Despite Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers stating earlier in the week that his side were no longer title contenders, all signs point to the contrary after a sizzling start en route to an emphatic victory over the Gunners.
Defender Martin Skrtel opened the scoring with a minute on the clock, heading home Steven Gerrard’s cross before the two combined shortly after to double the hosts’ lead.
The Reds continued to assert their dominance as Arsenal looked shellshocked. Suarez rattled the frame of the goal with a 25-yard volley before Raheem Sterling rounded off a swift Liverpool counter attack to put the game beyond doubt.
The Liverpool fans were still celebrating as Philippe Coutinho picked off Mikel Arteta’s stray ball on the halfway line to send Sturridge through on goal with an incisive pass. The England forward steadied himself with a clever first touch, opening his body to finish past the stranded Wojciech Szczesny from the edge of the penalty area.
The hosts started the second half with a very different game plan, retaining possession and attacking on the counter. The tactic allowed for Arsenal to see more of the ball in the second period, but Liverpool continued to threaten and it was soon 5-0 as Sterling Grabbed his second with a darting run and clever finish.
The Gunners finally got on the scoresheet as Gerrard’s poorly-timed sliding tackled felled Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the penalty area.
Mikel Arteta stepped up, clipping the ball down the middle of the goal to grab a consolation goal for the visitors as Liverpool ran out worthy winners.
2' - GOAL: Liverpool score with barely a minute on the clock. Gerrard’s devilish free kick from the left is whipped in towards the far post where Skrtel is waiting to prod home from six yards. WHAT A START!!
11' - GOAL: Liverpool are 2-0 up very early on. It’s the same combination again as Gerrard’s corner is met by the head of Skrtel. The centre-half has to stoop down 10 yards from goal, but does tremendously well to flick the ball into the far corner.
12' - SHOULD SCORE: That would have been virtually game over. Liverpool are just too good for the visitors at the moment. Gerrard finds Suarez out wide on the right, and the Uruguayan’s first time ball sends Sturridge through on goal. The forward attempts to loft the ball over Szczesny but it drifts wide.
14' - WHAT A STRIKE FROM SUAREZ: MY OH MY! Liverpool win another corner, but Gerrard clips it to the edge of the penalty area towards Suarez. The No. 7 flicks the pass up into the air and sends a wicked volley through the crowd and past Szczesny, but it comes flying back off the post. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ball hit like that.
17' - GOAL: IT’S THREE!!! Arsenal lose the ball in the Liverpool half and face s lightning-quick counter attack as the hosts throw men forward. Suarez is given the ball on the right-hand side of the penalty area, and he opts to send a first-time ball towards the back post where Sterling is on hand to tap home.
20' - GOAL: Can you believe it? Arsenal have been embarrassed and we don’t have 20 minutes on the clock. Coutinho’s incisive through ball splits the two Arsenal centre-halves and sends Sturridge through on goal. The forward takes one touch before finishing from the edge of the penalty area.
53' - GOAL: It’s five. FIVE!! Kolo Toure does brilliantly to find Sterling, who has pulled away from his marker. The youngster races through on goal and finishes from close range, though he requires to attempts to do so.
55' - SO CLOSE: Sterling almost has his hat-trick, but he should have been flagged offside. Gerrard’s whipped set-piece from the right evades everybody and finds the England U-21 winger at the far post, but he can’t quite steer it goalwards.
69' - CONSOLATION GOAL: Steven Gerrard brings down Oxlade-Chamberlain in the penalty area and concedes a penalty. Arteta steps up, sending the ball down the middle to grab a consolation goal for his side.
Liverpool’s 4-0 lead was the fastest in Premier League history.
Daniel Sturridge has now scored in seven successive matches for Liverpool.
TALKING POINT: Are Liverpool still in the title race? Brendan Rodgers had, earlier in the week, insisted that Liverpool would not win the league. However, after an emphatic victory that moves the Reds within five points of the league leaders, they're surely still in the hunt for the title.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Raheem Sterling, Liverpool - Sterling had a number of chances to wrap up his hat-trick, and although he didn't take any of them, he is well worthy of the man of the match award. The England Under-21 winger caused the Arsenal full-backs no end of problems and took his two goals very well.
Liverpool: Mignolet 6, Flanagan 6, Skrtel 8, Toure 6, Cissokho 6, Coutinho 8, Gerrard 7, Henderson 7, Suarez 8, Sterling 9, Sturridge 7 Subs: Aspas 5, Allen 5, Ibe 5
Arsenal: Szczesny 6, Sagna 6, Mertesacker 5, Koscielny 6, Monreal 5, Arteta 6, Wilshere 5, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Ozil 6, Cazorla 6, Giroud 6 Subs: Rosicky 5, Podolski 5, Gibbs 5
THE MATCH IN A TWEET