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Arsenal beat Liverpool to blow open the title race

Gabriel Martinelli celebrates scoeing against Liverpool

The fear of pace. It is the oldest adage in football and the sheer speed and directness of Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli has added fresh impetus to the Premier League title race, blowing it open with a goal, helping force a goal and also leading to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold being substituted.

There was more fear. The fear Jurgen Klopp’s announcement he was leaving Liverpool at the end of the season might distract his team and a stunning mix-up involving his two most experienced players, in the first big test since the news, cost them here.

Martinelli forced it as he chased down Virgil van Dijk but, even so, it was shocking to see the Liverpool captain and his goalkeeper Alisson make such a mess of it. Van Dijk tried to shield the ball, Alisson should have cleared but missed it and Martinelli had an unguarded goal to side-foot into.

So momentous was it that Liverpool suffered their first domestic defeat since September – when they unjustly lost to Tottenham Hotspur amid the VAR fiasco. But they can have no complaint this time – and there was none beyond Klopp arguing over some “unbelievable” decisions by referee Anthony Taylor - with Arsenal’s expected goals (xG) of 3.52 the highest Liverpool have faced in the Premier League.

Arsenal could have been eight points behind the leaders and effectively out of it but ended up just two points in arrears and back in it The extraordinary effort they expended was evident at the end as Declan Rice, who was outstanding, slumped to the turf as did Martin Odegaard.

Arsenal gave everything – and there were six yellow cards for them also as they pushed it to the limit – and they got their reward amid raucous scenes of celebration. Abba’s Voulez Vous played out over the loudspeaker as Odegaard grabbed a camera and snapped the club’s long-serving photographer Stuart MacFarlane. Will it be a moment for posterity or another premature Arsenal red-letter day?

Martin Odegaard takes a picture during Arsenal's post-match celebrations against Liverpool
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard photographs club photographer Stuart MacFarlane - Getty Images/Ian Kington

Picture this, though. Amid the goals, amid the mayhem – with the hapless Ibrahima Konate sent off for a second yellow card after being run ragged – the game’s pivotal moment came with a chance that was not taken and when there was no score.

Goalkeeper David Raya started it as he quickly threw the ball out to Martinelli on the right and what the 22-year-old Brazilian did next was key. Too often players will sprint forward, then check back but he was direct and purposeful and took on Konate as he arrowed goalwards, with the positive angle of his run crucial, before crossing from close to the byline. Bukayo Saka should have scored but his header lacked conviction.

The tone was set, though. Konate and Alexander-Arnold were suddenly unsure as they faced someone their own manager had previously hailed as a “talent of the century”, “an outstanding player” and “unbelievable” and maybe all those tributes were rattling through their heads.

Certainly Konate felt the fear and so, soon after, when Arsenal attacked again and with Oleksandr Zinchenko looking to release Martinelli he backed away. Konate is no slouch but Martinelli had already proven he was too quick for him – except Zinchenko played the ball infield to Odegaard who immediately found Kai Havertz. Van Dijk had gone tight; Konate had dropped off and Liverpool’s defensive line was a zig-zagged mess with Havertz running through. Alisson blocked his shot; Saka pocketed the rebound.

Bukayo Saka scores the opening goal of Arsenal's win over Liverpool
Bukayo Saka scored after Kai Havertz saw his chance saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson - Shutterstock/Andy Rain

Arsenal’s pressing was ferocious and Liverpool’s efforts to slow the game down were fruitless. They were being over-powered and out-run in midfield where Rice’s ability to nick the ball back was vital as was Odegaard’s artistry with Jorginho providing the nous and ballast as he also impressed. Curtis Jones tried his best but this was not a good day for Alexis Mac Allister, curiously slow and caught out too often, or the anonymous Ryan Gravenberch who was substituted.

They were gifted an equalising goal on half-time, with Arsenal guilty of their own mix-up as William Saliba tried to shepherd the ball back only for Luis Diaz to steal in with his cut-back striking Gabriel’s hand and trickling into the net. Just like Van Dijk later, Saliba should simply have dealt with it and cleared.

William Saliba caught out by Luis Diaz for Liverpool's equaliser
Just like Van Dijk, William Saliba was guilty of assuming his goalkeeper was going to come and collect - Getty Images/Nick Taylor

For a period after that it looked like Arsenal would pay the price as Liverpool slowly began to dominate but the relentless Martinelli continued to provide the outlet and so it proved with his winning goal.

Before that Alexander-Arnold, still recovering from injury but restored to the starting line-up with Conor Bradley absent due to the death of his father, had been taken off as part of a triple substitution as Klopp rang the changes. It did not work as Liverpool, surprisingly, lost their discipline and lost their way after falling behind.

That was summed up in injury time as Martinelli’s replacement Leandro Trossard tricked his way down the left. He had much to do but Liverpool were once more slow to react and when he did shoot it deflecting slightly off Van Dijk, as he tried to cover, and spun between Alisson’s legs.

It means Liverpool’s lead at the top is down to those two points and if Manchester City win their two games in hand, starting with Monday’s away fixture against Brentford, they will assume first place. Arsenal will not worry about that. Not yet. They have forced their way back into contention and that is all that matters to them. “It gives us momentum,” Mikel Arteta said and Martinelli was the driver.

Arsenal vs Liverpool: As it happened. . .


07:53 PM GMT

Arsenal next six

It is a good set of fixtures before the March international break, after which they face Man City away. West Ham away next week might be the banana skin, especially after such an endorphin rush today. The target has to be six wins from those fixtures before the Etihad.


07:35 PM GMT

Gary Neville on Arsenal and Liverpool's title prospects

Arsenal I think are a better team than Liverpool. But Liverpool are more ruthless in the final part of the pitch.

Arsenal’s system, way of playing is really good, they are really well coached, it is just that final pitch.

Liverpool have Gakpo, Nunez, Jota, Salah, Nunez. It could be a problem for Arsenal before the end of the season.


07:28 PM GMT

Arteta on bouncing back from two festive defeats

That was more results than performances. When I saw how much they wanted it every day, in the longe term that won’t happen too often. I believe in them.

Tonight we will enjoy it because we worked so hard to win it.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the match
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the match

07:18 PM GMT

Mikel Arteta on Arsenal performance and coming through a tough spell after HT

Especially with the performance we had in the first half and the chances we created, the way we conceded was painful.

We could not feel sorry for ourselves, we needed to react and there was a lot to play for and we went out and suffered a bit.

They were attacking open spaces and that is a bad thing to concede against them. They changed their shape and we had to bring a player inside.

Basically the message was there wads going to be difficult moments and we had to navigate through them moments.

We was ruthless when we had a chance and it feels like a big win.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, celebrates after the team's victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC
Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, celebrates after the team's victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC

07:11 PM GMT

Klopp on the red card

A lot of things were against of us today. This referee gave me a red card against Man City for wrestling situation between Bernardo Silva and Mo Salah. Today same situation with Jota but didn’t get a red card.

It is unbelievable, then the of holding Havertz on Konate for the first yellow card.

Then Havertz goes down and the referee gives Konate a yellow card.

Gabriel does the same to Nunez and no yellow card.

Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate is shown a red card by referee Anthony Taylor
Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate is shown a red card by referee Anthony Taylor

07:08 PM GMT

Klopp speaking on Sky: Arsenal deserved it

In general we can admit that Arsenal deserve the three points.

The circumstances were a bit strange. The goal for us was similar to the cup game. In the cup game we had even bigger chances.

We scored the goal at half-time and having nil shots on target, but a goal is a bit stranger. We had to adapt in a lot of moments today.

We found our way into the game, we had crosses and situations where it was close and then the second half. But if you cannot keep it open, then Arsenal might become a little nervous.

The red card did not help and we had to change what we tried a lot.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

07:04 PM GMT

Jamie Carragher on Liverpool's mistakes

There are very few weaknesses in Van Dijk’s game but one of them is he has a tendency to hold his position too much.

Van Dijk and Alisson have been brilliant this season, it’s one of the reasons why they’re back but that was a howler.


07:03 PM GMT

Van Dijk takes responsibility for the mistake

I take full responsibility for that, it was a big turning point in the game. Should have done better, should have made a better decision there and it hurts.

After the break we were so good, we were dominant and had chances. You could sense the atmosphere become a little more nervous.

I should just clear it and I made the split-second wrong decision. These things happen in football but that doesn’t change the fact that it hurts.

Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool react after Arsenal score the second goal
Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool react after Arsenal score the second goal

06:55 PM GMT

Liverpool apologies to the away fans

Jurgen Klopp Manager of Liverpool reacts after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC
Jurgen Klopp Manager of Liverpool reacts after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk looks dejected after the final whistle in the Premier League match
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk looks dejected after the final whistle in the Premier League match

06:54 PM GMT

Arsenal's celebrations

Telegraph Sport columnist Jamie Carragher speaking on Sky: “Just get down the tunnel, you’ve won a game, it’s three points.

“You’ve been brilliant, you’re back in the title race. Get down the tunnel.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the final whistle in the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the final whistle in the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder #08 Martin Odegaard picks up a camera and takes pictures as he celebrates at
Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder #08 Martin Odegaard picks up a camera and takes pictures as he celebrates at
Arsenal players William Saliba (L) and Ben White celebrate at the end of the English Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC
Arsenal players William Saliba (L) and Ben White celebrate at the end of the English Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC

06:46 PM GMT

Man of the match Jorginho on the performance

It’s such a good group, a humble group, everyone listens to each other...there is nobody at this club who is selfish.

We were mature and understood when we could play out and when we should go longer.


06:44 PM GMT

Rice on the victory

We knew the importance of the game today. The small margins, whether we won or lost, the gap gets bigger than table.

The training throughout the week has been really positive and that transmits on to the pitch.

We knew we had such a big 45 minutes in our season and we could not let one goal affect that.


06:40 PM GMT

That's why Klopp sings his praises


06:35 PM GMT

A theme of the game

Two goals, either side of half-time, that only happened because the defenders were waiting for their goalkeepers to come out and take the ball. Whatever happened to “if in doubt, get it out?”

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder #11 Gabriel Martinelli (R) celebrates with Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder #08 Martin Odegaard
Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder #11 Gabriel Martinelli (R) celebrates with Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder #08 Martin Odegaard

06:29 PM GMT

FT: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 1

Arsenal’s title challenge is alive again, as they move to within two points of league leaders Liverpool.

These two have produced three real arm wrestles over the last five or six weeks. Liverpool got the luck in the FA Cup tie, and Arsenal benefited from a slice of fortune today with the Van Dijk and Alisson mistake which turned the tide.

Across the three matches though, you cannot begrudge Arsenal one victory. There is little between these teams and it could well look that way in May.


06:27 PM GMT

97 minutes: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 1

Liverpool still push forward but it is to no avail now. They looked poised to really turn the screw after their substitutions, with Arsenal leggy, but that Alisson and Van Dijk goal came at exactly the wrong time.


06:25 PM GMT

95 minutes: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 1

Arsenal are surely at the finishing line now, but we ill play beyond the seven minutes because of all those celebrations. Havertz is booked for some dissent towards the linesman. I think he knocked his flag out of his hand.


06:23 PM GMT

GOOOOOAAALLL! Trossard seals the points

Mikel Arteta is almost in row 10 of the West Lower, and it is another moment for Alisson to forget.

It’s lovely feet from Trossard to skip away from Elliott who found himself in the right-back area. Van Dijk showed him the outside as all good defenders should, but Trossard took on the shot with his left foot and it sneaked under Alisson into the far corner. Through his legs in fact. Surely game over.


06:20 PM GMT

90 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Tempers flaring as we enter the final minute of normal time, Nunez believes he was pulled down on halfway by Gabriel and is booked for his protestations.

There will be SEVEN minutes added time.

Arsenal were in the position against Fulham in August - 2-1 up and a man up - and conceded a late equaliser.


06:18 PM GMT

RED CARD KONATE!

He is shown a second yellow card for a body check on Havertz, who bought the foul a touch, but the defender has no complaints. A sarcastic thumbs up from Klopp. More time wasted and Liverpool now a man down.

Referee Anthony Taylor shows a red card to Liverpool's French defender #05 Ibrahima Konate
Referee Anthony Taylor shows a red card to Liverpool's French defender #05 Ibrahima Konate

06:16 PM GMT

86 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Klopp has rolled the dice: Thiago on for Gomez, with Diaz playing as a very attacking right-back. Nunez is flagged offside which gives Raya the chance to kick long and Arsenal to push everyone forward. They feel they should have a throw-in in the Liverpool half but the decision goes against them.


06:14 PM GMT

84 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Arsenal cleared that corner and worked the ball forward really well, only to find the slowest player on the pitch Jorginho with the ball on their right wing. Arsenal keep it, and Kiwior of all players heads straight at Alisson after Odegaard clipped a cross in.

With the Arsenal left-back forward Nunez found space down the right but he slashed his shot over from a narrow angle.


06:13 PM GMT

82 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Mac Allister with a really poor driven cross into the area which is straight into Raya’s bread basket. Liverpool’s changes have made them stronger it feels, I’m not sure the same can be said of Arsenal’s. Liverpool still keep pushing forward, and they have another corner. Moments earlier, Arsenal had the ball but went back to Raya rather than forward.


06:10 PM GMT

81 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Arsenal thought they had gained some territory through Nelson there, but Taylor pulls up Kiwior for a foul throw. The game is now into the last 10 minutes. Jorginho, who has been excellent, wins his header against Elliott.


06:08 PM GMT

79 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Arteta does not tend to take Saka off, so this must be a genuine knock, Reiss Nelson is going to replace him. Both Saka and Martinelli off in the last few minutes. I’m not sure Arteta would have taken Martinelli off had he known Saka would pull up.

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder #11 Gabriel Martinelli (R) celebrates with Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder
Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder #11 Gabriel Martinelli (R) celebrates with Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder

06:07 PM GMT

78 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

That Liverpool corner was cleared to the edge of the D and Mac Allister’s effort on the volley was a decent one. Not much power, but it was not far wide of the far post.

Saka is now down for Arsenal and receiving some treatment. Medical or tactical?


06:06 PM GMT

76 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Excellent goalkeeping from Raya to come and claim a diagonal cross, which helps Arsenal relieve the pressure. Liverpool dominating the ball and territory now though, a long time left for Arsenal to hang on.

Joe Gomez has won a corner, after Liverpool - rightly - played on with Odegaard down.


06:04 PM GMT

73 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Arsenal now sitting behind the ball with Liverpool dominating possession, which can be a dangerous game to play against a Klopp team throwing everything at it. Arteta is making his first change: Martinelli is the player coming off, to be replaced by Trossard. Martinelli is not happy, he has been a real threat in this game, but Trossard can help Arsenal keep it.


06:00 PM GMT

70 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

The Emirates crowd is alive again with Saka and Odegaard leading the charge once again. Arsenal looked vulnerable in the 20 minutes after Klopp gave his players a half-time rocket, but they have come through that and snatched the game’s next goal.


05:59 PM GMT

68 minutes: Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1

Arsenal played so much good football in the first half without scoring the second goal, and now they have a second via a total gift from the Liverpool defence. What a maddening sport.


05:57 PM GMT

GOOOOAAAALL! A gift for Arsenal and Martinelli

This game features the league’s best two defences but there have now been two calamitous mix-ups! It’s just a long ball forward that Martinelli is chasing, and Alisson and Van Dijk both jump over it at the edge of the box, leaving the Arsenal many an empty net to roll the ball into.

Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal scores a goal to make it 2-1 during the Premier League match
Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal scores a goal to make it 2-1 during the Premier League match

05:56 PM GMT

66 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Jota very nearly caught Saliba on the ball there, but the Arsenal defender won the free-kick.


05:54 PM GMT

64 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Martinelli sends Havertz away down left wing, but he showed Mac Allister too much of the ball by knocking it across him. The Arsenal player goes down looking for a penalty and there was a Var check, but nothing doing. Havertz needed to keep the ball safe side and whip a ball into the box. Arteta has head in hands, that was a good opening.


05:52 PM GMT

62 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Arsenal have a corner after a barn-storming run through midfield from Rice. Saka had space to run at Robertson but cut inside to shoot, and his deflected effort looped behind for a corner. Havertz’s header under pressure was always over.

Then Jota spins well in a central position and finds Diaz, but his curling shot is straight at Raya. Much more of a fight this half, which suits Liverpool.


05:50 PM GMT

One surprising change of the three

Now there’s a surprise: Trent Alexander-Arnold hooked by Jurgen Klopp. There’s no suggestion of any injury. Alexander-Arnold had been struggling defensively, especially a few minutes earlier when he let Havertz run inside him, but that’s still an unexpected change.


05:49 PM GMT

59 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Liverpool send a corner into the Arsenal box which Saka helps the home team clear. In the end, Jorginho plays the ball off Jota for a goal kick. Saka received a bit of a whack for his troubles there but is now back up.


05:47 PM GMT

57 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

From the free-kick, Odegaard’s delivery was a good one but Gabriel could not make clean contact. Not a good 30 seconds for Gabriel, who is then booked for an arm across the face on Gakpo who had spun behind him.

The Liverpool players coming off in that triple sub: Gakpo, Alexander-Arnold and Gravenberch. Nunez, Robertson and Elliott the players coming on.


05:45 PM GMT

55 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Liverpool looking much more of a menace going forward, but Arsenal counter-punch as Havertz backs into Konate and makes something of a long clearance. Taylor awards Arsenal a free-kick and Konate is shown a yellow card. A difficult set-piece to make something of, 40 yards out and very central.


05:43 PM GMT

53 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Close from Arsenal! Jorginho started the move again and Odegaard’s shot deflected off Konate and just wide of the near post. Liverpool defend the resulting corner well.

Klopp is preparing some fresh legs: Nunez, Elliott and Robertson are coming on.


05:42 PM GMT

51 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Sound defending from Konate up against Havertz as Arsenal try to get started, or restarted as an attacking force. Jorginho then with a lovely pass between the lines to Odegaard, but he took too long to make the pass to Saka and the winger was offside.


05:38 PM GMT

49 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Liverpool a different team at the start of this half. It looks like Klopp has moved Jones deeper alongside Mac Allister. Jones found himself further forward there though, curling a shot wide of the far post. Arsenal yet to get going in this half.


05:37 PM GMT

47 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Liverpool with much more about them at the start of this half. Diaz finds space down the left and has a shot blocked before Mac Allister lets fly from distance. Then Arsenal over-cover towards the left and Diaz is free again and he flashes the ball across the Arsenal box.

Liverpool's Curtis Jones reacts after missing a chance to score
Liverpool's Curtis Jones reacts after missing a chance to score

05:35 PM GMT

Arsenal change at half time

Zinchenko, off Kiwior on at left-back. I would have thought that is an injury because there was little wrong with Arsenal’s overall performance.


05:22 PM GMT

Saliba or Raya at fault?

That goal has to go down as a rare Saliba error. He seems to be waiting for Raya to pick up the ball when he could just clear it.

Liverpool's Luis Diaz in action before Arsenal's Gabriel scores an own goal and Liverpool's first
Liverpool's Luis Diaz in action before Arsenal's Gabriel scores an own goal and Liverpool's first

05:22 PM GMT

HT: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

If, and it is only if at this stage, Arsenal do not win this game they will rue this half-time scoreline. Liverpool have not had a shot on target, and yet sneak in level, after a calamitous piece of defending right on half time.

Arsenal had done almost everything right before that moment. Liverpool level and have the chance to change things, perhaps tactically or perhaps through Darwin Nunez.


05:20 PM GMT

GOOOOAAALL! Arsenal and Raya in a mess at the back

That is a killer right on half time for Arsenal. Gravenberch chips the ball over the top for Diaz who looked to be being ushered out by Saliba. The Arsenal defender waited for Raya to come and collect - which may or not have been on - but that hesitation allowed Diaz to hook the ball towards goal. The ball flicked off Gabriel’s hand and into the net.

Luis Diaz of Liverpool celebrates his team's first goal, an own-goal scored by Gabriel of Arsenal
Luis Diaz of Liverpool celebrates his team's first goal, an own-goal scored by Gabriel of Arsenal

05:17 PM GMT

45 minutes+2: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Arsenal threatening the second with Jorginho sliding the ball into Martinelli in the box, and his shot on the turn was deflected into the six-yard box where Liverpool scrambled clear. Arsenal remain on top.


05:16 PM GMT

45 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

There will be three added minutes and Liverpool have a throw in their left back area.


05:15 PM GMT

44 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Havertz with a sliding challenge from behind on Mac Allister which is called a foul. It looked like he may have touched the ball, but replays show the Liverpool midfielder touched the ball first.

The Arsenal finish the half as they started in...in space around the Liverpool penalty area. Konate defends the White cross after Jorginho and Odegaard pulled the strings again.


05:12 PM GMT

42 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Excellent covering from Rice to track the run of Diaz and pressurise his cross which is near nobody but the Arsenal goalkeeper Raya. Arsenal then a bit loose in midfield but the bounces go their way and Rice deals with it.


05:10 PM GMT

40 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Arsenal finding Odegaard all too easily again, and they worked an inswinging cross that Konate did very well to head away. Gabriel and Zinchenko then do well to clear their lines as Liverpool probed for an equaliser.


05:09 PM GMT

38 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Excellent from Martinelli who skips beyond Alexander-Arnold like he is not there, forcing Konate into a challenge in a wide area. Arsenal free-kick wide left, Rice and Odegaard over it.

The ball breaks to Gabriel who tests Alisson with a snap shot from the edge of the box.


05:06 PM GMT

37 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Gabriel with, what I think, was an intentional pass with the outside of his foot to Martinelli. He plays in Havertz, who had little support, but still should have done better that crossing straight to Alisson.


05:05 PM GMT

35 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Arsenal still looking comfortable but they are not playing as much of the game in Liverpool territory. They try to put their foot on the ball in midfield and things get a little tight for Jorginho but he wins a foul. Odegaard is free as a bird in midfield, Arsenal just need to keep finding him early.


05:02 PM GMT

33 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Ben White was subsequently booked for taking too long to take that free-kick which he won. Both teams now have a full-back on a yellow card. Anthony Taylor is now across at the touchline because of an issue with his electronic kit.


05:01 PM GMT

31 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Liverpool are starting to inch further up the pitch and gain greater control possession. Then they try to play a ball over the top of the Arsenal defence which Raya claims smartly. Ben White with a nice piece of skill to move out of pressure and win a free-kick.

Liverpool's English midfielder #17 Curtis Jones (L) fights for the ball with Arsenal's Ukrainian defender #35 Oleksandr Zinchenko
Liverpool's English midfielder #17 Curtis Jones (L) fights for the ball with Arsenal's Ukrainian defender #35 Oleksandr Zinchenko

04:58 PM GMT

29 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

From that piece of play involving Jones, Liverpool produce their most dangerous moment since Arsenal’s goal. Alexander-Arnold whipped in a dangerous cross from deep which flicked off Gabriel but, fortunately for Arsenal, straight at Raya. Now Liverpool have a corner after another TAA foray forward...Van Dijk won first contact, but his header from a long way out was always looping over the bar.


04:56 PM GMT

27 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Odegaard is leading Arsenal’s work out of possession, tigerrish in his defending. Arsenal are targeting that side where Gomez is playing, which is natural with a right-footer at left-back. Curtis Jones then helps Liverpool get through the Arsenal press and play forward.


04:55 PM GMT

25 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

That was Liverpool’s best piece of play in midfield as Mac Allister broke through through the line and spread the play to Diaz but White blocked his shot.

Then Arsenal win the ball back in a dangerous counter-attacking position, and Gomez drags down Havertz at the expense of a booking.


04:54 PM GMT

23 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Are we already at the stage where we say Arsenal need a second goal before the inevitable response comes from Liverpool. Klopp is urgently trying to get instructions on to the pitch. Martinelli stretches Konate again but the defender mops up by going back to Alisson.

Alexis Mac Allister of Liverpool runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Declan Rice of Arsenal during the Premier League match
Alexis Mac Allister of Liverpool runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Declan Rice of Arsenal during the Premier League match

04:52 PM GMT

21 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Big block from Van Dijk to deny Odegaard after Liverpool lost the ball in a dangerous area again! Arsenal playing with real confidence, knocking off passes under Liverpool pressure.

It was Alexander-Arnold who lost his picture and kicked it straight at Havertz.


04:49 PM GMT

19 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Liverpool might need to make an adjustment out of possession. They look two or three yards away from getting to their red shirt on time and Arsenal are passing around them.

Klopp’s team are enjoying a bit more possession now. It is in front of Arsenal’s 4-4-2, but at least quietens the simmering atmosphere down.


04:47 PM GMT

17 minutes: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0

Arsenal were very nearly in again after a mistake by Van Dijk, who could well have conceded a free-kick for a foul on Havertz. The home team have their tails up, but you can never count out Liverpool with the goals they have in their team, and Nunez on the bench.


04:45 PM GMT

GOOOAALLL! Saka takes his chance this time

They cut Liverpool wide open there, with Odegaard flicking a pass around the corner to Havertz who was clean through and all alone.

He looked typically awkward as he ran through with the ball on his right foot and Alisson made the save, but Saka’s touch and finish showed real class.

Arsenal lead.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka scores their first goal past Liverpool's Alisson
Arsenal's Bukayo Saka scores their first goal past Liverpool's Alisson

04:44 PM GMT

13 minutes: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool respond with a half-chance of their own. Arsenal’s back four was out of sync as they tried to play offside and Gakpo was played in, but his right-foot shot from a tight angle flew wide of the far post.

Full intensity from Arsenal so far. Relentless running all over the pitch. Zinchenko pressing right up to the Liverpool penalty area. Even Arteta was getting involved, sprinting to collect a loose ball so that his players could attack quicker.

But there’s also danger, and Liverpool have space in behind...


04:42 PM GMT

12 minutes: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

Fantastic counter-attack from Arsenal that starts from the hands of Raya after he claimed a Gomez cross.

He released Martinelli with a raking throw out, and he showed Konate a clean pair of heels. The Arsenal winger teased in a great cross beyond Alisson which Saka looked sure to head home, but he failed to make clean contact.

The game’s first big chance has come and gone.


04:40 PM GMT

10 minutes: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

The flag is up for offside against Martinelli once again. Neither goalkeeper has been seriously called into action yet, quite a lot of respect being shown by both teams, being diligent in their shape. Arsenal keeping the ball for longer sequences but no big chances.


04:37 PM GMT

8 minutes: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

Arsenal are finding it quite easy to circulate the ball against Liverpool in these early stages. That is unlikely to remain the case across 90 minutes so they need to make their strong periods count. Failing to do so has been a problem for Arsenal this season.


04:36 PM GMT

6 minutes: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

Zinchenko is staying wider with Jorginho and Rice more of an orthodox midfield pair for Arsenal. The home team have found their feet in the last few minutes, and are angry they do not have a corner after Alexander-Arnold defends against Martinelli.

Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli in action with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alexis Mac Allister
Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli in action with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alexis Mac Allister

04:34 PM GMT

4 minutes: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

The flag goes up for offside against Martinelli before Arsenal show composure to play around Liverpool’s press. They pressurise Liverpool’s left-back area and keep the ball alive, and Saka was able to feed a dangerous ball into the box but no Arsenal player attacked it. Then Saka gets past Van Dijk who does well not to foul him.


04:32 PM GMT

2 minutes: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool go back to Konate and then long from kick-off. In another signal that they tend to be direct, Van Dijk pings a long diagonal forward towards Gakpo and Gabriel failed to make clean contact. Jota looked to be ahead of Zinchenko, but the ball did not drop for the forward. A mild warning for Arsenal there.


04:30 PM GMT

KICK OFF!

Liverpool, playing in their purple-ish away kit, get us started.


04:28 PM GMT

The players are out at the Emirates

This is not a fixture where you leave it until the last minute to find your seat. The pitch looks pristine as always, and we are just about at the time of year when it is still light for a 4.30pm kick-off. That’s when things get serious.


04:27 PM GMT

Klopp on Nunez starting on the bench

Nothing to do with intensity in the games we have.

It is how we start and how we use the full power of the boys. Darwin from the bench is a good thing to have as well.

It is just for this game how we thought it made sense. But we really think when he comes on he can change the game and have a real impact.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium

04:25 PM GMT

Arteta on Jorginho coming into the midfield

Jorginho brings that organisation and leadership.

Liverpool have a team team with a lot of versatility in the way they attack, Jorginho can adapt to that.

We want to enjoy and we want to play big matches and I think this place [Emirates] will be at its very best and we really want to enjoy this game.

Jorginho of Arsenal warms up prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC
Jorginho of Arsenal warms up prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC

04:24 PM GMT

Arteta on going with Havertz up front

Every game is different, we know what to expect from each other and I chose the players who I think are better to start the game.

Two very competitive teams, there will be a lot of transitional moments we both play very fast.

We have to be really sharp.

Kai Havertz during Arsenal's warm-up before the Liverpool game
Kai Havertz during Arsenal's warm-up before the Liverpool game

04:22 PM GMT

A look at these two teams...

In reality, Arsenal have replaced Gabriel Jesus with Jorginho as Kai Havertz moves up one slot. That might make Arteta’s team more secure, but leaves Arsenal light of a forward.

Liverpool are also missing a key attacker in Mohamed Salah, while Darwin Nunez is only fit enough for the bench. The jury remains out of Ryan Gravenberch among Liverpool-watchers, but he replaces Dominik Szoboszlai in midfield who is absent from the squad.

Overall, Arsenal have more of their key players in the starting XI but Liverpool have the stronger bench. Do Arsenal need to lead from the front?


03:57 PM GMT

Having a bet on today's match?

First take a look at these free bets and betting offers.


03:50 PM GMT

Bradley given compassionate leave

Conor Bradley hugs Trent Alexander-Arnold
Conor Bradley (left) is mourning the death of his father - PA/Peter Byrne

A reminder of why Conor Bradley isn’t in the Liverpool squad today. Liverpool’s rising star is mourning the death of his father.

Bradley has been playing amid the background of his dad, Joe, bravely battling serious illness. His death was confirmed on Saturday, just three days after a coming-of-age performance from the 20-year-old defender in the Premier League.

The news underlines the courage of the Northern Irish player as he has given a series of standout performances since breaking into Klopp’s side.

He was man-of-the-match in the club’s midweek win over Chelsea, when he scored and was responsible for two assists, and was due to travel with the rest of the squad to London for today’s game against Arsenal. Bradley had been tipped to start the game ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Since moving to Liverpool – first spotted by Anfield scouts as a nine-year-old when he was playing for his local team St Patrick’s in County Tyrone – Bradley has been represented by his parents rather than an agent.

The praise for his performances has been effusive from Klopp, and yesterday’s tragic news put those stellar displays into a new perspective.


03:39 PM GMT

A closer look at the teams

Arsenal are without forward Gabriel Jesus due to a knee injury.

Jesus and Emile Smith Rowe drop out of the side that beat Nottingham Forest in midweek, with Jorginho and Kai Havertz coming in.

Liverpool have made three changes from the team that beat Chelsea on Wednesday.

Conor Bradley, whose father recently died, is understandably missing. Dominik Szoboszlai is also out and Darwin Nunez is on the bench.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch all start.


03:32 PM GMT

TEAM NEWS

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Rice, Jorginho, Saka, Havertz, Martinelli. 
Subs: Ramsdale, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Kiwior, Cedric, Trossard, Nelson, Elneny, Walters.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Gomez, Gravenberch, Mac Allister, Jones, Jota, Gakpo, Diaz.
Subs: Thiago, Nunez, Adrian, Elliott, Robertson, Clark, McConnell, Kelleher, Quansah.

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)


03:23 PM GMT

'My message to Arsenal supporters is do not panic'

Here is some free advice for Arsenal: get Mikel Arteta tied to a new contract at the earliest opportunity.

Strike while the iron is hot. Liverpool are entering a period of uncertainty when Jürgen Klopp leaves at the end of the season, and there are persistent rumours that Pep Guardiola will soon feel his work is done at Manchester City. Who knows how Guardiola will react if City are heavily punished after the Premier League hearing for alleged spending breaches.

What a message it would send if Arteta was committed to the Emirates for another four years, vowing to reap the rewards of the foundations he has laid.

I have no doubt there will be much fretting in north London if Arsenal do not beat Liverpool (today), or if they are unable to keep up with City as the champions relentlessly find their usual top gear in the title run-in.

Whatever the outcome, my message to Arsenal supporters is do not panic. The team still has a chance this season, and will be in the hunt in the next and the one beyond by keeping their squad and coaching staff intact. Patience is one of the most difficult qualities to master in football, especially when it felt like Arsenal were just one step away coming into this campaign, but it pays to view the bigger picture in this case. If Arsenal lost Arteta in 2025, when his current deal runs out, it would feel like they are squandering a massive opportunity which they have been building towards, albeit everyone naturally craves the title sooner rather than later.”

To read Carragher’s full column, click here


03:13 PM GMT

'I love what he has done at Liverpool'

Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp shake hands
There is a mutual respect between Mikel Arteta (right) and Jurgen Klopp (left) - Getty Images/Andrew Powell

This week, Arteta revealed he has taken “a lot of things” from Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Liverpool but admits the next step has to be emulating his trophy success.

The German recently announced he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, having taken over in 2015.

During that time he has guided the Reds to a Premier League title, Champions League glory and both the FA Cup and League Cup.

Arsenal sat top of the table for 248 days last season before being usurped by Manchester City but realistically they need to beat Liverpool today to maintain a chance of pipping both clubs to the trophy this season.

As he prepares for what could be their final meeting in the dugout, Arteta – who has form for rowing with Klopp on the touchline – explained what he has taken from his success in England.

Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp row on the touchline
Arteta and Klopp have had plenty of touchline bust-ups - Shutterstock/Tim Keeton

“A lot of things. Especially the identity that his team has, the identity that the club has,” he said. “It is very clear. He is someone who is so determined to make sure that stamp is put in across the club.

“The team has very clear intentions and behaviours, regardless of where (each player) plays. I love that about what he has done at Liverpool.”


03:05 PM GMT

Arteta: I've no problem with on-pitch arguments

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted he has no issues with his players arguing with each other on the pitch, saying that life in a Premier League title race cannot be “Disneyland”.

Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko were locked in a heated argument at the final whistle of Arsenal’s midweek victory at Nottingham Forest, with coaching staff moving in to separate the pair before the players went down the tunnel.

Arteta said he “loved” the passion on display from his defenders and added that White and Zinchenko enjoy a “great relationship”.

The Arsenal manager has insisted it was a “normal” exchange between the two players and rejected the idea that White and Zinchenko were in a “fight” after the match.

“Maybe we have a different understanding of what the word fight means,” said Arteta. “Maybe it was a conversation. A little bit heated and a little bit emotional after the game when you are going 200 beats a minute. It’s normal. Nothing new.

“I want to see passion. I want to see commitment from my players. I want players who always have desire to be better and in order to do that we have to be demanding with each other. Otherwise it is Disneyland.”

Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko argue as they leave the pitch
Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko argue as they leave the pitch - @Arsenalnewschan

Arteta even joked that White and Zinchenko have been “living together” and “sharing wives” this week.

“They have been in the same house the past few days,” he quipped. “Sharing wives and everything. It’s fine, they are living together now. They are best mates.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Thomas Partey has suffered yet another fitness setback ahead of today’s crucial Premier League meeting with Liverpool.

Partey has been missing since October with a thigh problem but was close to making a comeback before another issue flared up in recent days.

“With Thomas unfortunately we had a little setback a few days ago,” said Arteta. “He’s not going to be available in the squad. We’ll see if it’s a matter of days of weeks. But he had a little thing. He felt something in a very similar area and he wasn’t able to train the last few days.”

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