Arsenal

‘Not the same’ – National media react to Arsenal’s thrilling Premier League draw at Liverpool

All the latest Arsenal news as the Gunners ensure they top the Premier League table on Christmas Day with a point against Liverpool arsenal will top the Premier League table on Christmas Day for the second consecutive year after drawing 1-1 with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. The Gunners ticked off another tough fixture in their league campaign as they aim to become champions for the first time since 2004.

Gabriel Magalhaes netted his first goal of the season, his first strike since March, to put Mikel Arteta’s men ahead on Merseyside before Mohamed Salah levelled the scoring before half-time.
Both teams put everything into the title contest with Trent Alexander-Arnold smashing the crossbar from a Liverpool counter-attack. However, the Reds would have felt hard done by after referee Chris Kavanagh and VAR failed to spot Martin Odegaard’s blatant handball inside the box.
The result means Arsenal will be league leaders over Christmas with Manchester City not in action due to their participation in the FIFA Club World Cup. Following the draw against Jurgen Klopp’s men, we’ve taken a look at how the national media reacted below.
Mark Jones writes: “This is a fixture which looms large in Arsenal minds given some of their past experiences here, with Mikel Arteta himself once in a Gunners side beaten 5-1 after conceding four times in the first 20 minutes. In such trying matches the need for a ‘fast start’ is often spoken about, but it is the need for a smart one which is more important.

“And Arsenal were smart here, locking onto Liverpool’s creative players and giving them very little opportunity to find a pass. They stifled their hosts, forced early set pieces and then punished a Reds side who were guilty of slack marking. Gabriel’s goal came after just four minutes, but it was coming.”
Andy Hunter writes: “Arsenal’s position at Christmas and point at Anfield are the same as last season, but Arsenal are not the same as last season. Mikel Arteta’s team top the Premier League for the second Christmas in succession courtesy of some luck here, but also the resilience, composure and belief that deserted them at critical moments in their last title challenge.

“Anfield, so often a scene of torment for the Gunners, provided hope.”
Oliver Holt writes: “There were fine performances all over the field but, as so often, it would be hard to top Declan Rice’s at the heart of this Arsenal team. Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk were superb for Liverpool, too. William Saliba was outstanding in Arsenal’s back four.

“Perhaps what this match did most of all was strengthen existing impressions. Most of all, it felt as if Arsenal are equipped to win the title this season but it also reminded everyone that Liverpool are far more than outsiders. They went toe to toe with Arsenal and came within an ace of getting the win.

“Ultimately, it was a good result for Manchester City who are on their way back from Saudi Arabia after winning the Club World Cup in Jeddah at the weekend. When they return, with Arsenal and Liverpool first and second respectively, battle will be rejoined in earnest.”

BBC SPORT

Phil McNulty writes: “Arsenal would have wanted to make a statement of intent by winning at Anfield, the scene of so many agonies in the past, but Arteta will take plenty from this game aside from the satisfaction of being top of the table.
The Gunners lost their nerve and composure when they were 2-0 up at Anfield last season, eventually being fortunate to get a draw, but here there were signs of a team coming of age and in good shape to mount another serious title challenge this season.
As Anfield responded to Klopp’s call to put Arsenal into a hothouse atmosphere, the Gunners stayed calm despite riding their luck on occasions.

“Arsenal wanted the win and played to get it but you suspect Arteta may be quietly satisfied after coming away with a point.”

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