Arsenal travelled to Anfield on Easter Sunday, with Mikel Arteta’s side desperate to pick up three points against an inconsistent Liverpool side. Despite Jurgen Klopp’s side perhaps not enjoying the best form as of late, they’ve only lost once at home in the Premier League all season. Would Arsenal be able to change that?
LIV: Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konaté, Alexander-Arnold; Jones, Fabinho, Henderson; Jota, Gakpo, Salah
ARS: Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Holding, White; Xhaka, Partey, Ødegaard; Martinelli, Jesus, Saka
Cody Gakpo looked to send the hosts ahead in the opening few minutes, curling an effort towards the top-right corner – but the Dutchman’s effort was sent well over the crossbar without really threatening Aaron Ramsdale between the sticks.
It was Arsenal that opened the scoring though, as Gabriel Martinelli took advantage inside the penalty area to fire the Gunners ahead. Saka worked his way past the Liverpool defence, attempting a lovely one-two with Martin Ødegaard – but a deflection off Virgil Van Dijk saw the ball fall to Martinelli’s feet, and the Brazilian made no mistake as he sent his effort past Alisson.
The Gunners looked to double their lead soon after, as Oleksandr Zinchenko struck an effort from outside the box – but Alisson was able to push it behind. The resulting corner posed more of a threat to the Liverpool ‘keeper, though he was rescued by his defenders on that occasion.
There were a handful of chances for both sides in the next ten minutes or so – with Andy Robertson and Gabriel Jesus both coming close to finding the back of the net. The next goal came through none other than Gabriel Jesus though, with the forward producing a miracle to extend his side’s lead on Easter Sunday. Granit Xhaka’s pass found Martinelli, and the Brazilian sent a cross towards his international teammate – which was headed into the bottom corner with pinpoint accuracy!
Mohamed Salah could have halved the deficit soon after, as Jordan Henderson found the Egyptian with a lovely through ball – but the winger tried to beat the ‘keeper with a stylish dink over the top, but he mis-hit his strike and skewed it wide of the post.
The Egyptian King redeemed himself before the break though, firing home to finish off a lovely passage of play and bring Liverpool back into the game ahead of the interval. Diogo Jota pulled the ball back to Henderson, and the club captain sent it towards the back post – where Salah beat his marker to smash it into the back of the net!
The Gunners had the advantage at half-time – but as the players trundled off the pitch, one of the linesmen appeared to elbow Andy Robertson in the neck. That prompted protests, and the Scot was booked for his part in the scuffle.
Liverpool emerged from the break as the better of the two sides, and they were awarded a penalty in the 52nd minute as Rob Holding looked to have hauled Diogo Jota to the ground following a corner. Salah stepped up to strike from twelve yards out, but the Egyptian couldn’t complete his brace – instead firing wide of the left post!
Still desperate to bring themselves level, Darwin Núñez surged through on goal – but the Uruguayan’s strike was saved with ease by Aaron Ramsdale. The chance was recycled well by Liverpool, eventually falling to Salah on the right side of the box, though his strike found the side netting.
Arsenal could have put the game to bed in the 85th minute, as Gabriel did well to rise above the Liverpool defence and divert Bukayo Saka’s corner towards goal – but Alisson was able to make the save. Saka looked to pose a threat once again, finding himself on the left flank after mazing his way past the Liverpool defence, though his cross back into the box was too far in front of Leandro Trossard.
Jurgen Klopp’s side brought themselves level in the 87th minute, as Jordan Henderson played in Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right flank. The defender ran to the byline, sending the ball through the legs of Zinchenko before firing a cross towards the far post – and it was met beautifully by Roberto Firmino who nodded it past Aaron Ramsdale.
Mohamed Salah could have stolen all three points in injury time, picking up the ball on the edge of the box and launching a strike towards the top-left corner – but it sailed marginally over the crossbar. The Egyptian looked to fire another effort into the roof of the net a minute or so later, but he sliced his shot over the horizontal once again to Ramsdale’s relief.
Salah looked destined to bag the winner, and he had yet another opportunity in the 95th minute – curling a spectacular strike towards the far post. Ramsdale was able to parry it away in spectacular fashion despite a deflection! The resulting corner looked to be sent over the line by Ibrahima Konaté, though a fine save once again from Ramsdale kept Arsenal level!
Bukayo Saka could have restored Arsenal’s lead in the dying seconds as he was sent through on goal, though Alisson did well to beat the Englishman to the ball and ensure Liverpool held on to a point. What a dramatic end to the game!
Firmino’s late goal may well have cost Arsenal the title – as their lead over Manchester City is now just six points. Mikel Arteta’s side still have to play City on April 26th, and Pep Guardiola’s team have a game in hand over the Gunners. Should they win both of those fixtures, City will return to the top of the table due to their superior goal difference.
As for Liverpool, they sit eighth in the Premier League. Their next game comes in the form of a trip to Elland Road, where they’ll face a struggling Leeds United side still fighting to avoid relegation at the end of the season.