Premier League

Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Anfield
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.

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

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."

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).



Formation 4-3-3

  • 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


  • 9Benteke
  • 19Caulker
  • 21Leiva
  • 24Allen
  • 44B Smith
  • 52Ward
  • 53Vilaca Teixeira


Formation 4-2-3-1

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


  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 8Arteta
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Chambers
  • 45Iwobi
  • 49Macey
Mike Jones

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 3, Arsenal 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 3, Arsenal 3.

  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.

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Steven Caulker replaces Adam Lallana.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Mikel Arteta replaces Mesut Özil.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mathieu Flamini.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

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

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Joe Allen replaces Emre Can.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool).

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Per Mertesacker.

As It Stood

3Man City21124539211840
5West Ham219843324935
6Man Utd219752720734
8Crystal Palace219482320331
13West Brom217682227-527
20Aston Villa2125141737-2011
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