MX23RW : Friday, July 30 18:29:20| >> :60:1889:1889:
Nov 3, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 59,993
Lacazette (82')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Milner (61')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool - as it happened

Relive the 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium as the Reds go top and extend their unbeaten start to 11 games.

Liverpool dropped points for only the third time this season but still moved to the top of the Premier League table this evening courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The visitors hit the woodwork twice and saw a goal wrongly disallowed in the first half before finally breaking the deadlock through James Milner shortly after the hour mark.

Alexandre Lacazette levelled things up eight minutes from time, though, as Arsenal extended their own unbeaten run to 14 matches across all competitions.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of our minute-by-minute updates below.

Good afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for this top-four showdown between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium!

This fixture very rarely disappoints, and with both sides protecting impressive unbeaten streaks coming into today's meeting we should be in for a cracker here.

We will have a close look at both clubs in a short while, but let's start with a look at the team news...

ARSENAL STARTING XI: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

ARSENAL SUBS: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Iwobi, Welbeck

LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

LIVERPOOL SUBS: Mignolet, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Matip

What can we make of those two teams, then?

Well, we'll start with the home side whose defensive problems are not as bad as many would have feared for this match. Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac were both major doubts - which would have resulted in Lichtsteiner and Xhaka playing as full-backs against the pace of Salah and Mane.

However, both players have overcome their injury issues to start this match, and it looks like a much stronger Arsenal side as a result.

Xhaka has been playing as an emergency left-back in recent games with Monreal also sidelined, but he returns to his favoured central midfield position now alongside Lucas Torreira.

That means that Ramsey must again make do with a place on the bench, while Guendouzi drops out from the team which started against Crystal Palace last weekend due to suspension, having been sent off in the EFL Cup in midweek.

Kolasinac's return in place of Guendouzi is one of two changes made to the team which drew with Crystal Palace last weekend, and the other sees Henrikh Mkhitaryan come back into the team in place of Iwobi.

It is a potentially formidable front four for the Gunners, then, with Mkhitaryan joining Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang in attack.

Aubameyang has been the in-form player for Arsenal recently, scoring five goals in his last three Premier League appearances to improve what was already an impressive record since joining the club.

The striker has now been directly involved in 22 goals from his 23 Premier League outings, scoring 17 and assisting five in that time. He really is one Liverpool need to keep a close eye on today.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Everton on September 23, 2018© Reuters

Liverpool's defence has been arguably the strongest area of their team so far this season, though, and it is back to full strength for this one as Andrew Robertson and Gomez return.

Both players were rested against Cardiff last weekend, but Klopp brings them back in today as Lovren and Moreno drop out of the starting lineup.

Milner is also back in the starting lineup after being named on the bench against Cardiff, with Lallana dropping out of the team to make way for the midfielder.

Captain Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita remain sidelined, but Fabinho now seemingly has the trust of Klopp and is expected to playing in the pivot role today, with Wijnaldum making up the midfield trio.

There were one or two questions over Mohamed Salah this week after he was spotted wearing protective strapping on his wrist during training, but he starts and will be looking to keep his recent good form going having scored four times in his last three games - not to mention two assists last time out too.

Salah also have a very good record against Arsenal, having scored in all three Premier League games against them - including one for Chelsea. Charlie Austin (4) is the only player with a better 100% strike ratio against the Gunners.

Arsenal will also be sick of the sight of Roberto Firmino, with the Brazilian on the verge of an historic achievement today.

Firmino has both scored and assisted in each of his last three games against Arsenal, and if he pulls that off again today then he would be the first player to ever manage it in four successive Premier League games against a particular opponent. Firmino is currently level with Steven Gerrard (vs. Newcastle) and Theo Walcott (vs. West Ham) on three.

Roberto Firmino salvages three points late on during the Champions League group game between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain on September 18, 2018© Reuters

There could well be goals in this match, then, and for Arsenal it is an opportunity to really test where they are under Unai Emery, having enjoyed a really good spell of form recently.

The Gunners come into this match unbeaten in their last 13 outings across all competitions, including 12 wins, but most of those games have come against teams they will have expected to beat.

Of course, 12 wins and no defeats is an impressive run regardless of the opposition - particularly so early in Emery's Arsenal career - but there is the feeling that those results have papered over some cracks.

Doubt remain regarding Arsenal's title - or even top four - credentials, with those lingering since their began their campaign with back-to-back defeats against Man City and Chelsea. Today's game is their first against a direct rival since losing to Chelsea on gameweek two.

Even so, most Arsenal fans probably would have taken their current position after 10 games had it been offered to them at the start of the campaign, with the Gunners sitting in the Champions League places and a point above Spurs.

Only four points separate them from the leading pack too, and a victory today would close that gap to just one ahead of Man City's match against Southampton tomorrow.

Arsenal did see their 11-match winning streak come to an end in their most recent Premier League game, though, as Crystal Palace scored two penalties to earn a 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park.

Emery's side got back to winning ways in midweek by beating Blackpool 2-1 in the EFL Cup - setting up a quarter-final showdown with Spurs - but even that was not as straightforward as they might have expected as the League One outfit took it to the wire after Guendouzi's red card.

Arsenal did hold out for the win, though, making it seven home victories in a row since their defeat to Manchester City on the opening day of the season.

Indeed, City are the only visiting team to have won here at the Emirates since Ostersunds managed it in February, and another victory for Arsenal today would make it eight home wins on the bounce for the first time since October 2017.

Despite Arsenal's results, there are still concerns about their defence and the feeling is that they could be on the end of a big scoreline in one of these big matches unless they improve that area of their game.

Emery's side have conceded more goals than any other team in the top seven, with their tally of 13 being more than three times as many as Liverpool have shipped.

Unai Emery points a finger during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

Things are better at the other end of the field, though, with only Man City having scored more goals than them this season.

Arsenal have scored at least twice in each of their last nine Premier League games and boast the highest shot conversation rate in the top flight this season, having been successful with 24.5% of their efforts.

The Gunners usually make their fans wait, though; three quarters of their 24 goals this season have come in the second half of matches.

Arsenal are one of four teams yet to be leading at half time this season and would sit 17th in the table if matches ended at the 45-minute mark, whereas Liverpool would be one point clear of Man City at the top.

The visitors will be eyeing a quick start to this game today, then, and even 11 games into the season Klopp will know that victory just puts that extra little bit of pressure on Man City to get a result tomorrow.

Liverpool currently sit joint-top of the Premier League table alongside City, but behind the defending champions on goal difference.

The Reds have only dropped four points from a possible 30 so far this season, amassing their best-ever Premier League points haul of 26 after 10 games. A victory here would also make it their best tally after 11 games.

Liverpool have only ever opened a Premier League campaign by going unbeaten in the first 11 matches on one previous occasion - in 2002-03 - but that is the challenge for them today.

Unlike last season, their current success has been built on a sturdy defence too, with their tally of four goals conceded being their lowest ever at this stage of a Premier League campaign and one only Man City can beat.

Alisson celebrates the first goal during the Champions League group game between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain on September 18, 2018© Reuters

Liverpool have actually been uncharacteristically wasteful in the final third at times this season and come into this match as the lowest scorers in the top four this season.

It was at around this time last year that the front three really began to hit their stride, though, and there have been signs of something similar happening this time around with Liverpool having scored eight times in their last two matches.

Klopp's side were not in EFL Cup action during the week and so should be fresh for this one, having also been able to rest a few players in last weekend's 4-1 win over Cardiff City.

It took time for Liverpool's superiority to be reflected on the scoreboard in that match, but Liverpool scored two late goals to make it 11 games unbeaten in the Premier League.

Liverpool have dropped only two points from the 15 on offer away from home this season, winning four and drawing one of their five away games so far including victory at Tottenham and a draw away to Chelsea.

However, the Reds have not been quite as swashbuckling on the road in recent months, having won just one of their last 13 away games across all competitions by more than a solitary goal.

As I have already alluded to, though, goals seem to flow particularly freely when these two sides meet, and Liverpool also boast a good record against Arsenal under Klopp.

The German is unbeaten in all five of his Premier League games against the Gunners, with only Jose Mourinho, Gerry Francis and Alex Ferguson waiting longer for their first defeat to them in the competition.

Jurgen Klopp in charge of Liverpool on August 25, 2018© Reuters

PREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at the Emirates Stadium, which means that it is time for a prediction!

I can see goals in this match, although Arsenal's are not quite as ravaged by injury as Liverpool might have hoped. Even so, the Gunners have not looked entirely convincing at the back and Liverpool are the type of team who could punish them.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Arsenal 2-4 Liverpool

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games against Arsenal since their 4-1 defeat in April 2015, which is their longest such streak since a 12-game run from 1994 to 2000.

The last five of those contests have seen 27 goals fly in too - an average of 5.4 per game including 10 in the two meetings last season.

Liverpool hammered Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield last August, but there was even more drama in the reverse fixture when Liverpool last visited to the Emirates Stadium in December.

The Reds led 2-0, with Salah scoring in the 52nd minute to double their lead, but just five minutes later they incredibly found themselves behind as Arsenal hit three quickfire goals. Firmino managed to salvage a draw for his side in what was one of the games of the season.

As a result, Liverpool have now won just two of their last 18 away league games against Arsenal, although both of those victories have come in their last six visits.

Liverpool could create a small slice of history today, having scored at least three times in each of their last five league games against Arsenal.

Should they achieve that feat again today then it would be the first time they have ever managed it six times in a row against a single opponent in the top flight, and also the first time that it has ever happened to Arsenal at the hands of any club.

Right, we're almost ready to get going now for what should be a brilliant feast of football. A reminder of the team news before we do get going...

ARSENAL STARTING XI: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

KICKOFF:  Here we go, then! Liverpool get us underway at the Emirates!

Arsenal make a threatening early break down the left flank as Aubameyang latches on to an Ozil through-ball, but the offside flag is raised.

CHANCE!  This has been a really good start from Arsenal, who get forward down the left again here. Kolasinac bursts forward and plays a low ball into the box which Lacazette flicks towards goal, but Alisson makes a really good stop.

Liverpool make their first foray forward as Robertson swings a cross into the box, but Holding has followed Firmino all the way and nods it behind for a corner.

Arsenal are definitely targeting that left channel, where Aubameyang is up against Alexander-Arnold. It could be a tough test for the Liverpool youngster today!

CHANCE!  Almost a chance for Liverpool as Torreira gives the ball away and the visitors immediately pounce. It is worked out to Salah, who plays it back inside for Wijnaldum, but Kolasinac does enough to get back and get a crucial touch on the ball as Wijnaldum is letting fly.

Arsenal made a good, bright start to this match going forward, but Liverpool have started growing into it now and are enjoying plenty of the ball at the moment.

Mustafi is limping here, which is exactly what Arsenal don't need given their long list of defensive problems already. It looks as though he will be fine to continue, though.

CHANCE!  This time it is Liverpool who give the ball away and Arsenal pounce on it, with Torreira winning the ball. Bellerin slides a lovely pass through which Ozil leaves for Aubameyang, Gomez gets across to deflect the shot wide.

CHANCE!  The resulting corner is played short and low into the area before being pass back to Xhaka in a set move. The midfielder should really do better, but he doesn't get enough power behind it and Alisson makes the save.

CLOSE!  Arsenal are really knocking on the door now! Mkhitaryan is allowed to ghost into the area completely unmarked and he gets to the ball just ahead of Alisson, who comes for it and misses. The Emirates holds its breath as the ball drops towards goal before going just wide of the empty net.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  Liverpool have the ball in the back of the net, but it is quickly ruled out for offside! Firmino initially latched on to a chipped pass over the defence before lifting his finish past the keeper. His effort comes back off the post and Mane tucks it into an empty net from close range, but the flag is up. The replay shows that it should have stood!

It did look as though Mane was offside on first viewing, but the officials have got that one wrong. Liverpool should be ahead here!

Really important piece of defending from Xhaka as he slides in on Salah to end what was shaping up to be a very dangerous attack.

CHANCE!  Another big chance for Liverpool! Salah pings a lovely pass over the top for Van Dijk, who finds himself as the furthest man forward having stayed up from the corner. Van Dijk takes the ball down on his chest and volleys an effort towards goal, but Leno makes a big save and Mustafi hacks away the loose ball.

CHANCE!  It is Liverpool who are looking most likely now! Salah cuts inside and sees his shot deflect into the path of Robertson, whose drilled low effort is straight at Leno.

SHOT!  This is end-to-end stuff at the moment! Bellerin is the latest to go for goal with a first-time effort which swings wide.

Arsenal come pouring forward again as Kolasinac gets down the left before firing a cross into the box which Alisson palms out into a dangers area. Mkhitaryan cannot react in time to turn the rebound back towards goal, though.

There has been a really good ebb and flow to this game in the opening half an hour. Both teams are almost taking turns for spells in the ascendency, and right now it is Arsenal enjoying theirs.

SHOT!  Lovely football from the hosts as Mkhitaryan flicks the ball into the path of Aubameyang, whose shot from just outside the area hits Van Dijk on its way behind for a corner.

SHOT!  Arsenal work the resulting corner into the box and it drops at the feet of Lacazette, who sees his shot well blocked by Firmino.

Alert goalkeeping from Alisson as he races out of his area to mop up a through-ball from Lacazette which was meant for Aubameyang.

Klopp has had a few choice words for Fabinho at times of this first half, noticeably after a couple of overhit passes. He does not seem to be happy with the Brazilian's performance.

Liverpool are struggling to keep hold of the ball at the moment, which is resulting in plenty of pressure being put on them as the ball just keeps coming back at their defence.

CHANCE!  Arsenal are so close to the opener as Ozil flicks the ball into the path of Lacazette, who drills a low strike wide of the far post.

CHANCE!  Liverpool give the ball away again here as a cross arrives from the left flank, and Aubameyang gets up highest in the box but cannot keep his header down.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  Arsenal have the ball in the back of the net, but once again the offside flag is raised! It was Mustafi who had strayed before heading a free kick back across goal for Aubameyang to tuck home from close range.

Pressure from Liverpool now as they respond to that good Arsenal spell. The visitors are ending this half on top!

OFF THE POST!  Liverpool are so close to breaking the deadlock right on the stroke of half time! Van Dijk flicks a header towards goal as Leno comes charging off his line and gets nowhere near it. The ball bounces towards goal but hits the post before Arsenal are able to knock it behind.


Somehow we are still goalless at the Emirates Stadium, then, but it has been a really absorbing, topsy-turvy contest so far.

Both teams have had the ball in the back of the net, but the offside flag was raised on both occasions.

Liverpool's disallowed goal should have stood, with Mane touching the ball over the line after Firmino's initial effort had come back off the woodwork.

Mane was offside from the first pass, but was behind the ball when Firmino lifted it past the keeper and therefore his simple finish into an empty net should have stood.

There have been plenty of chances at both ends of the field throughout the match so far, with Liverpool also hitting the post right at the end of the half through Van Dijk's header.

The Dutchman got to the ball ahead of Leno, and there was a similar scenario at the other end earlier in the half when Alisson was caught in no-man's land by Mkhitaryan's header which drifted narrowly wide.

Aubameyang and Lacazette have also both come close for Arsenal, while Van Dijk and Robertson have threatened for Liverpool in an open and end-to-end game so far.

Arsenal have probably just about been the better team in this one so far, but it is still all to play for in the coming 45 minutes.

KICKOFF:  Arsenal get us back underway for the second half at the Emirates Stadium.

He has his critics, but Xhaka had a big impact on that first half...

Better from Liverpool here as Salah cuts inside from the right channel but then doesn't quite catch his shot as it is blocked.

Brilliant defending from Van Dijk as he levers Mkhitaryan off the ball inside the area when the winger was looking very dangerous.

YELLOW CARD!  Fabinho picks up the first card of the match for a robust challenge on Torreira.

The hosts are knocking on the door again at the moment! They keep the visitors under prolonged pressure inside the area, but it never quite falls for them to get a shot away.

There is a cracking atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium tonight. It has often been criticised for its lack of noise, but the fans are up for this one in a big way.

Salah knocks the ball back to Milner, who in turn lifts a pass into the box for Firmino. The Brazilian never really has it under control, and Arsenal are eventually able to shepherd the ball back to Leno.

Mane wants a foul after being blocked off by a defender, but the referee says no. The Liverpool front three are struggling to get into this game.


GOAL!  Liverpool break the deadlock just past the hour mark, and it is Milner who brings up 50 in the Premier League!

Mane's cross from the left is spilled by Leno and the ball is flicked out by Holding, but only as far as Milner. The captain follows up and smashes the rebound home, giving Liverpool first blood at the Emirates!

CHANCE!  Almost an immediate response from Arsenal as it all suddenly opens up for Torreira, who drives forward. His shot is central, though, and Alisson is able to tip it over the top.

Milner goes clattering into the back of Gomez, clashing heads with his teammate and coming out worse off. He will need treatment for that and may be taken off if there are concerns about concussion.

Milner is still receiving treatment after bloodying his nose in that collision.

ARSENAL SUB: Change from the hosts as Alex Iwobi replaces Mkhitaryan.

CLOSE!  Salah is released down the left flank and bides his time to wait for Mane racing in. Salah slides the ball across goal, but Mane is just short of reaching it and turning it into the empty net.

CHANCE!  Milner's corner is too high for Van Dijk, but Firmino is behind him and directs a head narrowly wide of the target.

Less than 20 minutes remaining in this match now, and time is beginning to run out for the home side. They need to step things up again here.

ARSENAL SUB: Aaron Ramsey comes on to replace Aubameyang.

CHANCE!  Big chance for Liverpool to double their lead as Van Dijk is left completely unmarked from a corner. The big defender gets his head to the ball, but Leno reacts well to tip it over.

Good play from Iwobi as he darts to the byline past Alexander-Arnold before firing a cross into the box which is just too far in front of Ozil.

Arsenal's pressure is beginning to grow now as we edge towards the final 10 minutes. Liverpool are struggling to get out right now.

LIVERPOOL SUB: Liverpool make a change here as Xherdan Shaqiri replaces Firmino.

ARSENAL SUB: Arsenal also make a change - their last one - as Danny Welbeck replaces Kolasinac.


GOAL!  Arsenal level things up with just eight minutes remain! Iwobi threads a pass through for Lacazette, who manages to keep the ball away from Alisson. It looks as though the chance might have gone, but Lacazette then turns and curls a brilliant finish into the far corner with Alisson still out of position!

CHANCE!  Liverpool almost respond immediately as Mane fires an effort just wide after good work from Shaqiri.

SHOT!  The resulting corner works its way back to Salah, who curls an effort high and wide from the edge of the box.

Less than five minutes remaining in this match now and it is still all to play for. Neither side will feel safe at the moment - can either find a winner?

CHANCE!  Arsenal are putting the pressure on late on here! Ozil cuts the ball back for Bellerin in all sorts of space on the edge of the box, but it is on his weaker foot and his finish is never convincing.

There will be five minutes of added time at the end of this match.

The Arsenal fans want a second yellow for Fabinho for a trip on Ozil, although it looked accidental and the referee is lenient.

Salah races on to a ball down the right and looks up to see Mane busting a gut to get up on support. Salah tries to lay the ball into his path, but Holding makes a crucial interception.

LIVERPOOL SUB: Defensive change for Klopp here as Joel Matip replaces Salah.


The spoils are shared at the Emirates Stadium, then, and while we didn't have as many fireworks as we have become accustomed to seeing in this fixture, it was still a really absorbing game.

Liverpool took the lead through Milner just past the hour mark and may feel hard done by considering they hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed, but Arsenal will also feel that they were worthy of Lacazette's late equaliser.

Right, that is all we have time for this evening!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's match as Liverpool move top of the table courtesy of a 1-1 draw at Arsenal. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Everton on September 23, 2018
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Combined XI: Arsenal vs. Liverpool

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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