Free match coverage and highlights as Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus sack Arsenal to come close to a first Anfield win since 2012 before Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino earned a point for Liverpool in the thriller; Salah missed the penalty before Aaron secured Ramsdale’s final heroic point
Roberto Firmino’s late header earned Liverpool a 2-2 draw against leaders Arsenal as the Premier League title race was wide open in a pulsating encounter at Anfield.
The top Gunners looked ready to endure the toughest assessment of their title with a first win at Anfield since 2012 when Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus scored in an imperious opener in the 28th minute.
Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool a lifeline before the break, but his second-half missed penalty looked to have given Arsenal the win they needed to restore their eight-point lead at the top.
But Liverpool’s persistence was rewarded with three minutes remaining when Arsenal nemesis Firmino leveled the game with a header – his 11th Premier League goal against the Gunners.
This is a limited version of the story, so unfortunately this content is not available. The drama continued in a thrilling final as Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made two sensational saves to deny Salah and Ibrahima Konate the injury-time winners while Arsenal saved a first point at Anfield in seven seasons, this could prove invaluable should their title ambitions come to fruition.
Arsenal remain six points clear at the top of the Premier League and still have their fate in their hands, but the sight of their seven-game winning streak will only comfort champions Manchester City, who have played one less game and host the Gunners at the Premier League’s name Etihad Stadium on April 26.
This is a restricted version of the story, so unfortunately this content is not available. Open full version
Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (6), Konaté (7), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (6), Henderson (6), Fabinho (6), Jones (6), Salah (6), Jota (5), Gakpo (5).
Replacements: Thiago (6), Firmino (7), Nunez (6). Arsenal: Ramsdale (8), White (6), Holding (6), Gabriel (7), Zinchenko (6), Partey (6), Xhaka (6), Odegaard (6), Saka (7), Jesus (8 ), Martinelli (8).
Subs: Tierney (N/A), Kiwior (5), Trossard (5).
Man of the match: Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal loved the Anfield thriller
With Liverpool losing just once at home all season, the prospect of Arsenal suffering more trouble at Anfield remained, despite the hosts’ inconsistent campaign.
But it took the Gunners eight minutes to ease their nerves when Bukayo Saka’s quick run sparked panic and allowed Martinelli to exploit Liverpool’s more suspicious defense with a skillful low shot into the corner.
Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Cody Gakpo returned as Liverpool made five changes after drawing 0-0 at Chelsea.
Bukayo Saka replaced Leandro Trossard in Arsenal’s only substitution after their 4-1 win over Leeds.
Arsenal could have been out of sight before Liverpool had a chance to react to his free start. Oleksandr Zinchenko forced a save from Alisson Becker and Jesus deflected Saka’s cross past the back post before Andy Robertson fired wide past the post.
Arsenal’s dominance was underscored even before the half-hour mark when Jesus got up unmolested in the Liverpool box to head in Martinelli’s superb cross.
Thoroughly overplayed in the opening 40 minutes, Liverpool grabbed a lifeline three minutes before the break when Salah regrouped at the back post after Curtis Jones and Robertson found Jordan Henderson together in the Arsenal area. Ramsdale denied Diogo Jota, while Henderson cleared the rebound, while Arsenal held their lead until half-time, where Liverpool full-back Robertson appeared to have been elbowed in the face after an altercation with linesman Constantine Hatzidakis.
Assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis appears to elbow Andy Robertson in the face at half-time at Anfield.
The incident set Liverpool alive in the second period and seven minutes into the restart they had a chance to equalize when Rob Holding fumbled Jota in the box, but Salah sent his penalty wide just as he had at March Bournemouth.
Ramsdale prevented substitute Darwin Nunez from leveling the game after being released in goal, but were helpless as Firmino headed in Alexander-Arnold’s cross for his 11th goal in all competitions against the Gunners.
And after looking for a big win, it saw Arsenal hold on to a point in the closing stages as Salah and Konate were hampered by superb saves from Ramsdale just as the Anfield Gunners curse threatened to reappear. FPL Stats: Liverpool vs Arsenal
GoalsMartinelli, Jesus, Salah, FirminoAssistsMartinelli, Henderson, Alexander-ArnoldBonus pointsMartinelli (3), Alexander-Arnold (2), Jesus, Firmino (1)
Klopp: Super important point for Arsenal
Jurgen Klopp had mixed feelings after Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal. Klopp was disappointed with the way Liverpool started the game but praised their efforts to get back into the game and were ultimately unsure how they won.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Sky Sports: “It’s been a bit typical for us this season and for Arsenal too, it was a totally open game. They scored with the first situation and soon after , they scored second and our problems were pretty big but we made them bigger.
“But the reaction was good, in the end it was a spectacular game. How we can’t win it, I don’t know, with the chances we had.
“It’s a point and a good reaction to the two goals we conceded, it’s positive, but I’m in the middle. I have no problem with a draw and for Arsenal it’s a super important point because when you play these kind of draw matches, you have a good chance to be champion.
“You can’t always be super, super, super convincing. They were good, but they agreed they could or should have lost this game today. They haven’t, so the point is probably better for them.”
What do you know about Robertson’s accident? “Nothing. I know it happened, but I didn’t see it because in these situations the pictures probably speak for themselves.”
Arteta: We have to get the point
Mikel Arteta reflected on Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool and felt the Gunners lost control of the game after a good start and said the draw was a fair result.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to Sky Sports: “Wow. A very intense match. We started well, controlled the game and scored the first goal, and the second goal was a great decision. The game was under control until we conceded a very sloppy goal. Then the game changed pace.
“We lost control after half time, lost way too many easy balls and it became a very open and chaotic game which they love. They could have scored three or four goals, missed a penalty and Aaron (Ramsdale) made some great saves. But we had some very good breakaways and could have scored two or three. In the end the result is right.
“The lesson comes from the first 35 minutes and from how we played on a pitch like this and what we did. But we have to keep doing it regardless of the crowd and the result to look for the third and fourth goals.”
On Liverpool’s solid home form: “I haven’t seen anyone this Premier League season, anyone. They’ve beaten all the big teams here and could have been 4-0 against Real Madrid after 20 minutes, so it’s “is extremely difficult. They are there, there will be moments and we took care of it, our goalkeeper played a big role.
“We could have taken three points – if we had played another 15 minutes like we did [at the start] the game would have taken a different turn – but we didn’t and we have to take the point.” “We will go on and try to convince them to play like they did in the first 35 minutes and we will win a lot of games.”
Arsenal can’t crack the Anfield code – Opta Stats
Arsenal are winless in 10 visits to Anfield in the Premier League, drawing three times and losing seven while conceding at least two goals in each game.
Liverpool have lost just one of their last 37 Premier League games at Anfield (S27 U9), that loss to Leeds United in October.
184 goals have been scored in Premier League games between Liverpool and Arsenal, making it the highest scoring game in the history of the competition.
Arsenal have dropped points from a top position for only the third time this season, including against Southampton at St Mary’s and at home to Brentford.
Mentality shown and Trent in midfield – 5 talking points from Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
Liverpool contributed to an entertaining game, but one in which they will be disappointed to get away with just a point.
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
Mix with the best
Liverpool were 29 points behind Arsenal going into this match, sitting in 8th place, 13 points adrift of the Champions League.
Before the defeat to Man City, the Reds had the best head-to-head record in the top six, but as the end of the season approached, they struggled.
During the matches against Real Madrid in the Champions League, there was never a feeling that they could beat Carlo Ancelotti’s team, and despite earlier comeback forces, there has never been any sign of such a breakthrough in the contest back.
They also struggled in their recent encounter with Man City, finishing on the wrong end of a 4-1 draw. After a mediocre opening half hour, this game was a bit more of a return to form for Liverpool, who should have won the game.
There was a missed penalty and a poor finish which for a while looked like they wouldn’t even get a point, but Trent Alexander-Arnold and substitute Roberto Firmino combined for a deserved late equaliser.
The chances created and the mentality shown after the defeat was more that of old Liverpool, who can mix with the best.
Trento in midfield
Alexander-Arnold has occasionally slipped into midfield during matches, but it has never been more pronounced.
Even defensively, he sometimes stayed in this central zone, only occasionally dropping into the back four. One of the effects was that Ibrahima Konaté knew which area to cover, rather than thinking of a chance that Trent could recover as he would if playing as a more orthodox right-back.
At times Trent’s presence in midfield did little more than give Arsenal another player they could easily get around, but as the game progressed that role became increasingly useful.
His passing ability through the middle gave the team a slightly different use of this offensive weapon and was an extra player available to catch second balls. Jordan Henderson improved, as did Trent, and it looked like it could benefit both players going forward.
The temperature may have dropped at Anfield thanks to a swirling cold wind, but the temperature on the pitch has risen following numerous clashes. A clash between Alexander-Arnold and Granit Xhaka really lit up the touch paper and lifted the mood at Anfield. It seemed to shake Arsenal players.
Gabriel Jesus regularly found himself on the ground when Ibrahima Konaté made his presence felt.
There was a lot of art that punctuated the game, but overall that extra spice seemed to work in Liverpool’s favour.
Perhaps the most bizarre moment was Andy Robertson who was cautioned at half-time for protesting the referee’s nudge by the linesman!
Thiago is back
Thiago has returned to Liverpool after being out since early February. It goes without saying that the team lacks its quality in midfield and its offense in the attacking area.
He was a very handy substitute in a game that was starting to run out of control on both sides.
He hadn’t been on the court long when he played a clean pass into Gakpo’s cannon with the outside of his boot.
The touchdown was there immediately and the extra safety option on the ball in midfield came in handy as Liverpool fought their way into the game and were the better side in the second half.
Top 4 opportunities? This is the last of Liverpool’s difficult (on paper) games, which featured Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea (okay, maybe not that difficult) in the last three games.
The only other member of the top six who have to play before the end of the season is Tottenham, and that could be important as both are in contention for several European places.
The rest are games they would normally expect to win, but we have seen throughout the season that there are no easier games for Liverpool.
If they can carry the energy and mentality of this Arsenal game’s final hour into the rest of the season, there’s a chance they can pick up enough points to worry, if not capture, the top four.
Having Thiago back, and Luis Diaz from next week, could be decisive. But there have been so many false dawns for Jurgen Klopp and his players this season that it would have to be said that the top four now seems unlikely.
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