proceedings, as Salah came on to replace him, and Firmino came on to replace Luis Diaz.
And Klopp’s decision-making was once again impeccable as his two replacements combined for Liverpool’s game-winning second goal in the 62nd minute.
Ben White saved Salah’s goal-bound shot off the line, but when Bukayo Saka failed to clear his lines, Andy Roberton was able to spear the ball into the six-yard box for Firmino to finish from close range.