Football, Premier League

Arsenal vs Liverpool: Uncharacteristic Reds stumble at the Emirates

In an intense match at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal defeated 10-man Liverpool 3-1 to close the gap on the Premier League leaders to two points and open up the title fight.

The home team controlled the majority of the match, but when Gabriel Magalhaes made a mistake in defence just before halftime, he allowed Liverpool to tie the score after Bukayo Saka had taken the lead early in the first half.

But Arsenal persisted, and they took the lead again when Liverpool’s Alisson Becker charged off his line and failed to clear a long ball, setting up Gabriel Martinelli to turn into an empty net.

Ibrahima Konate was sent off for Jurgen Klopp’s team, who had won their previous 15 Premier League games. Leandro Trossard, a substitute, then completed a spectacular victory for the Gunners in stoppage time by deftly scoring between Alisson’s legs from a sharp angle.

With the win, Arsenal reclaims second position ahead of Manchester City, who take on Brentford on Monday. Liverpool will experience their first Premier League loss since September.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “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. 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 that there were going to be difficult moments and we had to navigate through those moments. We were ruthless when we had a chance and it feels like a big win.”

On Liverpool: “At the moment they are probably the best team in Europe and the levels they have, they are in incredible team.

“We have come so far and now it is about doing it consistently. Liverpool have done it for six to seven years.”

On title race: “It gives us momentum and the way we have done it we are back on it – really excited.”

Jurgen Klopp spoke on Ibrahima Konate’s red card and said: “A lot of things were against 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.”

He added: “We gave them all the momentum. We had possession and just didn’t have the finishes.

“In general, we can admit that Arsenal deserve the three points. But 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 defender Virgil van Dijk said: “It was a tough day. I take full responsibility for the 2-1 [goal] and that’s a big turning point in the game. I should have done better and made a better decision there.

“It hurts for me and it hurts for the rest of the team. Especially for me. After the break, we were so good and had opportunities. We were dominant and the atmosphere here became more nervous.

“The turning point was my responsibility. I should have just cleared it. When you make the wrong decision in a split second, these things happen in football.

“These things don’t happen too many times in my career but it’s a tough one. I will recover from it and learn from things that don’t go well. But I will take responsibility.”

Liverpool host Burnley next on Saturday while Arsenal take a short trip to West Ham on Sunday.

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