In a dramatic turn of events, Roberto Firmino’s late equalizer for Liverpool against Arsenal has blown the Premier League title race wide open. Arsenal had taken a two-goal lead at Anfield thanks to Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, but Liverpool fought back with goals from Mohamed Salah and Firmino. The draw means that Manchester City, who are six points behind Arsenal with a game in hand, are still in the hunt for the title.
The match was marred by controversy, including an incident where linesman Constantine Hatzidakis elbowed Liverpool’s Andy Robertson in the throat after he confronted the official at half-time. Salah also missed a penalty early in the second half, delaying Liverpool’s comeback attempt.
Despite their recent drop in form, Liverpool have consistently raised their game for big domestic home matches, with victories over both Manchester clubs and Newcastle at Anfield. However, their hopes of Champions League football for next season are now all but extinguished, as they remain 12 points off the top four.
Arsenal started the match boldly and energetically, while Liverpool were tentative and clunky as they attempted to play out from the back with limited success. Martinelli scored the opening goal in the eighth minute after a deflection off Virgil van Dijk sparked chaos in the Liverpool defense. Jesus then scored Arsenal’s second goal after Martinelli provided a gorgeous curling center.
Liverpool fought back with a neat back-heel from Curtis Jones that fed Diogo Jota, who cut-back for Jordan Henderson. The skipper seemed to miscue a shot but it fell to Salah, who snapped up the chance at the back post. Firmino then scored the equalizer after a sensational Trent Alexander-Arnold nutmeg.
The match was a gloriously chaotic occasion that included Granit Xhaka sticking an elbow on Alexander-Arnold, who retaliated, with both players cautioned. The self-defeating act from the Swiss midfielder raised the temperature significantly, and suddenly Scouse bile was raining down on the leaders.
In injury-time, Aaron Ramsdale pulled off two outstanding saves to deny Salah and Ibrahima Konate before Arsenal squandered a chance to snatch victory on the counter-attack at the very death. The draw means that the Premier League title race is now wide open, with Manchester City still in the hunt for the title.