Arsenal secure point at Anfield to top Premier League table at Christmas


Gabriel Magalhaes put Arsenal ahead at Anfield after just four minutes (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal will top the Premier League table at Christmas after a 1-1 draw against title rivals Liverpool at Anfield.

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Gabriel Magalhaes fired Arsenal ahead before Mohamed Salah levelled it up as it ended all square.

Mikel Arteta’s side started the day as the league leaders and successfully prevented defeat to avoid dropping down, while Liverpool’s point sees them move up into second above third-placed Aston Villa.

The Gunners next host West Ham on December 28 while Jurgen Klopp’s team return to action on Boxing Day (December 26) with a trip to Burnley.

Arsenal looked immediately dangerous from kick-off and following Gabriel Jesus’ planted header straight at Alisson, Gabriel fired the visitors ahead to silence Anfield with just four minutes on the clock. His header from 10 yards, checked by VAR for offside, flew past Alisson after Ibrahima Konate left him unmarked.

Chances continued to fall for both sides as Jesus fired over the crossbar having had the space to test Alisson while Salah saw a shot hit the side netting after poor work from Oleksandr Zinchenko, who got caught under the ball.

Liverpool screamed for a penalty when the ball appeared to hit Martin Odegaard on his hand but following a VAR check, it was not given, with the Gunners captain deemed ‘lucky’ by Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville after he seemed to slip.

Lightning quick start for Arsenal at Anfield âš¡

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 23, 2023

It did not matter, though, as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s 60-yard ball fell straight into Salah’s path as the Egyptian cut inside past Zinchenko and unleashed a fierce left-footed shot into the net to level things up just before the half-hour mark.

Bad news followed for the Reds as Konstantinos Tsimikas was forced off with injury before the break, appearing to hurt his shoulder after clattering into his own manager following a battle for the ball with Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal wasted a huge chance to regain their lead when Alisson rushed out to force the ball away from Saka, who had gone one-on-one, with Gabriel Martinelli somehow dragging his shot wide when he should have hit the target.

WHAT a ball from Trent âš½

WHAT a finish from Salah 💥

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 23, 2023

The first chance of the second half fell to Liverpool as Odegaard lost possession in his own half, with the ball eventually falling to Salah, but his deflected effort from a great spot landed straight at Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya.

Liverpool kept pushing as the noise cranked up inside Anfield, with Joe Gomez seeing a dangerous shot curl inches wide, before Klopp decided to make a triple change on 67 minutes – brining on Darwin Nunez, Harvey Elliott and Ryan Gravenberch.

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Just five minutes later, Liverpool should have taken the lead with a remarkable five-on-one attack, but the Reds somehow did not find the back of the net as Alexander-Arnold’s effort smashed into the crossbar.

Raya was then forced into a save to stop Gomez before Arsenal were denied a late penalty for Alexander-Arnold’s nudge on Kai Havertz, with VAR sticking with the referee’s initial decision.

The game ended in a 1-1 draw, with leaders Arsenal now on 40 points – and second-placed Liverpool just behind them on 39 – above Villa on goal difference.

MORE : Arsenal set to poach key staff member from Premier League rivals

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