Even though it is only February, this always felt like a season-defining game for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Win and they would be two points off League leaders Liverpool. Lose and they would be eight adrift, with a mountain to climb.
Thankfully for Arteta, his side rose to the occasion to claim a victory that should fill them with confidence in the title race.
Bukayo Saka opened the scoring and, after a Gabriel own goal levelled things before the break, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard then struck to secure the win in the second half.
Jorginho rolls back the years
Given the pace of this game, it was always going to be a bold call from Arteta to start Jorginho.
The Spaniard, however, was rewarded for his trust in the ex-Chelsea man, who excelled in the heart of midfield.
Alongside Declan Rice, the 32-year-old helped Arsenal dominate and he so nearly set up Martinelli in the first half with a brilliant pass on the edge of the box.
Jorginho and Rice played alongside each other at the base of midfield and both seemed to benefit from the other being there.
Rice’s presence allowed Jorginho to press higher up the pitch in an attempt to win the ball back off Liverpool in their own half.
All in all, it was an excellent performance from the Italian, who has been in and out of the team under Arteta.
Jorginho has just five months left on his contract at Arsenal, although there is the option to extend it by a year. On this evidence, Arsenal would be wise to do that.
Saka re-energised after winter break
Only a month ago, Saka looked like a man in need of a holiday. Now, he looks like someone with a point to prove.
The winger struck the opening goal here to make it two goals in as many games, and he looks back to his best again.
Saka was, understandably, shattered before Arsenal’s mid-season break to Dubai and he, more than anyone else in the squad, has benefited from it.
The 22-year-old took his goal well, calmly firing the ball home after Kai Havertz’s effort had been saved by Alisson.
After a lull last month, Arsenal and Arteta will be hoping this is the start of a big end to the season for Saka.
Saliba finally has an off-day
It has taken the best part of two years, but William Saliba finally produced a poor performance for Arsenal.
The Frenchman has been a force for the Gunners, ever since he was introduced into the team at the start of last season.
Against Liverpool, however, he had a day to forget - although thankfully for him, his team-mates bailed him out.
Saliba was undone for Liverpool’s goal, with the centre-back trying to be too cute and shepherd a ball over the top to David Raya.
The goalkeeper didn’t come and instead Luis Diaz was able to steal in, with the Colombian’s cross turned into Arsenal’s net by Gabriel.
Saliba was almost caught out again in the second half by Diogo Jota, but that time the referee’s whistle saved him.