Liverpool showed no signs of fatigue from their midweek exertions with a counter-attacking masterclass to dismantle Arsenal in a highly convincing 4-0 Premier League victory at Anfield.
A 6-3 aggregate victory over Hoffenheim, completed on Wednesday, clinched a return to the Champions League but did not appear to take its toll on Liverpool, who were full of energy as they punished a shambolic display from Arsenal
Arsene Wenger shuffled his back three after last weekend’s dismal 1-0 defeat at Stoke City but they were left exposed when Liverpool regained possession high up the pitch and Roberto Firmino headed in the opener.
The visitors were caught out again when Sadio Mane finished off a move that flew from one box to the other and some woeful defending from the bungling Hector Bellerin allowed Mohamed Salah to surge clear to put the result beyond doubt in the second half.
Daniel Sturridge, a 74th-minute replacement for Mane, added gloss to a scoreline that will help overshadow the confusion regarding Simon Mignolet being dropped from the matchday squad as Loris Karius started his first top-flight game since December.
Despite the return of star forward Alexis Sanchez to the starting line-up after an abdominal injury Arsenal were left to mull on another chastening defeat that leaves them with just one win from their first three games.
Salah would have similarly been ruing his finishing in the 10th minute. Emre Can burst into the box via a one-two with Firmino and rolled a cross to the back post for the Egyptian, whose shot along the ground was blocked brilliantly by Petr Cech at full stretch