Having lost their last two matches to Mikel Arteta’s side – one on penalties in the Community Shield – there was barely a time over the 90 minutes when the defending champions looked like allowing it to happen a third time.
If the France international’s finish from Arsenal’s first shot on target in the 25th minute was not that convincing his performance in two second-half one-on-ones – one latterly flagged offside – with Alisson Becker was less so and he rightly covered his face with his shirt when taking his seat on the bench after being substituted 15 minutes from time.
Had he been sharper Liverpool may have had more of a problem but they dominated for long periods – having 21 shots to their opponents four – and with better finishing of their own would have been comfortable long before Jota made the game safe in the 88th minute.
Seven minutes later Liverpool were ahead as yet another Alexander-Arnold cross found its target in the penalty area, this time his opposite full-back Robertson making amends for his earlier error by controlling on his chest and poking home.
Arsenal offered a little more threat after the break, while doing slightly better in nullifying Alexander-Arnold, but they were as poor in front of goal as they had been out of possession.
Either side of Leno saving Van Dijk’s low drive Lacazette was twice clean through, although first time he was eventually offside, but his lack of conviction meant on both occasions he failed to beat Alisson.
Springing Liverpool’s high line looked Arsenal’s best chance of success – especially when substitutes Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe arrived – and that provided one or two nervy moments for the hosts when they did.
But Liverpool’s new signing Jota, also a late substitute, finally put the match to bed two minutes from time when he seized a weak Luiz header, controlling and firing low into the Kop net having earlier wasted a better chance with only Leno to beat.