There were incredible scenes at Anfield on Sunday, as Liverpool went down 2-0 only to battle back for a 2-2 draw with Roberto Firmino the late hero.
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
Premier League (29), Anfield
April 9, 2023
Salah 42′ (assist – Henderson)
Salah missed pen 54′
Firmino 87′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
It took Arsenal just eight minutes to break the deadlock at Anfield, with Bukayo Saka driving past an Andy Robertson slip, and after Virgil van Dijk‘s deflected clearance, Gabriel Martinelli was on hand to tuck it home.
Having only won three of their previous 18 after conceding first the odds were against Liverpool, with a comedy of errors summing up their malaise.
A smart move gave the Reds a chance as Fabinho lofted the ball over the top, but running onto it was Robertson, who shanked his shot wide.
The decision to play Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield and vacate the right-back role allowed Arsenal to exploit the space, and it was Martinelli’s cross from the left that allowed Gabriel Jesus to head in.
Hope sprang, though, from a well-worked move led by Curtis Jones, whose flick found Diogo Jota and, after a pullback from the No. 20, Jordan Henderson‘s poke diverted into the path of Mo Salah for the finish.
Arsenal looked to disrupt the game whenever possible, to a cacophony of boos from the Kop, with limp referee Paul Tierney falling for it every time.
HT: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
An elbow from linesman Constantine Hatzidakis on Robertson at half-time – which got the left-back booked, somehow – gave Liverpool the motivation to fight back into the tie.
They almost levelled within seven minutes of the restart, with Jota brought down in the box, but Salah stepped up and blazed a second consecutive penalty wide.
A double change on the hour saw Klopp finally take a proactive approach with his substitutions, sending Thiago and Darwin Nunez on for Jones and Jota.
The atmosphere was fervent, with the Kop jeering every Arsenal touch and roaring Liverpool on whenever they reclaimed the ball.
There were big chances wasted by Salah and Nunez, leaving it up to old reliable to send Anfield in rhapsody, Firmino rising high to head past Aaron Ramsdale and make it 2-2.
Liverpool could – and should – have won it late on, but heroics from Ramsdale denied Salah and Ibrahima Konate with the two sides left to share the points.
TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Referee: Paul Tierney
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho (Firmino 78′), Henderson, Jones (Thiago 60′); Salah, Jota (Nunez 60′), Gakpo
Subs not used: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott
Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard (Kiwior 80′), Martinelli; Jesus (Trossard 79′)
Subs not used: Turner, Tierney, Walters, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Nelson
Next match: Leeds (A) – Premier League – Monday, April 17, 8pm (BST)