Diogo Jota’s second-half brace either side of a well-taken Mohamed Salah finish did the damage as the Merseyside visitors took the full three points in a big result for their hopes of Champions League qualification.
Missing the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, David Luiz and Granit Xhaka, Arsenal served up a dire performance in which they had just three shots all match and sat back and invited pressure which they ultimately could not deal with.
And they were also handed the added blow of losing first-choice left-back Kieran Tierney to injury in the first half ahead of Thursday’s crunch Europa League quarter-final first leg against Slavia Prague at the Emirates.
The Arsenal manager insisted the brunt of criticism after the defeat to Liverpool should lie at his feet and admits his side were nowhere near the standards expected.
“They deserved to win the game with the margin they had, or more. Unacceptable from our side, the way we played today.
“They were much better than us in every department, they won every duel, every second ball, every challenge. They were brave when they had the ball and made the right decisions, we didn’t.
“It’s my fault. The team have to perform in a different way. I prefer to do that [take the blame]. I take it. Congratulations to Liverpool because I think they were exceptional today. They can play at that level.
“We showed the difference today between two teams when we play at that level, the margin is incredibly high.
“It was technical as well. We gave every ball away, we could not put three passes together. They do that really well, they counter press really well.
Defeat to Liverpool leaves Arsenal ninth in the league table and at risk of slipping to 10th after this weekend with Aston Villa just one point behind and having played two matches less.
The north London club are also four points adrift of eighth-placed Everton, who similarly have two games in hand.
Villa face relegation-battling Fulham on Sunday (4.30pm) while Everton host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Monday night (8pm).
Arsenal’s next league match sees them face bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United, effectively already demoted to the Championship, next Sunday (7pm).