Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Why Liverpool will need to make history to make the Top Four
Liverpool and Arsenal shared the festive spoils in what proved to be a thrilling and open encounter at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers' team started much the stronger, dominating the early possession (with 124 passes to Arsenal's 16 in the first 15 minutes), but struggled to created clear openings. They eventually found a breakthrough when Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho fired a low shot across Wojciech Szczesny and into the bottom corner, and it looked as though they would go into the dressing room at half-time with a 1-0 lead.
Yet, in the dying seconds on the first half, Mathieu Debuchy rose above Martin Skrtel to head Mathieu Flamini's flick-on past Brad Jones in the Liverpool goal.
That seemed to knock the Reds' confidence, and Arsenal grew into the match in the second half. After a lengthy stoppage when Olivier Giroud accidently trod on Skrtel's head, the Frenchman fired the Gunners ahead, tucking Santi Cazorla's pull-back between Jones' legs.
Liverpool were then forced to up their tempo again, and although they lost substitute Fabio Borini to a deserved red card, they found a late equaliser when Skrtel powered a header home in the seventh minute of injury-time.
- Liverpool have won just 2 of the last 15 Premier League meetings with Arsenal (won 2, drawn 8, lost 5).
- Arsenal have now scored in 9 successive visits to Anfield. The last time they failed to do so was the 1-0 Premier League defeat in February 2006.
- The Gunners had a possession figure of just 36.5%; the lowest they have recorded in a Premier League game August 2003-present (since Opta started recording individual match data).
- Santi Cazorla has had a hand in 5 goals in his last 5 Premier League appearances (3 goals, 2 assists).
- Arsenal scored 2 goals from their first 2 shots on target.
- Arsenal faced more shots than they have in any other Premier League game (August 2003-present).
- No side who has ever recorded 22 points after 17 matches - as Liverpool have this season - have ever finished higher than 6th in the Premier League.
- Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal at Anfield since April (vs Manchester City).
- This was the first Premier League match since April that there were 2 goals scored in the 45th minute of a single game.
- Liverpool only conceded 6 fouls, the fewest they’ve conceded in a Premier League game this season.
- There have been 5 90th minute or later goals in the last 7 Premier League meetings between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield.
- No Premier League side has shipped more goals via indirect free-kick situations this season than Liverpool (3, level with Leicester).