Arsenal comeback rescues point against Liverpool

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Two goals in 176 seconds helped Arsenal rescue a point in a pulsating 2-2 draw against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott pulled the Gunners back into the match after two dreadful pieces of defending put the Reds ahead.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring after Daniel Sturridge’s first effort was saved, and Jordan Henderson doubled the visitors advantage after beating two players and getting a kind ricochet.

After a pretty tame start, Liverpool took the lead on six minutes in comical fashion. Bacary Sagna slipped after a Suarez mis-kick and Thomas Vermaelen then missed a low cross.

It fell to Sturridge, who couldn’t beat Wojciech Szczesny, but the rebound was passed to Suarez, whose shot deflected in past the helpless keeper on six minutes.

Walcott had the chance to level almost straight away when put through on goal, but Pepe Reina made a fine save low to his left to deny the England winger.

Brendan Rodgers’ side had two more good chances after that, with Sturridge firing wide from Suarez’s chipped past before Szczesny almost gifted the away team a second.

His short goal-kick was passed back by Per Mertesacker, and under pressure from Sturridge, he tried a ‘Cruyff turn’ to get away from the central striker. It almost backfired, with the Pole just getting a toe to the ball and clearing to safety after the forward read his move.

At the other end, Reina was then forced into a fine save from Walcott’s curler, before captain Steven Gerrard cleared the danger from a low Lukas Podolski cross.

The Gunners were pressing, but always looked vulnerable in defence, and it almost cost them as Szczesny flapped at a corner. Daniel Agger’s header was hacked off the line by Giroud, however,

Suarez went close again before Kieran Gibbs was replaced by Andre Santos, the full-back leaving the action with a thigh strain.

It didn’t stem the tide though, with Henderson the next to have a chance. He went clear, but could only chip onto the roof of the net.

The Gunners were booed off at half-time, and started the second period better when Walcott’s far post header went just wide.

Lukas Podolski had a decent set-piece opportunity but he fired straight into the well, and minutes later it was 2-0 to Liverpool.

Henderson found himself one-on-one with Mertesacker, beat the German and then held off the challenge of Santos. Aaron Ramsey’s slide tackle cannoned back into the path of the Reds midfielder, and he slotted into an empty net on 60 minutes.

Arsenal looked out of it, but roused themselves back into the game when Podolski’s floated free-kick was headed home by Giroud on 64 minutes.

Arsene Wenger’s side were suddenly on the up, and less than three minutes later Walcott smashed home the equaliser, hitting the French striker's layoff first-time into the bottom corner.

The game was there to be won, and Walcott went close to putting his side ahead with a curling left foot shot that flew past the post.

Mertesacker’s flicked header and Cazorla’s shot across goal suggested it was the Gunners who could win it, and Giroud missed the best chance when he mis-kicked from six yards out.

Suarez went the other way and had a low shot saved in injury-time, but the two teams were forced to share the spoils on an evening of great entertainment in north London.

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