- What in the world did we just see?
- Reds dominate first 45
- Coutinho, Salah open 2-0 lead
- Arsenal answers with three between 53rd-58th
The festive fixtures got a frenetic start, as Liverpool saved some blushes after allowing three goals in six minutes in a 3-3 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.
Liverpool will meet Christmas in third place, their 35 points one better than Arsenal (unless Burnley hangs a 15-goal win on Tottenham).
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Soon after, our first real chance of the match: Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho combining for the Brazilian to rip wide of the frame.
Coutinho went to the dirty places to male it 1-0, as Salah showed that fine form leads to luck. Following really nice rondo work off a throw-in, Coutinho’s lung-busting run led him into the six to a deflected Salah cross. The Brazilian nodded over Cech with a deft header.
Firmino curled a shot from inside the 18 over the bar and off the back stanchion as Liverpool asked most of the questions.
A slip allowed Salah to test Cech, and the Czech keeper made a save followed by a Mane flying volley over the goal.
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An injured Nacho Monreal left the match at halftime for Arsenal.
Salah saw a trademarked long dribble end with another fine save by Cech, and Coutinho put an ensuing move wide of the frame.
Fittingly, the Egyptian made it 2-0 after the Reds found gaps in the Arsenal formation and Salah blasted a shot around a diving Cech.
Sanchez made it 2-1 within moments, though, as he ran in front of an awkward Joe Gomez to head a Hector Bellerin cross between the legs of Simon Mignolet. Don’t ignore the touch in traffic from Xhaka during the build-up.
Liverpool’s dominance was erased when Mignolet butchered his parry attempt of a rocket shot from Xhaka. 2-2.
(Insert TV pitchmaster’s voice) But wait, there’s more! Ozil worked a delightful 1-2 with Alexandre Lacazette to lift the Gunners from 0-2 to 3-2 within six minutes!
Klavan interceded to stop Lacazette’s shout at 4-2, but the Gunners had a corner. Ozil’s offering was headed clear for a counter attack.
The Reds leveled it at 3 with 20 minutes to go, as Cech could only get a hand to Firmino’s blast through traffic. Cech had otherwise been very good.