Arsenal dealt Liverpool’s top-four hopes a substantial blow with an emphatic 4-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Three goals in the final eight minutes of the first half stunned Liverpool as Hector Bellerin’s curled strike on 37 minutes, Mesut Ozil’s exquisite free-kick three minutes later and Alexis Sanchez’s thunderous effort on the verge of half-time took the game away from Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Jordan Henderson converted a penalty 15 minutes from time after Raheem Sterling was brought down by Bellerin but Emre Can’s dismissal for a second bookable offence 10 minutes later all-but ended the contest.
Olivier Giroud bagged his seventh strike in six Premier League games in stoppage-time with a well-taken, left-footed effort as Arsenal moved up to second in the table.
The result, which leaves Arsenal four points behind leaders Chelsea, is the Gunners’ seventh consecutive league victory as well as their seventh consecutive win in all competitions.
Liverpool, who suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since November, remain fifth, five points adrift of Manchester United having played a game more.