Arsenal 3-3 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool continue their unbeaten streak and both teams claimed a point each in London as we faced Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp was all smiles and cheer before the game and why wouldn’t he be? He has so much available to him for any facing any team, in any competition. Recently, Adam Lallana even came back from injury and that’s one extra bit of strength for the whole squad to make his tactical decisions with. He’d still rotate a few players in and out as Can and Mané came to make the difference from the side who defeated Bournemouth by 4 goals. Oxlade Chamberlain would unfortunately only get a place on the substitute bench against his old side. We signed him from Arsenal, remember? I’d have totally started him against his former Premier League club but, I’m not the manager. So…
Liverpool started well and showed that they would not be a pushover, even at their opponents stadium. Perhaps the first crucial event in the game was not a goal, though. It was in the 13th minute when Jordan Henderson had to be substituted off, he’d been limping around the pitch since the 9th minute as a hamstring issue flared up unexpectedly. Milner would replace our captain.
Liverpool played on without Henderson and actually, still ended up scoring first despite having been “weakened”. The 26th minute saw Salah racing around in efforts to cross the ball. He’d make a deflected cross off Koscielny and despite the deflection, the ball still ended up finding it’s way to near Coutinho’s head, who made sure to direct his headed shot over the Arsenal goalkeeper and into the net.
Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool.
Liverpool continued with further attacks to see if they could further their lead and they would, though they’d have to wait for the 2nd half to get that 2nd goal. Liverpool took their 0-1 lead to beyond half time.
In the 52nd minute, King Salah got his 21st goal of the season to make it Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool.
Firmino had assisted him well with a precise pass that led him into a dangerous position for striking an accurate shot that helped Liverpool beat Cech for the 2nd time in the game. Great teamwork and deserved to end with a goal. Many Liverpool fans would have thought that the team could take a two goal lead to end of the half and claim a win. We’d played the first 45 minutes with only a 1 goal lead and not conceded.
What started to happen after this was exciting football, which changed the whole game and what looked like the most likely outcome for the result. There was about to be a flurry of three goals in quick succession for the home side. 3 goals in 5 minutes to be exact.
53rd minute: Hector Bellerin whips a cross into the middle, Sanchez scores with a header. We could talk for hours about sloppy Liverpool defending, but Sanchez did not just take advantage of a weakness on our back line of defence, he’s a well-known Arsenal attacker and was just doing what he does best.
56th minute: Mignolet is beaten again and Arsenal equalise as Granit Xhaka strikes a fierce shot into the net. There was no saving that one. Such power and accuracy, together. It was always going in.
58th minute: Not content with just equalising, Arsenal went and took a lead for the first time in the game. Iwobi’s unexpected back-heel that no defender could have seen coming released Mesut Ozil through on goal and Ozil doesn’t waste his golden opportunity to score. Giving credit where it’s due here, even for our opponents. It’s hard to defend against tactics like this. Arsenal have done well and Liverpool don’t need to feel ashamed as very little of it was their fault, it was simply great football from Arsenal. Not everything that happens can be defended against and I’m certainly not going to be pointing any fingers at the Liverpool defenders or goalkeeper to blame them for the conceded three goals. Questioning why we’ve “let” that happen isn’t necessary. It’s the highest standard of competition to face in England. This is Premier League football, people. Goals are going to be conceded, nobody goes for an entire season with clean sheets in every game at this level.
Liverpool DID have a reply to this, though it wasn’t instant. We’d score once more. Perhaps motivated by sudden realisation of getting no points at all, we continued to show some more of the great football we’d already played to take our two goal lead earlier on.
We’d wait until the 71st minute to claim our 3rd goal. Firmino had been pushing into a dangerous position with the ball and like Xhaka had done earlier for Arsenal, he hit it with power and accuracy. Petr Cech’s fingers would touch the ball in his efforts to keep Liverpool from scoring, but the sheer power of Firmino’s shot saw it still smash past the goalkeeper and into the net for Liverpool’s equaliser. Well done, Reds! Liverpool could hold on for claiming their point, which was more than they were going to get if they’d been beaten 3-2. Appreciate the point, people! It could have been worse, potentially nothing we’d gotten.
Man of the Match
Roberto Firmino had both assisted and scored goals in this important game. He’s actually quite underrated since Liverpool have such a strong squad that much of the attention the club gets isn’t placed directly on him. Many Premier League football fans are watching Salah so closely right now that Bobby’s been overlooked. He helped Liverpool claim a point where it was possible we would have gotten none, if not for his goal. You’ve still got your fans who appreciate what you do and I’m one of them.
Liverpool have a game to play against Swansea at Anfield shortly after Christmas Day.
To those of you who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas and You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.