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Arsenal blow 2-goal lead at Liverpool to open up title race

Roberto Firmino's late header flipped the script at Anfield, denying Arsenal a pivotal victory over Liverpool and opening up the title race with a 2-2 stalemate.

Liverpool came back from a 2-0 deficit to hamper Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes and revive the race for the Premier League Trophy following a 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

Arsenal went ahead through a Gabriel Martinelli goal and assist, the latter to Gabriel Jesus, but Liverpool pulled one back through Mohamed Salah.

The hosts then overcame a missed Salah penalty and controlled the second half long enough for Roberto Firmino to hang mid-air and thud a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross past Ramsdale.


Arsenal should feel fortunate to come away with a point as Salah got himself into promising positions time and again but missed the frame with every one but his first-half goal and a late curler saved by Aaron Ramsdale.

The Gunners now hold a six-point lead on second-place Manchester City, who has a match-in-hand and a home match versus Arsenal left on its docket.

Liverpool’s point leaves it eighth with 44 points, two points off seventh-place Brighton and 12 off the top-four.

Liverpool comes back for point but spares Arsenal embarrassment

Mohamed Salah hit an early chance wide of the near post, then missed the net three times in the second half including a penalty.

Jordan Henderson airmailed a rebound through traffic in the first half, and Cody Gakpo rolled a breakaway into Aaron Ramsdale in the second half.

Ramsdale also had one sensational stop on Ibrahima Konate’s chested effort, keeping it 2-2.

This could’ve been so much worse for an Arsenal team that held a 2-0 lead and looked set for a coronation as recently as a few hours ago, then rode its luck all the way over the line.

Liverpool held 59 percent of the ball, out-attempted Arsenal 21-9, and won the xG fight by a 3.96-1.41 margin.

To be clear, Arsenal opened the door to the throne room. And it could be open much wider if Liverpool had its finishing boots.

The Gunners’ second half performance will give a lot of hope to opposing attacks, as the first test without William Saliba against a good attack was a failed one.

Liverpool vs Arsenal player ratings: Stars of the Show

Thiago Alcantara: His substitution absolutely changed the game, and showed the Premier League what Liverpool can look like with a midfielder capable of controlling the pitch.

Gabriel Martinelli: Brazilian was up-and-down the pitch all game, getting the goal and assist that helped Arsenal to what could be a huge point.

Ibrahima Konate: Some absolutely pivotal interventions amongst his seven recoveries and 9-of-11 record in duels.

Aaron Ramsdale: Massive late saves on Mohamed Salah and Konate kept this from being 3-2 or 4-2.

Liverpool vs Arsenal player ratings

Liverpool vs Arsenal analysis, as it happened: 2-2

FIRST HALF: Well, well, well, what an affair this has been at Anfield.

The host Reds came out of the gates with vigor and the match very much looked like it could be tight and touchy (which it became over the time).

But Arsenal cut through Liverpool so easily for two goals that were arguably against the run of play or at least in defiance of appearance.

Gabriel Martinelli’s goal and set-up of Gabriel Jesus gave another look to the game, one of inevitability, but Mohamed Salah beat Gabriel Magalhaes to a ball in the six after Liverpool diced up Arsenal in a bit of turnabout being fair play.

And that’s how we’re sitting 2-1 at the break. Shots are 8-5 to Liverpool and xG is 1.20-1.14 to Arsenal, with the hosts holding 53 percent possession.

SECOND HALF: OH NO! Rob Holding’s taken down Diogo Jota in the boss.

Double OH NO! Mohamed Salah has missed the goal with his penalty, low and to the right of the right post.

Still 2-1 Arsenal, and barely.

Liverpool continue with the ball and keep pushing for an equalizer. Aaron Ramsdale denies Salah at the back post, and Liverpool’s players are furious when a rally is stopped before the hour mark due to Gabriel blocking a shot with his face and slumping to the turf.

60' Enter Thiago Alcantara for his first match since early February, and he’ll be joined by Darwin Nunez as Curtis Jones and Jota, respectively.

Thiago has been the story of the match since his introduction, both pushing play forward but also making interventions when Arsenal gets the ball. Still, it’s 2-1 Arsenal heading into the final 15 minutes.

78' Fabinho out, Roberto Firmino in as Liverpool is, obviously, going for it with their flickering top-four hopes all but out.

Now Salah has sent Nunez through to goal, but Ramsdale is wise to the opportunity and gets low to stop it.

Jurgen Klopp reaction: Liverpool really should’ve won

“We had to run a lot and work a lot but that is normal,” Klopp said, via the BBC. “In a game against Arsenal you have to close the centre. We had our struggles but when we were more compact and played with more direction it was good.

“In the end it is a question of how can we not win this game? It is obviously much better than getting nothing. I am not overly happy but I am absolutely okay with it.”

What’s next?

Liverpool’s off until an April 17 (Monday) match at Leeds, while Arsenal will visit West Ham one day earlier.

Gabriel Martinelli goal video: Arsenal counters to go in front

Gabriel Jesus goal video: Slick header of Martinelli cross

Mohamed Salah goal video: Reds cut into 18, 6

Roberto Firmino goal video: Brazilian hangs in air to nod equalizer home

Andy Robertson video: Incident with linesman’s elbow raises eyebrows

PGMOL is said to be reviewing an incident in which linesman Constantine Hatziadakis makes contact with an elbow to Liverpool defender Andy Robertson’s face.

How to watch Liverpool vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30am ET SundayTV Channel: PeacockOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Liverpool’s three-match winless streak features exactly one goal, and that’s come from Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian King has to be wondering what’s become of his attack corps, one of the most electric in the world for so many years in a row. Who will help him turn things around as the midfield continues to struggle? Darwin Nunez? Cody Gakpo? Roberto Firmino? Bueller?

Arsenal’s getting the goals from everywhere, but Granit Xhaka’s scored in back-to-back games and seems to be having the time of his life. Bukayo Saka’s year-long run as one of the stars of the show continues, as Gabriel Jesus has joined Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard in asking opponents just where they fancy putting their focus when the Gunners have the ball.

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Calvin Ramsay (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (groin), Naby Keita (muscular), Luis Diaz (knee).

Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Mohamed Elneny (knee), William Saliba (lower back)

Follow @NicholasMendola