Gunners fight back for point
Published 30/01/2013 | 22:00
Arsenal fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in a thrilling Barclays Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Both sides knew defeat could prove fatal to their hopes of closing back up on the top four, but neither looked ready to settle for anything other than all three points in an open and entertaining match.
Liverpool took an early lead through Luis Suarez after terrible defending by Arsenal, and then looked to be in complete control when Jordan Henderson walked in a second on the hour. However the Gunners suddenly burst into life as in-form Olivier Giroud reduced the deficit with a close-range header and Theo Walcott then rattled in an equaliser.
It was a bright start by the Reds as a slip by Bacary Sagna let Glen Johnson away down the left. His cross into the Arsenal penalty area was miskicked by Thomas Vermaelen, just back from an ankle injury, and Wojciech Szczesny produced a good reaction save from Daniel Sturridge at the far post.
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey, though, failed to clear with a tame flick and the ball broke for Suarez, whose curling shot then deflected off Per Mertesacker to wrongfoot the goalkeeper.
The visitors almost made it 2-0 on 27 minutes when Szczesny got nowhere near a corner from the left and Daniel Agger's header was hacked off the line by Lukas Podolski.
Arsenal were forced into a change before half-time when Kieran Gibbs hobbled off and Brazil defender Andre Santos came on.
Liverpool extended their lead on the hour. Henderson battled past Santos and into the right side of the penalty area, before then holding off two more defenders. As the ball bounced back off Ramsey's boot, he stabbed it past Szczesny.
Arsenal needed an immediate response, and got it on 64 minutes when Giroud planted a header into the far corner from Jack Wilshere's right-wing free-kick.
Before Liverpool could settle, the Gunners were level. Santi Cazorla worked the ball out on the right side of the penalty area to Giroud. His lay-off teed up Walcott just outside the six-yard box and the England forward lashed an angled drive across Jose Reina into the far corner.