Jamie Carragher pinpoints Mikel Arteta error that changed course of Liverpool game

In pictures: Liverpool v Arsenal

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Liverpool kept up with Chelsea in the Premier League title race on Saturday with a 4-0 win over fellow European challengers Arsenal. The Reds had a slow start to the game against the Gunners in the first-half, but a touchline incident midway through the first-half between Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta raised tensions at Anfield – something that Jamie Carragher believes played into Liverpool’s hands.

A clash between Sadio Mane and Takehiro Tomiyasu sparked a reaction from Jurgen Klopp on the touchline after Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff went ballistic following the incident.

The pair were both restrained by their respective staff members and received yellow cards for the incident.

Arteta was incensed as he presumably believed Mane should have been sent off or received further punishment for the aerial duel.

But despite the touchline antics, Arteta’s actions only wound the Anfield crowd up more as a result – and Carragher believed that played a huge part in their loss.

“No doubt it was a different Liverpool side in the second half,” Carragher said on Sky.

“We all envisioned Liverpool coming out the blocks, but I was impressed with Arsenal’s press at times.

“They played out and there was a good mix but in the second half it wasn’t there. Jurgen Klopp would’ve asked for more intensity, but I definitely think that Arteta and Klopp going head-to-head turned the game as it lifted the place here at Anfield.

“They got the goal as well, so I think then Liverpool knew what they were going to do and pinpoint them. The first 25 minutes of the second half was Liverpool at their very best.

“Virgil Van Dijk has never lost a home Premier League game for Liverpool so it shows how tough it is to come here, and when Liverpool have the bit between their teeth they’re very hard to beat.”

The win takes Liverpool to within four points of Chelsea, who ran out convincing 3-0 winners earlier in the day against Leicester.

Liverpool are looking to claim back the league title that Manchester City took from them last season.

But Carragher believes the title is now Chelsea’s to win.

“I think it’s a big game for Liverpool, seeing what Chelsea are doing. I think for Liverpool and Man City, it’s just about staying with Chelsea. They look devastating at this moment but at some stage they will have a sticky period and Liverpool and City can’t afford to have a big gap from Chelsea,” Carragher added.

“City will feel that tomorrow and both teams will now stay on the coattails of Chelsea waiting for a blip. I don’t think Liverpool were at their best, especially in the first half, but I think right now Liverpool will look at City and Chelsea and just stay with them.

“They’ve been here before so it’s imperative that they closed the gap today and kept Chelsea in sight.”

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