Alexandre Lacazette’s sumptuous strike cancelled out James Milner’s opener to ensure Arsenal and Liverpool shared the points at the Emirates. It was a fantastic Premier League clash which ebbed and flowed both way, with both sides threatening. The visitors who opened the scoring when Milner was on hand to pounce on Bernd Leno’s poor clearance to calmly stroke the ball home.
Milner had won every single Premier League game he had scored on, but the Gunners showed incredible resolve to come back and claim a point. Lacazette’s clever run was picked out by Alexander Iwobi and, although he was taken wide by Alisson Becker, curled the ball into the far corner. Chelsea and Manchester City will have watched the draw with great interest, with the race for top spot in the Premier League getting tighter and tighter.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was lively in the opening exchanges and saw two shots deflected behind as Arsenal started brighter than in recent weeks. Henrikh Mkhitaryan almost took full advantage of some poor decision-making from Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, the Brazilian sprinting from his line and getting nowhere near Aubameyang’s cross, with Mkhitaryan’s header dropping just wide. Liverpool were also threatening and had the ball in the net moments later, only for Mane’s effort to be controversially ruled out for offside.
The Senegal international tapped home after Roberto Firmino had hit the post but his effort was chalked off even though he was behind the ball, having initially been offside when the move started. The visitors started to enjoy more of the ball and only a smart save from Bernd Leno kept out Virgil van Dijk, with Shkodran Mustafi alert enough to clear away the loose ball.
Emery has been keen for his side to play out from the back and, in doing so, they set up another chance for Aubameyang, whose shot was blocked behind following a flick into his path from Mkhitaryan. Lacazette shot wide from an acute angle before turning home Mustafi’s header across goal, only to see the goal correctly ruled out as the Germany defender was clearly offside. Liverpool almost went in ahead at the interval as Leno followed the earlier example set by his counterpart when he charged from his line and got stuck in no-man’s land, with Van Dijk flicking a header against the foot of the post.
Klopp’s side took the lead on the hour mark, though, as Leno pushed Mane’s cross back in front of his own goal, with Milner on hand to drill in his third of the season. Alisson was called upon to push away Lucas Torreira’s shot as Arsenal looked to level matters immediately, while Milner’s reward for giving Liverpool the lead was a bloodied nose following a collision with Gomez. Leno tipped a Van Dijk header behind as Liverpool looked to kill off the game, with Emery introducing both Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey in a quest to find an equaliser.
It was Iwobi who would play a part in Lacazette’s leveller, playing a precise ball into his path before the former Lyon man kept possession and bent home a precision strike. Neither side could find a winner in the closing stages as Arsenal remain four points behind their visitors in the table