Liverpool pushes past Arsenal to widen the title chase

Arsenal lost the opportunity to earn a first league victory at Anfield since 2012, as Liverpool rallied from a goal down to draw 2-2 in a match that will definitely go down as a Premier League classic due to an alleged elbow from the assistant referee to Liverpool’s Andy Robertson’s throat.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

A visit to Anfield is among the best ways to gauge Arsenal’s chances of winning the title. Whilst this Arsenal team is a different species, Mikel Arteta’s men entered the revered Merseyside soil with a genuine swagger to their play, and they promptly took the lead before ten minutes when a Virgil van Dijk error allowed Gabriel Martinelli to tap home and calm an early Arsenal nervousness.

If the first goal calmed any jitters, Gabriel Jesus’ goal just before the half-hour mark eliminated them completely.

The Brazilian two worked together to double Arsenal’s lead as Martinelli was giving Trent Alexander-Arnold significant trouble down the left, and Jesus, who was unmarked, made no mistake from six yards, after Martinelli’s cross was perfectly floated into his head.

Despite their best efforts, though, Arsenal was put in a tight spot before the break and finally broke when Mo Salah responded in the box the quickest to cut the lead in half and energize the boisterous Anfield crowd.

The Anfield audience already had enough motivation after Robertson and the assistant referee got into a fight during halftime, but Rob Holding’s foul on Diogo Jota early in the second half gave them a huge boost.

Mohamed Salah failed from the penalty spot for the second time in a row, fortunately for the Gunners and Holding, giving Arsenal a welcome reprieve. The Reds continued to relentlessly press the Arsenal goal despite their miss, though.

Roberto Firmino was crucial to Liverpool’s comeback as Alexander-Arnold, who had a terrible afternoon, came up with a huge moment to plant a cross onto the head of the Brazilian.

As the game dwindled down, Jürgen Klopp cast caution to the wind and pulled his anchorman Fabinho in favor of yet another frontman. It will undoubtedly be a huge setback for Arsenal, but with a comfortable six-point advantage at the top of the table, they still have a chance to win the championship. Liverpool’s comeback is incredibly spectacular, but it doesn’t help their chances of qualifying for Europa.

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