Liverpool keep Arsenal in check, but do collect elbow linesman
Arsenal still leads the Premier League, but lost points in the battle for the national title Sunday night. Coach Mikel Arteta’s team allowed Liverpool to equalize in the closing stages: 2-2.
The equalizer by the home-playing Liverpool was more than deserved. Indeed, with Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo on the pitch for the entire match, Liverpool, who are ranked eighth, were not inferior to the leaders in the 30th round of the Premier League.
In injury time, Mo Salah even came close to scoring the winning goal twice and Arsenal got away well.
Arsenal had a strong start to the game at Anfield. After an initial goal attempt by Gakpo, which flew well past Aaron Ramsdale’s goal, Gabriel Martinelli was on target. The Brazilian intercepted an unfortunate away attempt by Orange captain Van Dijk and cleverly tapped the ball past goalkeeper Alisson in the eighth minute.
Arsenal then had chances for the 2-0 through Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, but Alisson stood in the way of a quick doubling of the lead. After almost half an hour of play, the Liverpool goalkeeper still had to concede the second Arsenal goal. He was defenseless on Jesus’ header.
Liverpool then focused and scored the tying goal before halftime. Salah was the end of a fine attack, which started with a heel from Curtis Jones. It could have even been tied at the halftime signal, but a Jordan Henderson shot lacked precision and flew high over.
Boundary judge hands out elbow
Just after the halftime signal had sounded, Liverpool’s Andy Robertson was involved in a remarkable moment. He went to appeal to the linesman, touched him and then received an elbow back in his face.
Even after halftime, the home side had plenty of chances for the 2-2. The biggest was for Salah. He was allowed to touch down from 11 yards, but pushed the ball wide of the goal. Three minutes before the end of regular playing time, Arsenal still had to accept the equalizer that had been in the air for the entire second half. Roberto Firmino headed home.
A frantic closing period, with six minutes of injury time, ensued. Arsenal struggled to hold on, but suffered some damage in the hunt for the fourteenth league title in the club’s history.