The festive season of Premier League kickstarted with one of its most exciting fixtures on Friday night when Arsenal and Liverpool locked horns at Emirates in order to stake a claim for a ‘top four’ finish. But the game, however, proved to be a six-goal thriller as it ended 3-3 after a spellbinding second-half.
The first-half, surprisingly, was fully controlled by the visitors who kept on creating opportunities one after another inside opposition’s box. They deservingly earned a first-half lead when Mohamed Salah’s cross for Coutinho was deflected off Laurent Koscielny and fell favorably for the Brazilian who made no mistake to send it into the back of the net with a looping header. Firmino, his fellow countryman, missed a couple of golden opportunities so did Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane who should have scored once each to take the game beyond the Gunners’ reach in first 45 minutes. Home fans booed at the half-time whistle as the first-half ended 1-0 in favor of the visitors.
What happened in the second-half was beyond any imagination. Liverpool continued their dominance and soon doubled the lead minutes into the second-half via Mohamed Salah who picked up Firmino’s pass and his shot took a deflection of Shkodran Mustafi to beat past Petr Cech. But the Gunners were not defeated yet and soon launched a counter-attack as they scored thrice in three minutes to turn the game around. Alexis Sanchez made full use of Joe Gomez’s mistake and scored from the close range from Bellerin’s cross. Granit Xhaka’s long-range effort was then misjudged disastrously by Simon Mignolet and it was Mesut Ozil who scored seconds later from a trademark Gunners move. The game, however, was not over yet as Roberto Firmino finally pulled off an equalizer with a decent strike which Petr Cech failed to clear properly. Both the teams created a few more opportunities after that but none converted into a winner. The game thus ended 3-3 at Emirates which produced another electrifying outing between these two Premier League heavyweights.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Lineups:
Arsenal: Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal (Shkodran Mustafi 46′), Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Jack Wilshere, Granit Xhaka, Alex Iwobi (Danny Welbeck 78′), Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez (Theo Walcott 88′), Alexandre Lacazette.
Liverpool: Simon Mignolet, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson (James Milner 12′), Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 84′), Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane (Georginio Wijnaldum 80′)
Arsenal vs Liverpool Highlights:
Arsenal vs Liverpool Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||11(4)||14(9)|