Liverpool produce stunning comeback draw to halt Arsenal’s title charge
Arsenal pulled six points clear of second-placed Manchester City after first-half goals by Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus were cancelled out by Mohamed Salah and Firmino. The result adds significance to Arsenal’s title-defining clash with City on April 26, as Pep Guardiola’s side have a game in hand on the league leaders.
Arsenal had not won at Anfield since September 2012 — a game which manager Mikel Arteta played in for the London side — but they started strong and opened the scoring on eight minutes through Martinelli.
Bukayo Saka initiated a blistering surge forward and Jesus’ pass was deflected into the path of Martinelli by Virgil van Dijk. The Brazil winger, under pressure from the recovering Liverpool back line, kept his composure and prodded the ball under the advancing Alisson.
The Premier League leaders continued to push and looked to have put their Anfield curse firmly behind them as Jesus doubled their lead on 28 minutes.
Martinelli burst beyond Trent Alexander-Arnold to latch onto Granit Xhaka‘s searching ball. He found space to swing in a right-footed cross perfectly on the head of Jesus, who directed his effort in beyond Alisson to strengthen Arsenal’s title bid.
However, a clash between Xhaka and Alexander-Arnold lifted the Liverpool crowd and the hosts rallied to claw a goal back three minutes before half-time. Diogo Jota‘s cross was deflected by Jordan Henderson into the path of Salah, who swept home and tipped the momentum of the game in the favour of Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“A bit typical for us this season. An open game, completely open, they score with the first situation and the second one,” Klopp said. “Our reaction was good.
“It was a spectacular game in the end. How we didn’t win it with those late chances I don’t know.”
Liverpool started the second half on the front foot and were handed a golden chance to level the score on 52 minutes when Rob Holding clumsily fouled Jota to earn the hosts a penalty. Salah, however, fired wide. It was the second successive penalty the Egypt forward has missed, following his blazed effort at Bournemouth in March.
Klopp’s side continued to push and Firmino headed home Alexander-Arnold’s floated cross to dent Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes.
Arteta’s side had to rely on last-ditch defending and goalkeeping heroics from Ramsdale to avoid losing more ground on second-placed City with Liverpool probing for a winning goal deep into stoppage time.
“I’m caught in between [being happy and not],” Klopp said. “I have no problems with drawing. Arsenal were good but they could and should have lost this game. The point for them is better.
“The goal we scored helped massively. All of a sudden we were in charge of a wild game. We deserved at least a point.”
The draw extended Liverpool’s winless run to five matches, with the Merseyside club remaining eighth in the Premier League.