Arsenal move to within two points of Liverpool with victory at Emirates

04/02/2024

Arsenal cut Liverpool lead to two points

Arsenal capitalise on Alisson errors to cut Liverpool lead at top of PL

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker made a brace of costly errors as the 10-man Reds lost 3-1 at Arsenal to see their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to two points.

The Gunners themselves had gifted an equaliser to the visitors as a Gabriel Magalhaes own goal on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Bukayo Saka’s opener.

But Mikel Arteta’s men would ultimately run out winners as a mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson allowed Gabriel Martinelli to round off a fine individual performance by re-establishing the lead before substitute Leandro Trossard fired straight through the goalkeeper’s legs in stoppage time.

It is just a second league defeat of the season for the Reds, who struggled to get into the game for the majority of the first half at the Emirates Stadium and ended with a numerical disadvantage as Ibrahima Konate was sent off late on.

Martinelli once again shone against Liverpool, hitting his fifth goal against Jurgen Klopp’s side – the departing German no doubt looking forward to seeing the back of a player he once described as “a talent of the century”.

Arsenal were without Gabriel Jesus, injured once more, but took the lead against Liverpool for the fourth Premier League encounter in a row.

They started well here, too, David Raya claiming a routine cross before bowling the ball out to Martinelli, whose pace was enough to see off Konate but Saka could not make telling contact as he met the cross with a diving header.

Arsenal have made a habit of scoring early against Liverpool, however, and that trend continued as Saka made amends in the 14th minute.

A great pass from Martin Odegaard found Kai Havertz in space, the German forward breaking through on goal only to shoot straight at Alisson, with Saka on hand to turn home the rebound.

Despite struggling with Arsenal’s high press and failing to register a shot on target in the first half, Liverpool would go in level at the break as the unwitting Gabriel turned the ball into his own goal off his arm after Luis Diaz had outmuscled William Saliba.

The fortuitous equaliser shifted the momentum as Liverpool came out for the second half with a more cutting edge with both Diaz and Curtis Jones getting shots away.

Jakub Kiwior had replaced Oleksandr Zinchenko at the break for the home side, who reacted well as Odegaard saw a shot deflected just wide of Alisson’s right-hand post

The hosts wanted a penalty when Havertz tangled with Alexis Mac Allister but referee Anthony Taylor was unmoved as VAR sided with the on-field official.

Arsenal would retake the lead soon after, with the Liverpool defence this time left red-faced as Alisson and Van Dijk left a clearance to one another, allowing Martinelli to collect and finish into an empty net.

Mac Allister flashed a shot wide as Liverpool looked to respond a second time having already rescued 19 points from losing positions this season.

The early exertion from Arsenal’s forwards saw them tire as both Martinelli and Saka were replaced by Trossard and Reiss Nelson, respectively, for the closing stages.

But it was another substitute, Poland defender Kiwior, who missed a fine chance to make sure of the points when he headed straight at Alisson.

Klopp, too, had turned to his bench with Darwin Nunez, Harvey Elliott, Andrew Robertson and fit-again Thiago Alcantara all introduced in a forlorn attempt to salvage a result.

Instead, Konate was dismissed – booked a second time for blocking Trossard – before Trossard’s low near-post shot flashed between the legs of Alisson to secure the points for Arteta’s men.

Published: by Radio NewsHub



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