Joe Allen rescues point for hosts
Liverpool and Arsenal couldn’t be separated at Anfield this evening and played out a very entertaining 3-3 draw, with Joe Allen the unlikely hero in the final minutes of the game.
The Reds made wholesale changes from their FA Cup draw with Exeter City, while Arsenal also welcomed back the likes of Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil.
Despite the reverse fixture ending 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium, usually games between Liverpool and Arsenal are full of goals and entertainment, and tonight lived up to that.
It was Jurgen Klopp‘s men who took the lead when Roberto Firmino kept his nerve to slot past Petr Cech after the goalkeeper had parried a previous shot straight into the path of the Brazilian.
However the lead didn’t last long as Aaron Ramsey equalised for Arsene Wenger‘s side after a lovely pass from Joel Campbell.
Liverpool regained the lead through Firmino once again when he beautifully curled home from just outside the box, but the two sides went into half-time level when Olivier Giroud flicked home from a corner.
It didn’t take long for the second-half to get going as Giroud gave Arsenal the lead for the first time after he swiveled on the ball and fired past Simon Mignolet.
With something to hold onto, Wenger made the changes and on came the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Mikel Arteta, but with the defensive additions came a negative mind-set.
Liverpool left it late last season to draw against the Gunners at Anfield, and they left it late once again as Joe Allen, a second-half sub, fired past Cech just on the 90-minute mark.
Another epic, another stalemate.
Liverpool are ninth after the draw, while Arsenal remain top.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud speaking to BT Sport: “It is disappointing because we were 3-2 up. It was a nice game for the fans because a lot of intensity and chances to score.
“When you concede three goals in an away game it is hard to win. My first feeling is disappointment but we have shown some character to come back from 1-0 and 2-1 down.
“Hopefully, we are not going to have to regret this goal at the end of the championship. It is still a draw, they’ve done well at the end of the game and pushed a lot.
“It’s a good performance but we could have done better.”
Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen speaking to BT Sport: “It’s nice to come on and have an influence on the game.
“We’ve got that attitude of going to the final whistle. We kept at it and thankfully we have come away with something.
“They have come here in great form. Everyone knows the threat they pose. I’m sure it was exciting for everybody to watch.”
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt