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Arsenal Squandered Two-Goal Lead After Being Held to a 2-2 Draw by Liverpool at Anfield in the English Premier League

Arsenal Squandered Two-Goal Lead After Being Held to a 2-2 Draw by Liverpool at Anfield in the English Premier League

Knowing its closest contender Manchester City won its English Premier League game in style, league leader Arsenal knew its must leave Anfield with all three points. The Gunners were at dreamland when they got off to a great start against Liverpool by taking a 2-0 lead in the opening half an hour and looked to have pulled the game away. Nevertheless, Jürgen Klopp’s feisty Liverpool side had a different idea and fought back to hold Mikel Arteta’s men to a draw. The dropped points meant Pep Guardiola’s Citizens have reduced the gap to six points, with the latter having another game in hand.

 

A Three-Goal First Half

Arsenal came into the game with a seven-game winning streak in the league, giving Arteta the confidence to make only one change to his Gunners that overcame Leeds United with ease last weekend, while Liverpool, which only lost one league game at home the entire season, saw five changes in its starting line-up. This meeting at Anfield was the 179th between both sides in all competitions, with the first clash dating back to October 1893.

Gunners went ahead as early as in the eight minute, when Bukayo Saka tried to play a one-two with captain Martin Ødegaard. The ball then ricocheted to Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli, who continued to run into the penalty box, before squeezing his shot to the bottom left corner; It was his 14th goal in 40 appearances for Arsenal this season. The 21-year-old then turned to become provider for Gunners’ second goal of the afternoon, after Granit Xhaka unleashed him at the left flank with a long ball. The Guarulhos-born player whipped in a delicious cross into the penalty box and fellow countryman Gabriel Jesus rose to the highest to head home his 13th goal of the season.

It was Liverpool’s turn to fight back in the remaining of the first half. The home side pulled one back minutes before the half-time whistle was blown, courtesy of top scorer Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian capped off a beautiful passage of play that was started by Curtis Jones’s backheel pass to Andrew Robertson. The Scotland national team captain delivered a cross to the box, followed by Jordan Henderson’s side-footed pass to Salah to score. The Kop captain had a chance to equalise during the dying moments of the opening half, but he could not find the target with his powerful strike after his team’s initial shot was blocked.

 

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Missed Penalty, Late Equaliser and Possible Winner by Liverpool Filled the Second Half

The next 45 minutes were packed with dramatic plots all thanks to Liverpool. Minutes after the restart, Diogo Jota was brought down by Rob Holding, prompting the referee to award a penalty to the home side. Salah, who missed a potential leveler from the spot against Bournemouth last month, proceeded to squander another penalty without even hitting the target. Liverpool players and fans were distraught by the Egyptian’s effort.

Then in the 87th minute, Salah’s strike partner, Roberto Firmino, who came onto the game nine minutes earlier, managed to rescue Liverpool from the death. Trent Alexander-Arnold intelligently nutmegged Oleksandr Zinchenko, before sending a cross to the outgoing Brazilian to equalise. The strike was Firmino’s 109th goal for Liverpool, since joining the club back in the 2015/2016 Season.

Fueled with energy, Klopp’s men had a couple of opportunities to win the game in the stoppage time. The first was a left-footed curled shot by Salah in the penalty box. The deflected strike forced Aaron Ramsdale to make an acrobatic save. Then, Alexander-Arnold’s long ball reached substitute Darwin Núñez, who then headed a pass to Ibrahima Konaté to have a shot on goal. The defender’s close-range header was again repelled by Gunners’ no. 1. The saved chances meant both teams share the point in this heavyweight clash, and Arsenal’s lead at the top had been diminished.

 

Arsenal to Face Manchester City at the End of April

Gunners may be enjoying the first spot of the Premier League for now, but their remaining matches would not be easy, with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, etc. awaiting. Pep Guardiola’s men, on the other hand, will have a slightly easier schedule in the league as compared to their title rival, but they will be bothered by cup competitions namely the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup. Which team is your pick to win it all in this season’s Premier League? Tell us why.

Real Madrid is in the Copa del Rey Final, thanks to a hat-trick by Karim Benzema in the semifinal.

Steven Mosier

"Eat, breathe and sleep sports" is the life motto of mine. My professional athlete career ended way earlier than I thought, but the passion remains till the present, which is why I am here writing you all the sports news you crave! Also, I am a huge fan of the Premier League as well the NBA.

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