Arsenal vs Liverpool: Milner's second half strike not enough to secure away win at the Emirates
An extremely quick start to this evening’s top six clash between Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal as the home side went into this game with a fourth place standpoint in the league, with 22 points. While the visitors, Liverpool, began their visit to the Emirates at second place with 26 points.
The visiting side were met with a high press in the first 10 minutes of the game by Unai Emery’s revitalised Arsenal squad. Clearly signalling a tactical ploy by the Spanish manager to disrupt the flow of Liverpool’s fast paced style of play.
A clear mistake from Liverpool’s keeper in the 15th minute as he left his line to nullify a headed attempt by Henrikh Mykhitaryan. Fortunately, the Brazilian keeper did enough to prevent the ball from rustling into an open net. However, two minutes later an exquisite ball over the top from Alexander-Arnold to Roberto Firminho resulted in a right-footed chip over the Arsenal keeper. The ball luckily hit the woodwork, leaving a stray ball to bounce kindly to Sadio Mane. Only for the Senegalese forward to be signalled offside, leaving the match goalless inside the first 20 minutes.
For the second time in the first half, one of the goalkeepers had left his line in a haste to prevent an attempt on goal. This time the keeper in question being Arsenal’s Bernd Leno, in the 44th minute. Fortunately for Arsenal, the ball bounced off of the post after a headed effort from Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk, leaving the first half to end moments later without any stoppage time.
With the second half underway, after a free-flowing first half, both sides did not shy away from providing another fast introduction to the game.
After dominating the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Arsenal were stunned by an unlikely goal in the 60th minute. A ball over the top of Hector Bellerin to Sadio Mane resulted in a cross from the Senegalese forward. Only for it to be parried into open space by the home side's keeper. Therefore leaving a free run for James Milner to drill the ball under Bernd Leno just inside the 18-yard box, resulting in the Merseyside visitors being a goal up at the Emirates.
Liverpool's resilience was nearly awarded in the 73rd minute with a second goal from Virgil Van Dijk, only for his headed effort to be saved by the home side's keeper.
With just 10 minutes left of the game and after continuously working to make the scores level, Arsenal scored a well deserved goal. After maintaining his composure, French forward Alexander Lacazette used the Liverpool defenders as a screen to curl the ball past the away side's keeper.
Furthermore, after a tense final five minutes of stoppage time, the signs of fatigue from both sets of players was evident. With nothing separating both teams at the final whistle, the game concluded with a 1-1 draw.
The visiting side narrowly creep one point ahead of Manchester City who have 26 points, and who are yet to play until tomorrow afternoon against Southampton. On the other hand, Unai Emery's Arsenal remain in fourth place with 23 points. However, Tottenham could leapfrog their North London rivals if they win in the same evening against Wolvehampton Wanderers.