Philippe Coutinho hit the woodwork twice and Aaron Ramsey had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside as Liverpool and Arsenal had to settle for a goalless draw in an entertaining Premier League encounter on Monday.
Liverpool have now won only once at the Emirates Stadium in 13 visits, but they should have been out of sight at half-time as Coutinho struck the crossbar and a post.
Petr Cech endured a miserable home debut when Arsenal were beaten by West Ham, but the former Chelsea goalkeeper produced an outstanding save to tip Coutinho’s effort against the woodwork and another to deny Christian Benteke.
Ramsey rightly felt hard done by when he found the back of the net but was adjudged to be offside, with replays showing the goal should have counted.
Arsenal were vulnerable at the back in the absence of injured centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, with Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers far from convincing.
Arsene Wenger’s side improved after the break, but were unable to follow up their win at Crystal Palace with another victory as Liverpool kept a third clean sheet of the season after 1-0 wins over Stoke City and Bournemouth
Roberto Firmino made his first Liverpool start, with Lucas Leiva and Emre Can also coming into the side as captain Jordan Henderson and fellow midfielder Adam Lallana missed out due to injury and Jordon Ibe dropped to the bench.
Arsenal’s new central defensive pairing were caught out just two minutes in, when Coutinho’s shot from inside the box struck the crossbar after Benteke was allowed too much time and space to race away and the cut the ball back to the Brazil midfielder.
Ramsey was aggrieved when he had the ball in the back of the net eight minutes later after stand-in skipper Santi Cazorla picked him out with a fine pass, but the flag was up when the midfielder appeared to have timed his run to perfection.
Chambers was indebted to a vital last-ditch tackle from Francis Coquelin to deny Coutinho after the former Southampton man had gifted possession to the playmaker with a terrible pass.
Cech showed his class with an outstanding save to deny Benteke from close range seven minutes before the break when the Belgium striker should have opened the scoring.
The Czech Republic keeper also thwarted stand-in Liverpool captain James Milner and there were more heroics from Cech just before half-time, when he got a fingertip to a measured strike from the dangerous Coutinho which struck the far post.
Alexis Sanchez ought to have made the visitors pay for wasting so many chances when the Chile forward fired wide of the near post following some neat build-up play early in the second half.
Firmino was replaced by Ibe after 62 minutes and it was Arsenal who looked the more likely to go on and secure all three points, as Simon Mignolet produced a fine save at full stretch to palm away Olivier Giroud’s close-range effort.
Teenager Jordan Rossiter came on to make his top-flight bow for Liverpool and, despite some late Arsenal pressure, the visitors’ well-drilled defence stood firm to secure a point.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!