Gunners go top at Christmas after gritty draw against Liverpool at Ainfield

City will be happiest with the result after seeing two of its title rivals drop points

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Arsenal's Gabriel scores against Arsenal on Saturday. - Reuters
Arsenal's Gabriel scores against Arsenal on Saturday. - Reuters

Published: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 12:12 AM

Liverpool was held by first-placed Arsenal to 1-1 at Anfield in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal led through Gabriel's fourth-minute header but Mohamed Salah evened the score in the 29th. Salah's 151st Premier League goal moved him to 10th on the all-time list. Liverpool pressed hardest in the second half and hit the woodwork twice.

Mikel Arteta's team will go into Christmas at the top of the standings, with Liverpool a point behind in second.

Defending champion Manchester City is likely happiest with the result after seeing two of its title rivals drop points.

City, which fell to fifth while it was away winning the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia this week, is six points behind Arsenal with a game in hand.

Another title challenger, Aston Villa, also dropped points with a surprise 1-1 draw against Sheffield United on Friday.

Liverpool's Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah reacts after scoring during the English Premier League against Arsenal. - AFP
Liverpool's Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah reacts after scoring during the English Premier League against Arsenal. - AFP

Luton, 19th on the league table, scored a shock win over Newcastle while Tottenham beat Everton to move into the top four

Elsewhere Burnley, last but one in the standings, beat Fulham at Craven Cottage while a Dominic Solanke hat-trick saw Bournemouth consign Nottingham Forest to defeat

Liverpool has drawn back-to-back games in the league against Manchester United and Arsenal.

Speaking to Sky Sports Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "It was massively overshadowed by Kostas Tsimikas collarbone issue, definitely broken, so he is out for a long time. The other issues we will have to see. It is hard for us to swallow with the Robbo [Andy Robertson] situation.

"Besides the injury, first and foremost I have to say, after what I said in the last week, thank you Anfield. That was exceptional. Arsenal has the better start, with a corner and a free kick, they do that really well. We could have done better [with the goal], it was close, nearly offside.

"After that we really found a way into the game. After half time we should have scored , if we would have won? I don't know but we should have scored. We had the moments, the high press was there too,: he added.

"Arsenal are really exceptional but for those 20 minutes we had them, we shattered them slightly. We felt that they were shaky and we should have used that."

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Klopp's team had the better chances to win on Saturday; Trent Alexander-Arnold hit the bar in the second half with only Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya to beat. Substitute Harvey Elliott also hit the post with a deflected shot from outside the box.


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