Premier League leaders Arsenal desperately hung on for a 2-2 draw at Anfield this afternoon. A fierce, feisty Liverpool team pushed Arsenal to the very brink of breaking point. But the Gunners held firm on a dramatic afternoon.
A Violent Mix of Football and Ferocity
Regarded as English football’s ultimate lion’s den, Anfield Stadium can bury teams under a cavalcade of noise and emotion. Liverpool’s trademark ‘Heavy Metal Football” has historically destroyed Arsenal in previous seasons.
Yet, for 40 minutes, Arsenal purred as they stroked the ball around with authority. Liverpool were chasing shadows as they saw Arsenal players ghost past them. The Liverpool supporters sat silently as Arsenal scored twice, thanks to Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus. Martinelli and Jesus terrorized the Liverpool defense, and Arsenal looked destined for three points at the 40-minute mark. And then, a flash point changed everything.
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka got involved in a scuffle with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. The row riled the Liverpool supporters, and 90 seconds later, the Reds had scored. It was a lifeline and altered the complexion of this match.
The second half saw a turbocharged Liverpool dominate. It was them at their 100mph best. They kept banging on the Arsenal goal, and the defense buckled when Rob Holding conceded a penalty. Mohammed Salah shockingly missed, but Liverpool did not waver. Arsenal were pinned back, and Liverpool peppered the goal.
Overall, Liverpool created eight big chances, and their expected goals (xG) was a massive 3.96. However, time ticked on, and Arsenal still led 2-1. It looked as if Mikel Arteta’s team would hold on. Until the 87th minute, when Alexander-Arnold nutmegged Oleks Zinchenko. The Liverpool right-back picked out Roberto Firmino at the back post, and the substitute nodded the ball in. Liverpool had hauled themselves level at 2-2, and a breathless game ended all square. Arsenal are still atop the table, and Liverpool’s faint European hopes are still alive.
Player of The Match – Aaron Ramsdale
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made two miraculous saves at the end of this game. A sprawling, full-stretch save from Ibrahima Konate saved the match for Arsenal and may have saved the league title. The England international was exceptional.
State of The Title Race
Only six points now separate Arsenal and Manchester City. Arsenal now have eight games left, while Manchester City have nine left. The two teams will meet on the 26th of April at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. It could be a potential league-deciding game. However, Manchester City are fighting for three trophies. They are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and fighting for the league title. Arsenal are solely focused on the league. It promises to be a race for the ages.