Liverpool have proved they are title contenders aftera dominant display that saw them beat Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield.

A Hat trick from Roberto Firminio with contributions from Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah ensured that the Reds came from a goal down to finish Arsenal, beset by defensive frailties.

Arsenal needed only 11 minutes to take the lead through Ainsley Maitland-Niles from an Alex Iwobi cross, but from then on it was all about Liverpool and within five minutes they had turned things around courtesy of a quickfire brace from Firminio.

Mane and Salah also added to the scoreline before the end of first half to leave Liverpool in control, and Firmino completed his hat-trick after the break as the lads brought a memorable 2018 to a close in style.

For Arsenal it was another embarrassing defeat away to a top-six rival as they were swept aside by the rampant Reds, leaving them still two points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for Champions League football.

Liverpool started the match brightly and could have broken the deadlock on a couple of occasions in the opening exchanges, with Andrew Robertson flashing a wicked cross into the box and Firmino seeing a low strike hit Salah and zip past the near post. However, Arsenal got on the scoresheet first as Iwobi pounced on a Dejan Lovren forward pass for Maitland-Niles to slot home.

It took a whole of three minutes for the Reds to respond and it went downhill for Arsenal from then, with Arsenal weakness in defence very glaring. Firmino's first goal saw Stephan Lichsteine play the ball against Mustafi, which sent it bouncing past Bernd Leno and left the Brazilian with a simple finish from close range.

It took just less than two minutes for a second to arrive as Firmino - who was without a goal in 11 home league games prior to today - scored two in 90 seconds, and this time it was all down to his own sparkling footwork as he danced past two defenders before slotting his finish past Leno.

Suddenly Liverpool looked rampant and Mane drew another save from Leno before adding a third goal for the hosts shortly after the half-hour mark. Robertson's raking diagonal ball forward beat the entire Arsenal defence, allowing Salah to cushion a volley into the path of Mane for a simple tap in and the fourth came through a Salah penalty with Firminio got his hat trick after converting a 65th minute penalty.

Shaqiri and Salah all had sights of goals as Liverpool went in search of a sixth, but by that stage the hosts were in cruise control and already looking ahead to Thursday's showdown with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Today's result leaves the Reds 10 points clear of the champions, although the Cityzens have the chance to close that gap down to seven - and climb back into second place - when they take on Southampton on Sunday