Premier League
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Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal

Joe Allen scores Liverpool's late equaliser against Arsenal
Arsenal have failed to win on their past three Premier League visits to Anfield

Arsenal had their advantage at the top of the Premier League cut after Joe Allen's late equaliser gave Liverpool a deserved point in an Anfield thriller.

Olivier Giroud's second-half strike - his second of the night and 18th of the season - looked to have put the Gunners on course for a crucial victory, but substitute Allen rewarded the hosts for a display bursting with energy and spirit with a low 90th-minute finish.

Roberto Firmino twice gave Liverpool the lead in a breathless first half, the second a spectacular 20-yard drive, but Arsenal took advantage of poor defending from Jurgen Klopp's side to level through Aaron Ramsey and Giroud.

Giroud also missed an open goal in the first half, while Firmino struck the bar in a wide open game.

With 10 minutes remaining, Arsenal's lead at the top of the table was four points. Yet Robert Huth's late winner for Leicester City at Tottenham and Allen's late strike left Arsenal only ahead of the Foxes on goal difference.

Relive the drama from Anfield

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Joe Allen celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Arsenal
Joe Allen's goal was his first in the Premier League since April 2015

Arsenal pay the price for frailty

The visitors looked to have finally established supremacy in this topsy-turvy encounter when Giroud turned to put them ahead 10 minutes after the break - but then failed to press home the advantage and paid a heavy price.

And it will be a matter of concern to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that on nights like this at places like Anfield, they did not show the necessary ruthlessness to close out a game that was within their grasp.

The Reds deserve great credit for the way they responded to the disappointment of going behind after leading twice - but Arsenal showed no assurance or authority when the pressure mounted in the closing stages and there was an inevitability about Allen's equaliser.

Arsenal, when they should have been pressuring a desperately poor and under-strength Liverpool defence, instead allowed themselves to be pushed back. This was two points lost and Klopp will be the much happier manager.

Two sides to Olivier Giroud

For such a regular goalscorer, Giroud remains a maligned figure by some Arsenal fans who regard him as just short of the highest class - and yet his strike rate speaks eloquently on his behalf.

He showed a poacher's instinct to touch home his first from Ramsey's corner then showed good awareness and movement to turn Kolo Toure and score his second.

And yet those who remain unconvinced by Giroud will point to his astonishing first-half miss when he somehow failed to convert Hector Bellerin's pass from a matter of inches in front of the Kop.

Here, though, he demonstrated again that he will get goals and that is the best answer he can give to those who still doubt the France striker's pedigree.

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Olivier Giroud's second goal was an excellent finish but the move leading up to it was just as impressive - it all started with Laurent Koscielny playing a pass back to goalkeeper Petr Cech

Mignolet on borrowed time

Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet is poised to sign a new five-year contract at Anfield and has won the consistent backing of manager Klopp despite his fragile form.

And yet he was once again a very obvious weakness behind a Liverpool defence that was an accident waiting to happen for large portions of this enthralling game.

The 27-year-old Belgian was beaten too easily inside his near post when Ramsey equalised after Firmino's opener, then was hopelessly stranded as Giroud's faint touch allowed a corner to sneak in. It was desperately poor keeping.

For all Klopp's public assurances - he would not do otherwise - he must surely be concerned at Mignolet's obvious frailty, alongside the glaring inadequacy of his deputy Adam Bogdan, as proved by his errors at Watford and Exeter City.

Liverpool have recalled 22-year-old Welsh keeper Danny Ward from a successful loan spell at Aberdeen so he is now in the mix - but Klopp has to consider a more reliable, experienced long-term solution after Mignolet's latest blunders.

Man of the match - Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Roberto Firmino
With Christian Benteke on the bench, this was a big night for Roberto Firmino and he responded with a performance which showed why Liverpool paid around £29m to sign the Brazil forward. His second goal was truly delightful

What the managers said

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Reds gifted Gunners "easy goals" - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "We started so good and played good football. It showed all of us how good we could be.

"Then we concede a goal from a set play and we have to work at it. Organisation is one thing and sometimes we have a little problem with concentration.

"We gave them two easy goals after we had to work really hard for our goals. We had many moments which I am happy with."

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Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal a "great English football night" - Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "I'm very disappointed but, overall, I cannot fault the effort and commitment of the team.

"We had a difficult start. At 3-2, we should have made it 4-2 and didn't make the right decision in the final third.

"Liverpool fought until the last second."

The stats you need to know

  • Olivier Giroud has scored four times in his past four Premier League games against Liverpool
  • The Frenchman has scored 11 goals in his past 11 appearances away from home in all competitions
  • Roberto Firmino ended a seven-game Premier League run without a goal, having last scored v Man City in November
  • Two of Joe Allen's past three Premier League goals have come in 3-3 draws, also v Palace in May 2014
  • Aaron Ramsey has been involved in five goals in the past four Premier League games versus Liverpool (two goals, three assists)
  • This was the first Premier League fixture at Anfield to see both sides score twice in the first 25 minutes
  • The last 10 Premier League meetings between these clubs at Anfield have seen 41 goals scored
  • James Milner made his 300th Premier League start in this fixture. He provided his first Premier League assist v Arsenal in his 23rd game against them.

What next?

Liverpool don't have long to recover before they entertain fierce rivals Manchester United on Sunday (14:05 GMT). Arsenal's next game is a trip to Stoke, where they have failed to win on their past five Premier League visits, on Sunday (16:15 GMT).

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2ClyneBooked at 53mins
  • 4K Touré
  • 17Sakho
  • 18Moreno
  • 14Henderson
  • 23CanSubstituted forAllenat 82'minutes
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forBentekeat 66'minutes
  • 33Ibe
  • 11FirminoBooked at 10mins
  • 20LallanaSubstituted forCaulkerat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Benteke
  • 19Caulker
  • 21Lucas
  • 24Allen
  • 44B Smith
  • 52Ward
  • 53J Teixeira

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 16Ramsey
  • 20Flamini
  • 28CampbellSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 75'minutes
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forArtetaat 87'minutes
  • 14WalcottSubstituted forGibbsat 76'minutes
  • 12Giroud

Substitutes

  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 8Arteta
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Chambers
  • 45Iwobi
  • 49Macey
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
44,109

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home22
Away14
Shots on Target
Home6
Away5
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 3, Arsenal 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 3, Arsenal 3.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 3, Arsenal 3. Joe Allen (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Christian Benteke with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Steven Caulker replaces Adam Lallana.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Mikel Arteta replaces Mesut Özil.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mathieu Flamini.

Attempt blocked. Jordon Ibe (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Allen.

Offside, Liverpool. Nathaniel Clyne tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.

Offside, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud tries a through ball, but Kieran Gibbs is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Joe Allen replaces Emre Can.

Foul by Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool).

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Per Mertesacker.

Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Per Mertesacker.

Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Emre Can.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs replaces Theo Walcott.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Joel Campbell.

Attempt missed. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

Attempt blocked. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).

Joel Campbell (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Joel Campbell.

Attempt blocked. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Nacho Monreal.

Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Christian Benteke replaces James Milner.

Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Emre Can with a headed pass.

Foul by Jordon Ibe (Liverpool).

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal21134437211643
2Leicester21127238251343
3Man City21124539211840
4Tottenham2199334171736
5West Ham219843324935
6Man Utd219752720734
7Stoke219572422232
8Crystal Palace219482320331
9Liverpool218762527-231
10Watford218582524129
11Everton2161053629728
12Southampton217682824427
13West Brom217682227-527
14Chelsea216692831-324
15Norwich2165102435-1123
16Bournemouth2156102337-1421
17Swansea2147101930-1119
18Sunderland2153132641-1518
19Newcastle2146112238-1618
20Aston Villa2125141737-2011
View full Premier League table

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