Liverpool and Arsenal battle to 2-2 draw

Published Sunday, December 21, 2014 12:35 PM by William Montero

Today would be the day.  Both Liverpool and Arsenal are in the midst of increasingly disappointing seasons.  The Gunners are in 7th while Liverpool are stuck all the way down in 11th.  Arsenal only has two wins against teams in the top half of the EPL standings all season.  Things were needing a change for both sides and today was the day to turn the season.

Which direction would these two sides be going? A win today could provide the lift to roll through the crowded Holiday schedule and make major ground in the standings.  Lose today and run the risk of the season getting away.

The opening half belonged to Liverpool as they bossed possession and asked questions of the Arsenal defense.  The Anfield crowd were pushing them forward.  The only problem was that they were largely ineffective in the final third.  Arsenal keeper Szczesny was really only called into duty once as he had to race out to deny Markovic in the 35th minute.

Finally in the final minute of the opening half Liverpool were rewarded.  Giroud misplayed a flick in the midfield and the Reds went the other way.  Coutinho cut to his right inside the box and fired home off the post.  Just reward.

The crowd had not even settled back into their seats before Arsenal had tied the match.  Debouchy outjumped Skrtel on the backpost to head home.  What a wild finish to the half.  Hopefully the second half holds as much excitement as the final minutes of the first.

The second half was full of action as the game was wide open.  Arsenal would grab the lead as Cazorla cut a ball back for Giroud to smash between the legs of Liverpool keeper Brad Jones.  All the pressure was on Liverpool now as they faced a crushing home defeat.

They began to throw everything they had at the visitors with Lucas narrowly swerving a shot inches wide.  Szczesny was called into action as well to make saves.  Fifteen minutes to go and Ricky Lambert entered the match.  Would Liverpool be able to find the equalizer?

Their chances were given a lift when the officials announced a whopping nine minutes of added time due mostly to a Skrtel head gash that needed attention.  Unfortunately, Borini was shown his second yellow in the 92nd minute leaving Liverpool with only ten men.  Two yellows in five minutes for Borini and to the showers he goes.

Arsenal were playing with fire though giving up chances and corners one after another.  Finally they were punished in the 97th as Martin Skrtel powered home a header.   2-2! What an entertaining match between the two bitter rivals.  Unfortunately, both sides only earn a single point which will get them next to nowhere in the league table.