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Liverpool 3 Arsenal 3: Allen 00004000 rescues dramatic point after Giroud and Firmino doubles

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

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 Premier League goals this season and seal what looked like it would be a dramatic victory, before Allen’s last-gasp impact.

The draw means Arsenal have won only one of their last five Premier League away games and now only top the table on goal difference from Leicester City, who won at Tottenham, 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 league, dropping them down to ninth position, but will be buoyed to have escaped with a point.

In a game 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.

But Arsenal responded within four minutes. The hosts 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 international 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 goal-line.

From the resulting corner, Giroud got the faintest of touches to Ramsey’s in-swinging delivery and his effort somehow found its way through Mignolet’s legs.

Giroud missed a golden opportunity to put the Gunners 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.


Key Opta stats:

-Olivier Giroud has scored four times in his last four Premier League games against Liverpool.
-The Frenchman has scored 11 goals in his last 11 appearances away from home in all competitions.
-Roberto Firmino ended a seven Premier League game run without a goal, last scoring v Man City in November.
-He last netted twice in the same game in November 2014, scoring twice for Hoffenheim v Koln.
-Two of Joe Allen’s last three Premier League goals have come in 3-3 draws, also versus Palace in May 2014.
-Aaron Ramsey has been involved in five goals in last four Premier League games versus Liverpool (two goals, three assists)
-This was the first Premier League fixture at Anfield to see both sides score twice in the first 25 minutes.
-The last ten Premier League meetings between these clubs at Anfield have seen 41 goals scored (4.1 per game on average).
-James Milner made his 300th Premier League start in this fixture. He provided his first PL assist versus Arsenal in his 23rd game against them.

Wed 13 Jan, 2016
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