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Arsenal 3, Liverpool 3: First Thoughts

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Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League
This is so dumb, I’d be remiss if I didn’t use it today.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal 3 Alexis 53’, Xhaka 55’, Ozil 58’ Liverpool 3 Coutinho 25’, Salah 52’, Firmino 71’

  • Pre-match thought: Those lineups are something else, huh? The question of what Klopp would do with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was answered (he’s on the bench), Emre Can returns and starts after serving a one match ban for receiving five yellow cards, and we’ve got every member of the front four (Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, and Salah) all starting as well. Wenger looks like he just threw some names on the wall after including the requisites of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and Lacazette, also adding in a wild Jack Wilshere just to really throw us all off.
  • And we’re off! And oh look Alexis Sanchez already fouling people not even a minute in. Great.
  • Wow, there’s a lot of frantic running happening in these first three minutes. This is going to be that kind of match. Here’s hoping we run these Gunners ragged again.
  • Oh no. Oh no. Ten minutes in, Jordan Henderson goes down and immediately calls for a physio. James Milner comes on and takes over the armband. Henderson was rubbing his hamstring as he came off, not a good sign at all.
  • ARGH. ALMOST. Laurent Koscielny just barely clearing a low cross from Andrew Robertson towards Firmino. Lucky for Arsenal, unlucky for us.
  • Even with the Hendo injury, our midfield and defense is pretty effectively shutting down Ozil and Wilshere. Bright young upstart Jack Wilshere, that is.
  • Robertson’s crosses from the left side are absolutely lethal, he’s definitely going to be instrumental in a goal today. Eventually. Two in two minutes that were unlucky not to get their rewards.
  • Fans of both sides in fine voice tonight. You know good things will happen when the fans are so behind their teams.
  • GOAL! COUTINHO WITH A HEADER FROM SALAH! Salah wins the ball and gets the ball to the Little Magician for a perfect lofted header right over Petr Cech!
  • WE’RE ONLY THIRTY MINUTES IN WHAT KIND OF DEVILRY. Who thinks the second half will be dead boring when both teams are gassed?
  • Lacazette lets James Milner foul him and Arsenal win a free kick in a good spot, but it only ends up in a corner. Which is equally scary for Liverpool.
  • Those moments turned into nothing and Liverpool are back to being a pain in Arsenal’s ass.
  • WHAT A MISS. Salah picks up the ball after a slip from Koscielny and has his shot deflected and Mane goes for a wild bicycle kick in his haste, but sends it skyward. Holy cow.
  • Halftime: A hurried and frantic first half, but with more missed chances than goals scored, it’s hard to find comfort in the 0-1 lead. Salah and Mane both have incredible missed shots and it’s wild that we’re not up more than 1.
  • AND WE’RE BACK. Arsenal make a change, taking off Monreal for Mustafi to try and give them an advantage. Liverpool make no changes and no one is surprised.
  • Both teams seem to have settled in this second half, a little more controlled than the harried moments of the first half.
  • MARTIN ATKINSON WITH A BACKHEEL TO JACK WILSHERE WHAT THE HELL.
  • IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE SALAH SCORES A DREAMY CURLER TO MAKE IT 2. Might as well have not been anyone else on the pitch in that moment, GORGEOUS goal for Salah’s 21st (!!!) of the season.
  • Oh. And just like that Arsenal get in. Alexis Sanchez does what he does to get it in behind Joe Gomez. Shame.
  • WHAT THE. An absolutely disgraceful effort from Mignolet and Granit Xhaka is able to equalize for the home side.
  • This is going to be like that 4-3 game last season isn’t it? Ugh. Arsenal are 100% a confidence team so when they get their heads in it it’s hard to stop them.
  • Just as I type that, Liverpools defense disintegrates and Ozil makes it 3.
  • I’m going to quit. How. Why. At least we were right about goals galore today. Ugh.
  • If there’s any team that can score 2 in half an hour, it’s Liverpool, but jesus Arsenal aren’t going to make it easy.
  • Remember when we could beat the other top six teams easily? Wasn’t that great?
  • So many optimistic counter attacks from Liverpool today, so much disappointment when they’re unable to capitalize on them.
  • GOAL! BOBBY FIRMINO WITH THE LUCKIEST BOUNCE IN THE WORLD. Petr Cech deflects a shot from Firmino only to have it drop and bounce across the line to make it 3-3!!!!
  • 77 minutes and Arsenal bring on Danny Welbeck comes on Alex Iwobi and the nerves go through the roof.
  • This would be a perfect time for Klopp to make a sub, any kind of sub but mostly a pacy midfielder that used to play for Arsenal - oh nevermind, he brings on Georginio Wijnaldum for Mane.
  • Ooof and you can already tell by the boos filling the stadium - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on at 82 minutes for Coutinho. Perfect opportunity for Chambo to show them what they let go.
  • 17 goals scored in the 90’ minute or later for both teams, so while that’s a cool fact it’s terrifying because no one wants that goal to come from Arsenal today.
  • Four minutes of stoppage time, just to make it extra stressful.
  • Final Whistle: With a stunning disappointment for the Reds, it ends all level at the Emirates. Liverpool remain in the top four but two points dropped right now is a real shame. “Defending optional,” as Rebecca Lowe said at the end and she’s not wrong.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.