Adam Lallana was relieved to escape Emirates Stadium with three points after Liverpool held off Arsenal’s stirring comeback on Sunday.
In a classic Premier League meeting, Arsenal were ahead through Theo Walcott before a blitz of four goals in 18 minutes had Liverpool 4-1 in front.
Philippe Coutinho scored twice either side of Lallana’s fine goal, while debutant Sadio Mane’s superb individual effort threatened to embarrass the hosts.
However, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers reduced the arrears to one with 15 minutes to go, before Liverpool held on to get their 2016-17 season under way with a victory.
“It was very entertaining, we started not so brightly but it’s always difficult coming to Arsenal,” Lallana told Sky Sports.
“The manager had a few words at half-time and we came out brilliantly. We got complacent at 4-1 but we saw it out at the end.
“To achieve something special we need to be more disciplined defensively as a unit. We showed them too much respect first half. We came out the traps flying, got the second, third and fourth and then we let them come back in it.
“It was a bit tense on the bench in the last 10 minutes but it was nice to see the final whistle and go home happy.
“We have huge belief. We’ve got top players on the bench and back at Melwood who weren’t fit enough. We’re not in Europe so we’ve a lot of weeks with just one game a week. We’ve got confidence in ourselves and we’ll set our own targets.”