Arsenal thrash Burnley, Liverpool starting lineup goes cross country

February 18, 2024 7:18 am

Bukayo Saka scores Arsenal's third goal [Source: Reuters]

Liverpool fielded a starting lineup with 11 players of different nationalities for the first time in their 4-1 win at Brentford in the Premier League this morning.

Following injuries to Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Thiago Alcantara and Dominik Szoboszlai, manager Juergen Klopp made changes and players from 11 countries made up Liverpool’s starting team in a league game for the first time in their 132-year history.

The German manager named Ireland international Caoimhin Kelleher in goal and the back line featured Northern Irishman Conor Bradley, France’s Ibrahima Konate, Dutchman Virgil van Dijk and Scotland’s Andrew Robertson.

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Midfielder Curtis Jones was the only Englishman in the lineup alongside Argentina’s Alexis Mac Allister and Japan’s Wataru Endo.

The forward line consisted of Portugal’s Diogo Jota, Colombian Luis Diaz and Uruguayan Darwin Nunez before substitute Mohamed Salah of Egypt entered the fray.

Nunez, Mac Allister, Salah and Cody Gakpo scored as Liverpool moved up to 57 points and remained two points clear of Arsenal.

On the other hand, Bukayo Saka scored either side of halftime as Arsenal crushed second-bottom Burnley 5-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday to go second and keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Captain Martin Odegaard opened the scoring in the fourth minute, shooting unmarked from the edge of the box into the bottom corner after being set up by Gabriel Martinelli.

Saka made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 41st after a foul on Leandro Trossard and then claimed his second two minutes after the break for his 12th league goal of the campaign.

Trossard made amends for earlier misses when he curled one in for 4-0 and Kai Havertz added a fifth after a long throw as Arsenal chalked up a fifth straight win in 2024 — the first time they have started a calendar year with such a run.

The London side are two points behind Liverpool, 4-1 winners, opens new tab at Brentford, after 25 games and three clear of champions Manchester City who host Chelsea in the late kickoff.

In other matches played this morning, Manchester City was held 1-all by Chelsea, Bournemouth held Newcastle 2-all, Aston Villa defeated Fulham 2-1 while Nottm Forest beat West ham 2-0.