If you’re looking for where to get a Christmas gift in form of entertainment, Emirates stadium has been the ground for a while now. It was three days to Christmas but Arsenal and Liverpool seems already in the groove. That’s what such a performance from both sides could be called.
Liverpool were all over Arsenal and deservedly took a two-goal lead before the break. It was an unbelievable stuff to see Arsenal show such character and composure to rally back into the game and even took the lead.
Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho had been the hero for Liverpool in the first half and Mane even came close to making it 3-0. The Liverpool players and fans will be almost certain that they will be getting three points from the match going into the break. Arsenal had other plans for the night. A five minute of magic was all that was needed to change the tide.
Sanchez header from close range, Xhaka long range effort and Ozil’s superb finish made a comeback that will be rank among the best in the history of the league. It only took a Roberto Firmino equaliser for Liverpool to make it 3-3.
Depending on which side you lean, it was a game of different result. Liverpool will be so disappointed that they couldn’t get the required three points after taking the lead and dominating for a large part of the game.
Arsenal will be excited that they could show some fighting spirit in them and character to be able to recover from such a game. The neutrals will hope the game could be on repeat for all night as it was an entertaining fixture that will rank among the games of the season.
Tactically, it was a game that Arsene Wenger gamble paid off. A continuous use of three at the back and giving youngster, Mitland Niles the starting shirt ahead of Saed Kolasinac was a big risk that eventually paid off. One major concern for Arsenal has always been the performance of Xhaka when under pressure that makes him commit too many mistakes and make too many wrong passes.
All thanks to Mesut Ozil whose ability and technical prowess which was on display on the night as he sees off the challenge from the likes of Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool also used the Salah part of the pitch as he has a better of Mitland Niles severally before the break. It was in the second half that the game took shape in Arsenal’s form. Both managers will look at this game and take some lessons going forward.