In typical Gunner fashion, the match between Arsenal and Liverpool ended in a draw. A 3-3 draw. While I’m thankful it wasn’t a goalless draw, as a fan, I was hoping and praying it was a win instead. Then again, which fan wouldn’t want their club to win?
For one, Arsenal are on course to securing a trophy after suffering so many seasons without one. Arsenal are on course to clocking in as many points as possible to make sure that they are as far away as possible from everyone else. But no, they had to draw. They had to allow Liverpool to equalise at the very last minute. Liverpool were at home while Arsenal were slaving away to the deafening cheers of the home fans. They didn’t get the victory they were looking for. Instead, they took a leaf out of Louis van Gaal’s book and ended up with a 3-3 draw, just like van Gaal’s team when Manchester United played against Newcastle a few days ago.
This was how it panned out:
It was a pulsating match, no doubt about that. From the kick-off right up to the final whistle, both sides had jogged out onto the field with every intention for a victory, to walk away with all three points, to show their fans they were capable of finishing first and/or fourth. Arsenal were in the driving seat with 42 points on top in the Premier League table, just two points away from second-placed Leicester City who were playing against Tottenham Hotspurs. Liverpool may be languishing in ninth place but that didn’t mean they wanted to stay there forever. At most, they would aim for fourth spot and a place in the Champions League next season. When both teams emerged from the tunnel, those were their dreams.
Little did they know that they were destined to share the spoils by the end of the match.
The match began at full speed ahead, no holds barred, with both teams barreling through each other’s defensive line. Liverpool took the lead through Roberto Firmino whose cool finish was a gift after Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech parried the ball away and onto the Brazilian’s path, and he calmly kicked the ball past Cech. The home fans were roused to cheers and happiness. Not long after, Arsenal’s Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey equalised for the Gunners through a pass by Joel Campbell. Ramsey scored without a doubt from a very tight angle that squeezed past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
The teams were then tied at 1-1.
The draw didn’t last long as Firmino scored again, this time taking the ball high into the far left corner of the goalmouth and beyond Cech’s reach. The Brazilian was on fire for Liverpool. His first goal had manager Jurgen Klopp dancing on the sidelines. His second goal had Klopp punching his fists in the air and screaming with joy, seemingly looking more excited than his players. And Arsenal equalised again, this time through Olivier Giroud from a setpiece. It would seem that the Frenchman had the merest, slightest touch of the ball from an Arsenal corner, but the fault was very much on Mignolet’s part. Mignolet failed to defend his post, which led the ball to slip between his legs, bounce off one of them and rolled into the net. The goalkeeper’s expression had said it all. Disgust at first. Disappointment followed.
The teams were tied again, this time 2-2 at half time.
Arsenal were more decisive in the second half with Olivier Giroud scoring his second goal of the match. Campbell was on point with another assist for the Frenchman to latch on and score. Campbell’s pass was slightly deflected but wasn’t wasted as Giroud was quick on his feet to control the ball well before whipping round to score past Mignolet with his left foot. Arsenal were almost there, almost at the end where they could have wrapped things up or at the very least, score another goal to ensure that it was game over for Liverpool. Again, in a very typical Arsenal fashion, they just had to concede a late equaliser from Joe Allen, whose goal crept in past Cech’s outstretched arm.
It was one of those days when Arsenal couldn’t hang on to their scoreline and stay on track for all three points. Then again, it was pretty much typical Liverpool too. I have friends who would agree with me that Liverpool sometimes played like Arsenal. This match alone had the two teams sharing the points through just two goalscorers each. Roberto Firmino and Olivier Giroud had scored a brace each while Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey scored one apiece for their respective clubs. The draw left Liverpool in ninth place and Arsenal are still on top with 43 points. Leicester City, however, are now on par with Arsenal at 43 points after their 1-0 victory over Spurs.