By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal starting this match with : Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Özil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
On the beach: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Iwobi, Welbeck
A low cross from Özil but Lacazette can’t connect with the ball and the keeper can stop the dangerous cross. At the other end a cross hits Bellerin but Holding can clear for a corner. A lively opening 5 minutes with Arsenal starting on the front foot in the opening minutes. Aubameyang caught offside twice. Gradually Liverpool taking over the match around the 10th minute resulting in a bit of pressure but no real goal chances. Arsenal winning the ball in the Liverpool half and Aubameyang has a shot that is diverted just wide. The low corner results in a shot from Xhaka but the keeper can stop it. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Mkhitaryan wins the header in front of the keeper but the ball goes half a meter wide of the goalpost. The better chances for Arsenal so far. Liverpool score but the flag goes up as Mane scores from getting advantage from his offside position. He was going towards the ball with another player first who was not offside so he was interfering judged by the assistant. Xhaka with a very important tackle when Salah looked to get away. After the corner Arsenal can almost break away but Liverpool win it back and Van Dijck completely unmarked in the middle but Leno with an excellent stop. Both teams have had their chances now. Salah has a shot blocked but Leno with a good stop on the follow up shot. At the other end Bellerin with a shot but it curled wide of the post. Salah looking more dangerous in the last 10 minutes now finding some space behind the Arsenal defenders. Kolasinac with a dangerous cross but the keeper can palm it away and Mkhitaryan can’t control the rebound. Both teams having chances to score and having the upper hand for a while but still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Arsenal with a good build up but the shot from Aubamyeang goes wide after a deflection. Lacazette has a shot but it is blocked. The Liverpool keeper then has to rush out to stop Aubameyang. Arsenal having the best of the play of the play and Özil plays in Lacazette but he drags his shot wide and seconds later Özil with a cross but Aubameyang cant direct his header and the ball goes over. Arsenal score but Mustafi was given offside when he gave the assist to Lacazette. Both teams having a goal disallowed now for offside. A free kick for Liverpool and Leno comes out too far and cannot get to the ball but the header from Van Dijck ends up against the post and Arsenal can clear. The score after minutes is 0-0 but it could have gone both ways.
Fabinho comes in strong on Lacazette but unlike Coote who thinks touching an opponent is worthy of a second yellow the ref only gives the foul. Mkhitaryan almost away but he can’t get the ball past the last defender. But he gets one a few minutes later when the brings down Torreira with an arm sweep against the chin. A bit later Arsenal just can’t finish a good move after a low cross from Özil causes confusion in the Liverpool penalty area. Firmino almost with a chance but Leno smothers the ball. Still 0-0 after 60 minutes with Arsenal on top so far.
Blimey, a cross from Mane is pushed away by Leno but too central and Milner can convert the rebound. 0-1 after 62 minutes for Liverpool. Just when Arsenal had the best of the play.
Torreira with a shot from just inside the penalty area but the keeper saves it. From the resulting corner two Liverpool players clash heads and need treatment. After 67 minutes Iwobi came in the place of Mkhitaryan. Salah escapes from what looked offside but luckily Mane can’t put his foot around the ball and Arsenal can clear for a corner that is headed wide by Firminho. After 72 minutes Aubamyeang comes off and Ramsey enters the field. Leno with a good hand palming a header from Van Dijck over the crossbar. Liverpool with a few corners putting Arsenal under pressure for the first time in the second half really. Still 0-1 after 75 minutes.
Iwobi with a good penetration on the left flank but nobody making contact with the cross. Kolasinac runs out of play with the ball so the effort from Özil that went in didn’t count of course. After 80 minutes Welbeck came on for Kolasinac. Unai goes all in now. Iwobi with a fine ball to Lacazette who first turned away from the keeper and the chance seemed lost but Lacazette turned the ball in at the far corner. GOAL! 1-1 after 82 minutes. A fine finish from the French striker.
Will Arsenal switch their formation again with now only 3 defenders on the field and having a point? Arsenal with a good attack over Welbeck who gives a cross to the right hand side. The ball ends up in front of Bellerin but he curls it wide with his weaker left foot. 5 minutes of extra time are given by the 4th ref for the treatment of the head wound. Fabinho stops a possible counter by stepping on the foot but no second yellow card. Are you watching mr. Coote? Or one set if laws for Arsenal and one for the rest?
But not much happening in the extra time as both teams look a bit more cautious in their approach and look tired after giving their all for more than 90 minutes.
Final score after a thrilling game: 1-1. Arsenal remain unbeaten in 14 matches under Unai Emery.
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