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Liverpool have issued a statement that they are not yet out of the Premier League title race after thumping leaders Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds flew out of the traps in fine style and wrapped up the points inside the opening 20 minutes, establishing a 4-0 lead before adding further gloss in the second half despite Mikel Arteta’s penalty.
Martin Skrtel proved to be an unlikely hero in the opening exchanges, kneeing in Steven Gerrard’s free-kick inside 60 seconds before heading past Wojciech Szczesny from his captain’s 10th-minute corner.
Raheem Sterling would have given England boss Roy Hodgson a nudge with his man-of-the-match performance, grabbing the third when turning home Luis Suarez’s cross in the 16th minute before grabbing his second to complete Liverpool’s scoring in the 52nd minute, after Daniel Sturridge had applied a cool finish in the 20th minute to make it 4-0.
Arsenal did stop the rot after 69 minutes when Gerrard brought down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the box, Arteta converting from the spot, but that will prove scant consolation for Arsene Wenger after being roundly outclassed.
Brendan Rodgers has tried to play down Liverpool’s chances of going all the way this season, maintaining that a top-four place is the best they can hope for, but more performances like this can only enhance their claims.
The Reds are just five points behind Arsenal now and although there is still a long way to go, they do host title challengers Manchester City and Chelsea at Anfield later on in the campaign.