BY STEVE NJUGUNA
Arsenal comfortably eased past Liverpool 4-1 at the Emirates stadium in London in an early kickoff at 12:45pm London time and 2:45 pm Nairobi time. Both teams went into the game in good form with Liverpool winning four out of their previous five games and Arsenal winning all of their previous five games. However, both teams are clamoring to secure a top four spot this season so the stakes were very high.
Arsenal started the game on a frantic tempo forcing Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet into some good saves early on. However, a period of four minutes saw three goals cruise into the Liverpool net. First , Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin drove into the box and curled a shot into the far corner of the goal in the dying minutes of the first half .Just when Liverpool thought things couldn’t get any worse ,a free kick was converted by Mesut Ozil after a foul on the edge of the box. Less than a minute later, Arsenal fans were on their feet again in celebration as Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez rifled a stunner of a shot into the roof of the net to make it 3-0 at halftime.
In the second half Liverpool came back with more attacking intent as they won a penalty in the 76th minute after sustained pressure which captain Jordan Henderson calmly converted into a goal. However, Arsenal had the last laugh as French striker Olivier Giroud scored in the last minute of the game to seal the victory in style. The win saw the Gunners jump into 2nd position as Liverpool found themselves 5th and increasingly out of reach of Champions league contention with 7 games remaining.
Elsewhere, Manchester United navigated past a tough Aston Villa side eventually ousting them 3-1 at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester. Ander Herrera put the hosts in the lead a minute from half time with a placed shot from the edge of the box. Villa emerged from the second half with more resolve but paid the price for risk taking when captain Wayne Rooney scored another goal .However ,10 minutes from the end of the match Christian Benteke pulled one back for Villa, giving them hope. But the final nail in the coffin came when Ander Herrera scored with another clinical finish to seal the points for the red devils. The win propelled Manchester United into third place.