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Liverpool guts Gunners behind Firmino's 2 goals in 90 seconds

By Alex Butler
Liverpool guts Gunners behind Firmino's 2 goals in 90 seconds
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores the sixth goal making the score 5-1 during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Arsenal on Saturday at Anfield in Liverpool, Britain. Photo by Peter Powell/EPA-EFE

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino scored twice in 90 seconds to give Liverpool a lead it wouldn't surrender against Arsenal on Saturday in Liverpool, England.

Firmino finished the match with his first career hat-trick in the Premier League.

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The Reds trailed 1-0 after a goal in the 11th minute from Ainsley Maitland-Niles before mounting the furious comeback, which resulted in a 5-1 thrashing of the Gunners at Anfield.

Firmino passed up to Xherdan Shaqiri to start the sequence for the equalizer. Shaqiri tapped the ball back to the striker before Firmino did a slick dribble move around the defense near midfield. Firmino then hit a through ball up to Mohamed Salah at the top of the box. Salah was tripped up and the loose ball fell behind the Gunners defense.

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Firmino was able to gain possession on the play. He ran to the ball and tapped it into the net without looking, beating Gunners keeper Bernd Leno.

But the Brazilian's second tally was even more sensational. It came less than two minutes later.

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Sadio Mane forced an Arsenal turnover during that sequence. Firmino blazed down field to track the loose ball. He gathered it outside of the box before coming up on some Gunners defenders. Firmino sliced his dribble through two defenders before ripping a left-footed shot into the near post netting.

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Mane put the Reds up two goals with his own score in the 32nd minute. That strike came after Salah tapped down a long pass inside the box. He then sent a pass toward the far post, where it was tapped in by Mane.

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Salah added the Reds' final goal fo the half with a penalty kick in first half stoppage time after being brought down in the box by Gunners defender Sokratis.

Firmino completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute. Sead Kolasinac shoved down Dejan Lovren to prompt the attempt. Firmino buried his shot past Leno for a 5-1 advantage.

Liverpool battles Manchester City in another Premier League clash at 3 p.m. on Thursday at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. The Gunners face Fulham at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Emirates Stadium in London.

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