Liverpool deepen Arsenal woes ahead of Bayern Munich  clash

Liverpool secured a vital advantage over Arsenal in the battle for a place in the Premier League's top four with a well-deserved win at Anfield.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gambled by leaving Alexis Sanchez - his leading scorer with 17 Premier League goals - on the bench but the ploy failed miserably as Liverpool took control by the break.

Roberto Firmino's far-post finish put Liverpool ahead after nine minutes and Sadio Mane confirmed their superiority with an emphatic strike just before half-time.

Sanchez, predictably, emerged as a substitute at the start of the second half and set up a goal for Danny Welbeck that gave Arsenal hope but Georginio Wijnaldum struck on the break deep into injury-time to seal Liverpool's win.

Liverpool are now up to third, level with Manchester City on 52 points - but Arsenal are now in fifth trailing that pair by two points.

The defeat has come the way of Arsenal as they prepare to face Bayern Munich in the return leg of their round of 16 Champions League tie. The Gunners lost 1-5 three weeks ago in Germany against the Bavarian giants.

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