On Friday night, Arsenal and Liverpool drew 3-3 at the Emirates Stadium in a highly entertaining affair.
Arsenal had the first effort on goal after five minutes. Alexis Sanchez’s effort looped into the air before midfielder Granit Xhaka fired wide of goal. The visitors produced their first real threat on the home goal on 12 minutes, as Sadio Mane’s effort deflects off Roberto Firmino and goes straight into Petr Cech’s arms.
Liverpool experienced an injury blow on 13 minutes when midfielder Jordan Henderson sustained a knock and had to be replaced by James Milner. Mohamed Salah fired an effort off target soon afterwards.
The visitors threatened again on 22 minutes. Full-back Andy Robertson whipped a cross to the far post to Roberto Firmino, whose header was well saved by Cech at his near post.
Two minutes later and Firmino came close again, as the Brazilian headed the ball back across the face of goal and just past Cech’s far post. The visitor’s pressure paid off on 26 minutes.
Salah attempted a cross that deflected to Philippe Coutinho, whose glancing header went over Cech into the net. On 32 minutes, Firmino curled an effort inches over Cech’s bar from just inside the Arsenal area.
On 36 minutes, Mesut Ozil saw a free-kick deflect off target, as Arsenal offered a rare threat on the visitor’s goal. Liverpool had a golden opportunity to make it two on 44 minutes.
James Milner attempted to put Salah through on goal, but Laurent Koscielny put his foot out only for the ball to fall for the Egyptian winger. The former Chelsea star advanced and saw his low effort saved by Cech before Sadio Mane put the rebound over with an acrobatic effort.
Salah then produced an air kick in the Arsenal area after Mane had attempted to square it to the Premier League top scorer.
Liverpool had the first attempt of the second half and unsurprisingly it was on the counter-attack, as Salah played a one-two with Mane before Cech saved his low effort on goal.
The visitors doubled their lead on 52 minutes. Firmino played a lovely reverse ball to Salah who advanced on goal and saw his effort on goal deflect of Shkodran Mustafi and beat Cech.
The two-goal lead did not last long though, as the Gunners got a goal back after less than a minute. Hector Bellerin fired a cross to the far post and Alexis Sanchez headed past Simon Mignolet.
The Gunners equalised on 55 minutes to cap a manic first ten minutes of the second period. Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka hit a powerful long-range effort that smashed in off the bar. The goalkeeper probably should have done better with the effort.
Incredibly, on 58 minutes Arsenal took the lead. Alexandre Lacazette produced a fantastic back-heel pass to put Mesut Ozil through on goal and the German lifted the ball over Simon Mignolet. The Gunners third goal rounded-off an incredible start to the second period.
Arsenal then got on top and on 62 minutes, Xhaka fired wide of Mignolet’s goal. At the other end of the pitch, Coutinho produced a superb ball to find Mane at the far post, but the winger’s effort was well saved by Cech.
Arsenal threatened again on 67 minutes, as Ragnar Klavan had to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent Lacazette from scoring after a superb cross from Bellerin.
The visitors were level on 71 minutes. Emre Can played Firmino in on goal, the striker hit an effort that Cech deflected into his own net. Mignolet produced a fine save on 77 minutes from a Bellerin drive at the near post.
Sanchez attempted to beat Mignolet at his near post, but the Belgian goalkeeper saved the low effort under pressure from Lacazette. With just two minutes left on the clock, Wijnaldum broke and found Salah, the winger took a few touched before firing into the side netting.
A minute into stoppage time, Ozil’s attempted cross looked to be drifting in, only for Mignolet to tip the ball over the bar. Ozil fired wildly wide of goal in the fourth minute of stoppage-time, which turned out to be the last action of a pulsating clash.
The draw means that the north London club remain fifth place in the table, a point behind the visitors. The Gunners would certainly have taken a draw at two goals down.
Who was Arsenal’s man of the match against Liverpool?