Mikel Arteta’s team edged City by six points at the top of the standings, but the title is now in the hands of the defending champions. Later this month, City will meet the Gunners at the Etihad after holding a game in hand. Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus scored goals for Arsenal, who looked to be cruising to their ninth straight league victory. Before halftime, though, Mohamed Salah scored to give Liverpool hope for a comeback.
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Before Roberto Firmino scored the equalizer three minutes from time, Salah missed a second-half penalty. Then, as Aaron Ramsdale saved a point for Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp’s team wasted several opportunities to complete the comeback. The game will also be remembered for a spectacular incident that occurred soon after halftime when Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson was elbowed in the face by assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis.
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Despite having a perfect start, Arsenal has not defeated Liverpool in the league on the road since 2012. This represents one of the biggest obstacles standing in their way of winning the championship. Bukayo Saka broke through the Liverpool defense after only eight minutes, and Martinelli was able to poke the ball past Alisson Becker with the help of his Brazilian international teammate.
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The only things standing between Arsenal and being out of reach inside 15 minutes were a terrible error by Jesus and a superb save by Alisson to stop Oleksandr Zinchenko. The decline of Liverpool from the club that nearly won an unprecedented quadruple last season to mid-table mediocrity has been significantly aided by Virgil van Dijk’s recent form drop.
As Jesus was left unattended to head in Martinelli’s cross after 28 minutes, the Dutch center-back was caught off guard and Arsenal increased their lead. But, once Salah cut the deficit in half three minutes before halftime, it became clear that this young team was vying for their first championship. Jordan Henderson missed another excellent opportunity, and Liverpool might have even tied the score by halftime.
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As the players left the field for halftime, Robertson was elbowed by assistant referee Hatzidakis, but that was just the beginning of the turmoil.
After that incident, Liverpool exploded onto the scene in the second half. When Rob Holding brought down Jota, Liverpool had a wonderful opportunity to tie the game, but Salah missed the penalty.
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Salah came close to making up for it moments later when Ramsdale made an incredible save to keep his team ahead. Nine minutes from time, the England goalkeeper was once more required to make a save against Darwin Nunez in a one-on-one situation. After Firmino headed Trent Alexander-cross Arnold’s into the goal, Liverpool’s pressure finally paid off and created a thrilling conclusion.
Before Ramsdale made incredible saves from Ibrahima Konate and Salah to ensure Arsenal only managed to escape with a draw, the Egyptian blasted over a great opportunity. Yet, Liverpool’s comeback might be too little, too late, both for the occasion and for their chances of playing in the Champions League the following year. Since a spectacular 7-0 win over Manchester United last month, the Reds have lost all five of their games. Liverpool is still in seventh place, 12 points behind the top four.