The Match: What Liverpool can learn from their 2014 thrashing of Arsenal

The 2013/14 Premier League season of course ended very badly for Liverpool fans, there is no doubting that, but for the majority of the season the Reds were in blistering form and made for a fantastic watch each week with their free-scoring approach and lethal front-three.

Before the eventual collapse that allowed Manchester City to win the title, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling were on fire and Brendan Rodgers had his side coming out of the blocks so quickly that matches could be over within the first 20 minutes.

The prime example of this was when Arsenal visited Anfield in February 2014. The Reds completely overawed Arsene Wenger’s side and raced into the lead after just one minute of the game before doubling the score nine minutes later, with both goals coming from centre-back Martin Skrtel.

Martin Skrtel celebrates for Liverpool

The home side didn’t stop there either, as Sterling and Sturridge both netted to make it 4-0 with only 20 minutes on the clock, before the game eventually settled down and finished 5-1.

Although that was now well over four years ago, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp can learn a great deal from the performance that day ahead of their trip to the Emirates to play Arsenal this Saturday evening.

There is little argument that the Merseyside club now have an even better front-three in Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, and they certainly have a better manager, but this season they have not blown teams out of the water as they did in 2014 and in fact last season.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino

When Liverpool travel to North London on Saturday though, if they start as quickly as Skrtel did that day then the game once again could be over within 20 minutes, especially as the fragile Arsenal defence has hardly been tested all season.

The trend for Arsenal this season under Unai Emery has very much been a slow start, as the Gunners have not led at half-time of any of their Premier League games so far and have relied on their second-half performances to get them out of trouble.

There are more similarities between that day in 2014 and this Saturday too. Back then, Arsenal were riding high on confidence and were actually top of the league, and this week Emery’s side stretched their unbeaten run to 13 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal vs Liverpool - first and second half performances

Liverpool’s quick start completely knocked the stuffing out of Arsenal though and Klopp must now take the brakes off his side and let them attack the Gunners from the very first whistle.

If Liverpool do learn from the 2014 demolition job, they could have this top-four clash wrapped up within the first 20 minutes once again.