Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal: Gunners top the table at Christmas

Arsenal’s trip to Anfield was always bound to be an enthralling fixture – but with the added importance of the winner taking the top spot at Christmas, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool would look to leapfrog the Gunners in the Premier League standings with a crucial three points on home soil.

LIV: Alisson; Tsimikas, van Dijk, Konaté, Alexander-Arnold; Jones, Endo, Szoboszlai; Díaz, Gakpo, Salah

ARS: Raya; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, White; Havertz, Rice, Ødegaard; Martinelli, Jesus, Saka

Merely four minutes had passed on Merseyside before the ball first rippled the net, with Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhães nodding Martin Ødegaard’s free-kick delivery past Alisson to open the scoring.

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The hosts did restore parity just before the half-hour mark through Mohamed Salah – the Egyptian got the better of David Raya at the near post, sweeping Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass into the roof of the net.

The Reds would soon see an enforced change after a bizarre set of circumstances saw Kostas Tsimikas withdrawn with a shoulder / collarbone injury after being launched into the legs of Jürgen Klopp, with Joe Gomez taking the Greek’s place.

Perhaps understandably, Liverpool felt they should have picked up more than a draw at Anfield – with the hosts denied an apparent penalty when a falling Ødegaard handled the ball inside the box. Harvey Elliott struck the outside of the woodwork too, with Alexander-Arnold also proving wasteful in front of goal throughout the evening.

Arsenal remain at the helm of the Premier League table as a result of today’s match, occupying the prized spot over Christmas as they prepare to travel to Burnley on Boxing Day. Arsenal’s next festive fixture takes place on 28 December, with the Gunners welcoming West Ham to the Emirates Stadium.