Diogo Jota marked his first game for Liverpool in the English Premier League with the last goal as the champions beat Arsenal 3-1 for a third straight victory to open their title defense on Monday.
Signed this month from Wolverhampton to add depth to Liverpool’s forward options, Jota looked dangerous after coming on as a second-half substitute for Sadio Mane, and got his goal in the 88th minute with a shot from the edge of the area following a poor headed clearance from David Luiz.
Before that, Andrew Robertson atoned for an error that led to the opening goal for Arsenal by Alexandre Lacazette by scoring himself to put Liverpool in front in the 34th, capping a chaotic nine-minute period when three goals went in.
Sadio Mane equalized between those goals. It is an ominous start to the season by Liverpool, which has already beaten Chelsea and is one of three teams on a maximum of nine points after three rounds. Arsenal dropped points for the first time, after earlier wins over Fulham and West Ham, but will rue two big missed chances by Lacazette at 2-1.
On both occasions, Lacazette was played through one-on-one with goalkeeper Alisson, who kept out weak efforts from the French striker. Lacazette was seen hiding his head in his jersey in the dugout after being substituted soon after.
Arsenal took the lead in the 25th and the blame lay squarely with Robertson, who failed to deal with a routine cross from the right and succeeded in only setting up Lacazette to force in a scruffy finish over the stranded Alisson.
Mane got Liverpool back on level terms inside three minutes, tapping in a rebound after Mohamed Salah cut inside and sent in a shot that was parried out by goalkeeper Bernd Leno. Then it was left for Robertson, Liverpool’s attacking left back, to make amends by getting on the end of a cross by the team’s other full back, Trent Alexander-Arnold, to control the ball with his chest and lift a deft shot into the net in the 34th.
Jota, who played in the English League Cup last week for his Liverpool debut, came on in the 80th minute and spurned a clear opportunity from Salah’s pass before finding the net to end Arsenal’s hopes.