Liverpool forwards Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah tore Arsenal to shreds as Arsene Wenger’s team crashed to a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.
The trio all found the net to condemn Arsenal to a second successive defeat after their 1-0 loss at Stoke City, which left them six points below early pace-setters Manchester United in 16th place.
Liverpool rose to second place, two points below United and one above champions Chelsea, who recorded a straightforward 2-0 win over Everton.
Tottenham Hotspur are two points further back in ninth place after their Wembley hoodoo resurfaced in a 1-1 draw at home to Burnley.
Arsenal’s defeat, and the toothless manner of their surrender, will once again raise questions about Wenger’s position, less than three months after the Frenchman signed a new two-year contract.
It was Arsenal’s heaviest league defeat since a 4-0 loss at Southampton in December 2015.
Wenger was able to hand Alexis Sanchez his first start of the season after an abdominal strain, but saw his side fall behind in the 17th minute when Joe Gomez crossed from the right for Firmino to head home.
Firmino turned provider in the 40th minute with a pass down the left to Mané, who cut inside Rob Holding before drilling a shot into the bottom-right corner.
It was 3-0 before the hour as Liverpool cleared a corner and Salah beat Hector Bellerin to a bouncing ball midway inside his own half, before sprinting clear to tuck a shot past Petr Cech.
Sanchez, who has been strongly linked with a move away, was taken off just after the hour, and looked a picture of misery as he took his seat on the bench, sinking his head between his legs.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge completed the scoring by heading in a cross from Salah in the 77th minute.