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  • By Charlie Stong at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal keep title dream alive with 3-1 win over Liverpool at the Emirates



Arsenal 3 (Saka 14, Martinelli 67, Trossard 90+2)

Liverpool 1 (Gabriel (og) 45+3)


A howler from Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson helped Arsenal to a deserved 3-1 win over their opponents today - and moved them to within two points of the Merseysiders at the top of the Premier League.


Bukayo Saka had given the home side the lead after 14 minutes, only for a calamity in the Arsenal defence, which saw Luis Diaz nip in behind William Saliba to force an own goal off Gabriel.


But Martinelli restored Arsenal's lead on 67 minutes, before Leandro Trossard made certain in stoppage time - by this time Liverpool down to 10 men after Ibrahima Konate was dismissed for two yellow cards.


This was billed as a game Arsenal had to win if they were to still have aspirations of the title. 


And after a dominant first half it looked as if all their hard work may well have counted for little.


But the Emirates crowd, louder than perhaps at any stage this season, roared them on to victory in the second half.


Arsenal had the first half chance of the game, Gabriel Martinelli receiving the ball from David Raya's throw out and running the length of the pitch - but his cross from the left was just out of the reach of Saka.


Liverpool responded, Cody Gakpo firing inches wide of Raya's right-hand post, before the Emirates erupted.


Kai Havertz was played through on goal by Martin Odegaard, and although his weak shot was straight at Alisson, Saka was there to tap in the rebound.


But as the half wore on Liverpool began to get a foothold. A cross from the right was snuffed out by Gabriel before Virgil Van Diijk saw a looping header drop wide of Raya's left-hand post.


At the other end Gabriel forced Alisson into what was a relatively comfortable save with a shot from just outside the area. 


And just before the break Konate made a vital block from a Martinelli shot from 10 yards out which could have had Alisson struggling.


But Liverpool were level on the stroke of half-time, and it was all Arsenal's own making. Saliba tried to hold off Luis Diaz for Raya to come for the ball just eight yards from his goal, but Diaz nipped in, poked the ball past Raya and on to Gabriel, who had no time to react as the ball deflected off his hand and bobbled over the line.


It was a moment of madness from the Gunners - and a 45 minutes which summed this season's Arsenal up perfectly. They were brilliant for 45 minutes, Liverpool could not live with them.


But an almighty howler is still possible, despite the obvious improvement in defence in recent years. And here it was on show again.


Liverpool were encouraged. They came out flying in the second half and were inches away from going in front when Curtis Jones' curling shot from the left dropped just wide of the far post.


Back came Arsenal, Odegaard's shot from the left was defected by Koante for a corner. Then Gabriel headed wide from an Odegaard free-kick.


And if Liverpool's goal was a calamity for Arsenal, what came next was an aberration for the Scousers - and goalkeeper Alisson in particular.


As Van Diijk held off Martinelli to a long bouncing ball, Alisson came out for a regulation clearance, but inexplicably missed his kick - and the ball - allowing Martinelli to tap into an ungaurded goal.


Alexis MacAllister then had Raya scrambling across his goal from a volleyed shot from just outside the area.


And at the other end Jakub Kiwior had a glorious chance to make it 3-1. A cross from the right found Kiwior all alone in the Liverpool box, but the ball was slightly behind the Pole, who could generate no power on his header, which was easily collected by Alisson.


Then Liverpool were down to 10 after Konate was adjudged to have bloked a run towards goal for Martinelli. Possibly slightly harsh as it was hard to see how Konaye could have got out of the way.


And substitute Trossard made certain in stoppage time. The title race is on.


Teams:

Arsenal: Raya, Saliba, White, Gabriel, Saka (Nelson 79), Odegaard, Martinelli (Trossard 74), Jorginho, Havertz, Zinchenko (Kiwior h-t), Rice

Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez (Alcantara 85), Van Diijk, Konate, Diaz, MacAllister, Jones, Gakpo (Nunez 58), Jota, Gravenberch (Elliott 58), Alexander-Arnold (Robertson 58)

Referee: Anthony Taylor 



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