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Jota brace helps Liverpool dispatch Arsenal

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Diogo Jota had a big impact from the bench as his brace set Liverpool on their way to a precious 3-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday (AEST).

The defending Premier League champions closed to within two points of the top four with victory after Chelsea were remarkably thrashed 5-2 at home by West Brom earlier in the day.

It was a huge opportunity that looked like passing Liverpool by as they lacked imagination in the final third for the first hour.

But with Arsenal providing uninspiring opposition, Jurgen Klopp turned to his bench and Jota required just over three minutes after coming on to forge the breakthrough with a thumping header.

A swift second followed from Mohamed Salah and Jota was on target again for the third, ensuring the Reds moved firmly back into the race for UEFA Champions League qualification.

Liverpool had dominated from the outset but were restricted to shots from distance until the 35th minute when James Milner passed up a glaring opportunity.

Trent Alexander-Arnold reached the byline and cut a ball back to the unmarked stand-in Liverpool skipper, who pulled a firmly struck effort wide with Bernd Leno seemingly beaten.

A difficult first half for Arsenal ended with Kieran Tierney departing through injury, before the second period brought only marginal improvement in the home ranks.

Klopp sensed the opportunity, made an attacking change - replacing Andy Robertson with Jota - and was quickly rewarded as the substitute beat two defenders to a sublime Alexander-Arnold cross.

Salah, stifled until then, suddenly found space down the right and advanced to roll a finish under Leno to take the game away from Arsenal.

Leno produced a right-handed save from the same man soon afterwards, but an awful Gabriel Magalhaes pass let the visitors in again and Jota blasted past the goalkeeper.

Source Omnisport