Liverpool snatched a dramatic 3-3 draw with Arsenal at Anfield, despite taking the lead on two occasions.
Joe Allen bagged from the bench in the dying seconds with most fans assuming the game was gone.
Roberto Firmino and Olivier Giroud produced two goals apiece but it was the Welsh substitute who’ll steal tomorrow’s headlines!
Jurgen Klopp went without a frontline striker, using Firmino as a false-9 and leaving Benteke on the bench. Ibe and Lallana flanked the Brazilian, while captain Henderson returned from injury. New signing Caulker began on the bench with Sakho ruled fit enough to start alongside Toure.
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We burst out of the starting blocks and took an early lead thanks to the no.11. Can fizzed a shot at Cech, who couldn’t hold it – and Firmino cleverly finished with his left – his first Anfield goal.
Sadly Arsenal equalised. Our defence couldn’t cope with a simple straight ball played down the side of the box, and Ramsey fired in at the near post past Mignolet. Not good enough.
While we were stewing about the goal conceded, Firmino showed everyone why he cost £29m, curling in the top corner from 22 yards. It was stunning, and hopefully a sign that he’s arrived on Merseyside once and for all!
Liverpool were holding a lead like a fork holds soup, and Arsenal were level once again. Giroud got something on a corner in front of the Kop and Mignolet was beaten again.
Two goals conceded, both arguably the Belgian’s fault – and just as he’s about to sign a five year contract as well…
The sides took a breather after the manic start, but Liverpool were inches away from a half-time lead and Firmino an inch away from a hat-trick, when he hit the cross-bar with his left in stoppage time. The best player on the pitch by a mile.
The second-half started at the same pace of the first, and Campbell and Moreno missed sitters at either end. Ibe had Monreal in plenty of one-on-one situations, but the Spaniard defended excellently – much to the frustration of the Kop.
Liverpool were flustered and Arsenal made us pay for it soon after. Milner lost a 50/50 in the middle and Bellerin worked the ball into our penalty area. We messed up our chance to clear and Giroud finished beautifully.
Ozil was controlling the game and we were overly nervy on the ball when we needed some calm heads.
Benteke was brought on to get us level for Milner, who toiled, but lacked quality.
But his replacement insisted on playing football outside of the box when he’s a powerhouse centre-forward. Time and time again Liverpool worked themselves into promising areas, but the £32.5m Belgian was hanging around the edge of the box, or waiting for a short pass.
When we finally agreed to play to Benteke’s strengths, Klopp brought Caulker off the bench and a long ball was fired to the Belgian – who nodded across goal for late sub Allen to volley home.
The Kop went wild and we actually could have won the game if we’d been a bit more direct at the very end.
A great advert for Premier League football, no injuries and Firmino’s arrived. Happy days – mostly!