A Roberto Firmino goal denied Arsenal an unlikely win as they played an exciting 3-3 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates. Arsenal had never lost to the Reds on a Friday, but found themselves 1-0 behind at half time thanks to a Philippe Coutinho goal.
The points are shared. pic.twitter.com/pHTQs50r5U
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 22, 2017
Mohamed Salah scored his customary goal to double Liverpool’s advantage six minutes after the restart.
However, three goals in the space of seven minutes turned the game in favour of the home side.
First, Alexis Sanchez pulled one back moments after Liverpool went 2-0 up, followed by a stunning effort from range by Granit Xhaka, whose fierce shot was too hot for Simon Mignolet to handle in goal for Liverpool.
Mesut Ozil completed a dramatic turn around after finishing a typical Arsenal move to put Arsene Wenger’s side 3-2 up.
But Firmino ensured both sides shared the spoils after he grabbed the equaliser for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with an effort Petr Cech got his hands to, in the last quarter.
“It was a thrilling game. I am frustrated at not winning but that is the type of game you want in the Premier League” Arsenal manager, Wenger, said moments after the game.
Revenge was on the minds of the Gunners, who were comprehensively beaten when both sides met at Anfield in August. But any thoughts Wenger’s side had of a win soon disappeared as the Reds went a goal up, as the visitors dominated proceedings in the opening 15minutes.
Dangerous on the counter, Klopp’s side carved Arsenal open on a number of occasions but were very profligate in front of goal. Five minutes before the half hour mark, Liverpool took the lead after another counter attacking move from Salah saw Laurent Koscielny deflect a low cross by the PL top scorer onto Coutinho, who headed past Cech to put the away side ahead.
Liverpool had more chances to add to the scoreline, with Sadio Mane, Coutinho, Firmino all coming close. The Reds went into the break a goal to the good, and deservedly so.
The second half began as the first ended, with Liverpool on top of their host, and nearly doubled their advantage, after yet another counter.
This time, Cech was alert to deny Mane with a brilliant save, after a lovely one-two with Salah.
Liverpool needed to make good use of their chances, and they finally did when Salah doubled their advantage six minutes into the second 45.
That was exactly the spark Arsenal needed, as three goals in six minutes from the gunners turned the game on its ahead.
Sanchez pulled one back moments after Salah’s goal, before further goals from Xhaka, who burst through Mignolet’s hands, rifled in the equaliser.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 22, 2017
Arsenal were on top now, and the third arrived not long afterwards, as Ozil brilliantly chipped the goalkeeper following a neat interchange with Alexandre Lacazette to put the Gunners 3-2 up.
It wasn’t a happy ending for Wenger’s men though, as Firmino took advantage of a gap in their defense, letting fly a left footed shot which found its way into the path of Cech, who parries into his own net to draw Liverpool level.
A thrilling end to the game, but both sides would feel they should have done better defensively as they share the points at Emirates.