Jurgen Klopp said Monday that he has been blown away by the standards Liverpool have set at the start of their Premier League title defence after coming from behind to beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota saw off the Gunners, who had won their opening two league games of the season.
While Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and now Arsenal have all lost in the opening three weeks of the new campaign, Liverpool have taken maximum points to lay down an early marker that they remain the team to beat in the Premier League this season.
“It’s really early in the season and with this performance it is absolutely ‘wow’,” said coach Klopp.
“From the first second, (it was) dominant against a team in form. We had to be careful like hell of the counter-attacks.
“The football we played was absolutely exceptional. About this game tonight, there is nothing bad to say.”
The outcome of the match could have been very different, though, had Mane not escaped with just a yellow card for an elbow on Kieran Tierney after just three minutes.
Arsenal followed the game plan that had brought them two victories over Liverpool in recent months as they dropped deep then looked to play around the Reds’ press when in possession.
However, unlike when they met at the back end of last season’s Premier League when Jurgen Klopp’s men had already won the league or the Community Shield in August, Liverpool were far sharper in pulling the Gunners out of position.
The only time Arsenal did manage to pierce the Liverpool press before half-time, they opened the scoring completely against the run of play.
Robertson was at fault as he spooned Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s cross into the path of Lacazette, who also failed to make a proper connection, but the ball bounced into the ground and looped over the helpless Alisson Becker.