Liverpool snatch a late equalizer 3-3 from Arsenal


Substitute Joe Allen scored a dramatic last-minute equaliser as Liverpool claimed a 3-3 draw with Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The midfielder latched on to fellow sub Christian Benteke’s header to volley home at the death as an end-to-end clash finished all square. Roberto Firmino had given the home side an early lead with a shot on the rebound, but Aaron Ramsey swiftly levelled.

Firmino put Liverpool back in front with an impressive strike, only for Olivier Giroud to net either side of half-time to move on to 12 Barclays Premier League goals this season and seal what looked like would be a dramatic victory, before Allen’s last-gasp impact.

The draw means Arsenal have won one of their last five Barclays Premier League away games and now only top the table on goal difference from Leicester City, who won at Tottenham Hotspur, although Manchester City’s draw with Everton keeps Manuel Pellegrini’s men three points off the pace.

Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, has overseen victories in two of Liverpool’s last seven in the Barclays Premier League, dropping them down to ninth position, but will be buoyed to have escaped with a point.

In a match that sparkled from the word go, the first meaningful attack produced the opening goal in the 10th minute. Emre Can’s powerful effort from the edge of the area was only parried away as far as Firmino by Petr Cech, who was rooted to the spot as the forward sharply spun and shot left-footed into the back of the net.

But Arsenal responded within four minutes. Liverpool were unable to deal with a long clearance from Cech and Joel Campbell found space to slip an accurate pass through to Ramsey, with the midfielder’s low effort beating Simon Mignolet at his near post.

A thrilling game continued when Klopp’s men went back in front just five minutes later. After they had pressed the Arsenal backline high up the pitch to regain possession, James Milner fed Firmino 20 yards out and the Brazil forward took one touch before unleashing a brilliant strike into the top corner.

Arsenal, though, produced another response within six minutes. Ramsey had almost equalised when he raced on to Giroud’s flick-on and dinked a delicate finish over Mignolet, only to see Mamadou Sakho recover to head clear from the goalline. From the resulting corner, Giroud got the faintest of touches to Ramsey’s inswinging delivery and his effort somehow found its way through Mignolet’s legs.

Giroud missed an opportunity to put Arsenal ahead a few moments later when Campbell and Theo Walcott combined on the right, with the England forward’s cross cutting out Mignolet. The goal was gaping, but the France striker could only divert his effort back into the keeper’s hands.

Firmino almost had a hat-trick on the stroke of half-time when his left-footed shot on the turn had Cech beaten, but clipped the top of the crossbar after good work from Jordon Ibe down the right.

Alberto Moreno flashed an attempt over from a presentable opportunity early in the second half, while Walcott produced an excellent solo run at the other end before firing just wide.

But Arsenal moved ahead for the first time on 55 minutes when Hector Bellerin and Campbell combined to find Giroud in the area and he slickly turned Kolo Toure to plant a finish into the far corner.

Klopp brought on Benteke in an attempt to find a spark, as well as throwing debutant defender Steven Caulker up top, and the Belgian’s muscularity helped find parity as a knockdown fell at the feet of Allen, who swept home in front of a jubilant Kop to snatch a point.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “For 60, 70% of the game we played really well. The players created opportunities but they got two easy goals.
“At the end we made a real good game and needed luck to make the draw and I think we deserved it. It’s like a battery, at the beginning you play well and it goes down as the game goes on.

“It’s an explosion of goals but at the final whistle you cannot ignore there were problems. You have to speak about Roberto Firmino and both his goals were brilliant and he played for the whole time really good.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “I’m very disappointed but overall I cannot fault the effort and commitment of the team.

“We had a difficult start. At 3-2, we should have made it 4-2 and didn’t make the right decision in final third and Liverpool fought until the last second.

“I felt we had an apprehensive start. We had some bad memories from a few years ago and you could still see that in some players. We went 1-0 down and then we started to play. We come out of the game with a lot of positive but still some regrets.”

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