Honours Even at the Emirates

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Image Credit: [The Guardian]

Liverpool remain unbeaten despite conceding a late equaliser to Alexandre Lacazette.

Liverpool maintained their unbeaten run and momentarily climbed back to the summit of the Premier League on Saturday evening as they surrendered a slender lead to draw 1-1 at Arsenal.

Jurgen Klopp’s side survived an early scare in the first half, as goalkeeper Alisson naively came out for a cross that was never his to claim. Fortunately for Liverpool, Arsenal’s Mkhitaryan headed wide.

Minutes later, Liverpool had a goal wrongly disallowed – Andy Robertson’s cross reaching Roberto Firmino, who stabbed the ball onto the post for it to be turned in by Sadio Mane. Linesman Simon Long flagged offside against Mane, who was behind the ball when Firmino touched it forward.

Nonetheless, Liverpool came out well in the second half and capitalised on Bernd Leno’s parry off Mane’s cross – captain James Milner remained composed and coolly slotted home the rebound from the edge of the box to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

The away team came close to doubling their lead soon after, as Mo Salah beat the offside trap and fizzed a ball across the box, with Mane only inches away from touching it in. This came back to haunt Mane as Arsenal clinched an equaliser not long before the final whistle. In-form centre-forward Alexandre Lacazette managed to conjure an exceptional finish after being pushed wide in the 18-yard box, caressing the ball just inside the far post.

Image Credit: [Evening Standard]

The match ended with a draw, a fair result given the performances of both teams. Arsenal manager Unai Emery may be frustrated, still being unable to claim his first scalp against a ‘big six’ side – losing two previous games to Manchester City and Chelsea. Nevertheless, nothing can be taken away from Arsenal’s form: having won seven of their last nine Premier League games, a Champions League spot looks attainable for a team many did not know what to expect from, given their new management after 22 years under Arsene Wenger.

Liverpool will have mixed emotions on the result. Favourites coming into the game, they will have been hoping for a solid away win at the Emirates. They were threatening going forward but lacked the end product at times. Defensively they were impressive, Virgil van Dijk a rock at the back alongside Joe Gomez, forming a partnership capable of Premier League glory. However, the home team took the game to Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp’s men will not be too disappointed to leave having dropped points in the league for just the third time this season – the other occasions being against champions Manchester City and rivals Chelsea.

Both sides look like formidable outfits at the top end of the Premier League, and that was certainly shown on Saturday, with free-flowing, attacking football oozing throughout. Their good form in the League will likely continue next weekend, as Liverpool welcome strugglers Fulham to Anfield, and Arsenal face an out-of-sorts Wolves.

Rob Kirk