Roberto Firmino scored a dramatic late equaliser as Arsenal’s lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to six points in an incident-packed encounter with Liverpool at Anfield. The Gunners were in cruise control with a two-goal lead inside the first half-hour as they went in search for their first win at Liverpool since 2012, but were left bitterly disappointed as they paid the price for losing their discipline at a crucial time. Gabriel Martinelli pounced on sloppy Liverpool defending to put Arsenal ahead after eight minutes then Gabriel Jesus rose unmarked between Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson to head home at the Kop End.
Liverpool sparked into life after a flashpoint between Granit Xhaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold late in the first half, Mohamed Salah scoring at the far post just before the break to set up a thriller. There was a bizarre incident at the end of the first half when referee’s assistant Constantine Hatzidakis appeared to elbow Liverpool defender Robertson as the teams left the field. In a dramatic second half, Salah missed his second successive penalty when he shot wide after Rob Holding fouled Diogo Jota before Firmino rose at the far post to head home Alexander-Arnold’s cross with three minutes left.
In a frantic climax, Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale – who had already saved crucially from Darwin Nunez – produced two incredible stops from Salah and Ibrahima Konate as Mikel Arteta’s pace-setters had to settle for a point, with Liverpool fully deserving their share of the spoils for a stirring fightback. It means the destiny of the title is now in Manchester City’s hands as they have a game in hand and have a home game against Arsenal to come. The fact that Arsenal came away with even a point was thanks to a remarkable display by Ramsdale, who emerged as a heroic figure to repeatedly deny a fired-up Liverpool attack and secure a draw that that might yet prove vital in the outcome of this title race.