MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 12:35:31| >> :60:2365:2365:
Jan 13, 2016 at 8pm UK at Anfield
Liverpool
3-3
Arsenal
Firmino (10', 19'), Allen (90')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Ramsey (14'), Giroud (25', 55')

Live Commentary: Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive the thrilling 3-3 draw between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield as Joe Allen's 90th-minute equaliser rescues a point for the home side.
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Liverpool and Arsenal played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in a topsy-curvy Premier League classic at Anfield this evening.

Four of the goals arrived inside the opening 25 minutes as Roberto Firmino twice put Liverpool into the lead, only to be pegged back by Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud respectively.

Giroud then added his second of the night to give Arsenal the lead for the first time, but Joe Allen rescued a point for the hosts with a goal in the final minute of normal time.

Find out how all of the action unfolded on a memorable evening on Merseyside courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.


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Good evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the standout tie from the 21st round of fixture in the Premier League this season as Liverpool host leaders Arsenal at Anfield. These two teams have served up some classic encounters in the past, which we will revisit during our bumper two-hour build-up to the clash on Merseyside. Team news will begin filtering through in an hour, so for now let's start with a look at the hosts...

It is fair to say that you never really know what to expect with Liverpool at the moment. Capable of dazzling at times, the Reds have also suffered some disappointing results this season, and Jurgen Klopp's arrival has not really done much to help their consistency levels. That has been the main problem for them this season, and it is why they find themselves down in eighth place at the moment, a full 12 points off this evening's opponents.

There have, at times, been whisper of a title challenge for Liverpool this season - most notably after victories over Manchester City and Leicester - but that 12-point gap is a huge ask for Liverpool to overcome, even if they were to find a bit of consistency. The main priority for Klopp over the rest of the season will be getting Liverpool back into the top four, with the gap to fourth-placed Spurs a much more attainable six points. Both Manchester United and Crystal Palace - the two teams now directly above them in the table - dropped points yesterday, so any win for Liverpool today would be a major boost for their top-four ambitions.

There are a number of areas that they need to improve in if that is to happen, though. One of the biggest of those is scoring goals, with only four teams (Stoke, West Brom, Swansea and Aston Villa) have found the back of the net fewer times than Liverpool this season. Their defensive has not exactly been solid either - only Leicester have conceded more in the top half of the table - and that combination means that they are the only side in the top 10 to have a negative goal difference. They have not won a game by more than one goal since that scintillating 4-1 drubbing of Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

That tally of 22 goals from 20 games is their worst at this stage of a season and, while 14 in 12 games under Klopp is an improvement on the face of it, half of those goals came in the victories at Chelsea and Manchester City. In Klopp's other 10 league games in charge of Liverpool, they have scored just seven goals. They have won a game 1-0 on five separate occasions this season - the joint highest amount in the league - but the defence has not been sturdy enough to bail out the misfiring attack for the most part.

LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL MEMORIES: Throughout the build-up to this match, I will be providing some memorable moments from the fixture down the years. It has provided more hat-tricks than any other fixture in Premier League history, and here is the first of the five. It was a record-breaking performance from Robbie Fowler as he scored his three goals in the space of just over four minutes and 33 seconds, although that has since been bettered by Sadio Mane.


How Liverpool could do with a goalscorer like Fowler now! Despite their troubles in the final third so far this season, Liverpool do come into this match having lost only one of their last five outings in all competitions. That defeat came at the hands of West Ham United in their most recent league outing, though, as the Reds once again drew a blank while Michail Antonio and former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll scored at the other end. They bounced back from that with a victory at Stoke in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final, but Saturday saw them held by League Two side Exeter in the FA Cup.

Aside from the result itself against a side Liverpool would have expected to beat, that means that they must now play a replay to add to what is already a hectic fixture schedule. Tonight's match will be Liverpool's fifth in the last fortnight, and should they make it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup as expected then they would play a whopping nine matches in January alone. Add to that the league's longest injury list at the moment and this could well end up being a period of damage limitation for Liverpool, although with Manchester United next up after Arsenal that will be easier said than done.

The positive for Liverpool both heading into tonight's match and the clash with bitter rivals Man Utd at the weekend is that the Reds have a good record against their fellow big boys this season. They are unbeaten against the current top four, taking eight points from 12 on offer from those games. They have claimed the scalps of Leicester and Manchester City, as well as Chelsea, and their best performances of the season - at least as far as the Premier League is concerned - came against those latter two teams. Klopp has a habit of getting his side to raise their game on the big occasion, and he will be hoping that they do so again tonight.

The problem for Klopp has been replicated that form on a (here's that word again) consistent basis. Liverpool have only won two of their last six league games and just five of their 12 since Klopp took over at Anfield. It is not the worst record, but it still isn't good enough for a side hoping to challenge for Champions League football. Should they fail to make it into the top four this term then you'd have to think that it is a huge opportunity wasted with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United also struggling.

LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL MEMORIES: Fowler got another hat-trick against the Gunners after that record-breaker from August 1994, but 10 years later there was a new goalscoring extraordinaire on the scene, this time in Arsenal colours. Jamie Carragher has since said that he feared Thierry Henry more than any other player he played against in his career, and this goal may be the main reason why. Watch the sublime effort from arguably the Premier League's greatest ever play as he went on the claim the match ball in a 4-2 win in April 2004.


That is the only one of the five hat-tricks in the Premier League history of this fixture to have come away from Anfield, but being away is a feeling that Liverpool would have got used to recently. Their last four matches have all come on the road, which will have only added to the rigours of such a packed fixture schedule. This evening's match will be their first outing at Anfield since becoming only the second team to beat Leicester City this season, and the first to prevent them from scoring, in a 1-0 victory on Boxing Day.

Not that playing at Anfield has been a particular advantage for Liverpool this season. They have accrued the same amount of points in front of their own fans as they have on the road, while as previously alluded to their best performances so far have come away from home, against Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton. They are tonight looking for back-to-back league victories at Anfield for the first time this season, although they are unbeaten in their last three.

Only Stoke, Swansea and Aston Villa have scored fewer Premier League goals in front of their own fans than Liverpool's 11 so far this season, while they have not won a game at Anfield by more than one goals in any competition since April of last year - a 2-0 win against Newcastle. However, defeats have at least been rare, with just one in their last 12 home outings in all competitions and only two all season.

LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL MEMORIES: He may not quite be at the level of Fowler and Henry when it comes to the Premier League's greatest strikers, but Peter Crouch has certainly made his mark on England's top flight down the years. Perhaps his greatest day came in March 2007, however, when he scored a hat-trick for Liverpool against Arsenal in a 4-1 victory at Anfield. It wasn't just any hat-trick, though - it was a perfect one. Check out the highlights of that game, apparently filmed through a potato, below.


While Liverpool's main problem this season has been consistency, Arsenal have so far avoided any major blips and lead the way as a result. It certainly appears to be their best chance of winning the title since the Invincibles 12 years ago, although a question mark will also hang over the Gunners until they finally end that run. The club's character has been called into question year after year during that time, with January often proving to be the month that things start to go wrong for them.

There have been no signs of that so far this year, though, and indeed what signs there are all seem to point to Arsenal have overcome the problems that have plagued them in recent years. Most notably of all, Wenger's side have bounced back from any setbacks or shocks relatively quickly throughout the campaign, which is not something that they have had the mental resolve to do in recent years. There was a blip in November, but they have been almost faultless since that, they recovered from a dreadful start in the Champions League to qualify for the last 16, and even their recent drubbing at the hands of Southampton has been quickly put aside.

Another criticism of Arsenal in recent years has surrounded their performances in the big games, the ones that often decide which way the title goes. Again, though, they have passed those test with flying colours so far this season. Granted, the season did start with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham, but Arsenal are unbeaten in eight matches against fellow top-half teams since then, picking up 20 points from a possible 24 in that time. Solely against the other three teams in the top four, Arsenal have dropped just two points this season.

There is a good balance amongst the team too. The goalkeeper has often been seen as a weak link in the Arsenal side, but that certainly cannot be said of Petr Cech since his arrival, and as a result Arsenal boast one of the best defensive records in the division this season - only Spurs have conceded fewer. At the other end, only three teams have scored more than the Gunners, and it is usually Arsenal who begin the scoring too - they have done so 14 times this season, which is the most in the Premier League.

LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL MEMORIES: Just before we get to the team news, let's have another memory for this fixture, and this may well be the one that most people associate with the game, at least when it comes to the Premier League era. Fowler's quickfire hat-trick may even have to play second fiddle when it comes to Andrei Arshavin's four-goal haul in a magnificent 4-4 draw against the title-chasing Liverpool in April 2009. Liverpool fans, look away now - if only for the defending that led to each of the Russian's goals.


TEAM NEWS: Right, the teams are in and the good news for Liverpool fans is that Milner, Henderson, Sakho and Toure are all fit to start. New boy Caulker is on the bench alongside Benteke as Liverpool go without a recognised striker once again. For Arsenal, there is a start for Joel Campbell while German duo Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil also return. Full team news for both sides coming right up...

LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Milner, Can; Lallana, Ibe, Firmino

LIVERPOOL SUBS: Ward, Caulker, Smith, Lucas, Allen, Teixeira, Benteke

ARSENAL STARTING XI: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Ozil, Walcott; Giroud

ARSENAL SUBS: Macey, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iqobi

What can we make of those two teams, then? Well Liverpool will first and foremost be delighted that they are able to field two recognised central defenders, which they weren't able to do against Exeter in the FA Cup on Saturday. Toure and Sakho have both adequately recovered to ease Klopp's injury woes somewhat, although he still has a number of players sidelined. That said, there were also doubts over Milner, Henderson and Ibe, all of whom have been passed fit to start.

As expected, Klopp changes all 11 of his players from the draw at Exeter at the weekend, while there are four changes from the side that beat Stoke in the League Cup semi-final eight days ago. Clyne and Moreno continue on either side of the defence, with the latter having created more goalscoring chances (39) than any other player in the Liverpool squad, or indeed any other Premier League defender this season.

The midfield presence of Henderson and Milner should make a big difference for Liverpool tonight. Klopp loves his side to play with energy, and you will struggle to find two more energetic players in the whole league than that duo. Indeed, Milner has run a league-high average of 12.45km per game this season, and he will look to be getting about the Arsenal midfield this evening. Further forward, Klopp has again opted to go for Firmino as the focal point of his attack - a ploy that has worked at times this season but also failed at others. Firmino himself has blown hot and (mostly) cold during his short Liverpool career so far, so it will be interesting to see which way that goes today.

As for Arsenal, there are no real surprises from Arsene Wenger, with the possible exception of Joel Campbell being included. The Costa Rica international has broken into the first team this season and impressed Wenger with a number of his performances, including on Saturday when he got his third goal for the club in the FA Cup win over Sunderland. Wenger hinted this week that Campbell would start, and sure enough he retains his place from the weekend. In all, Wenger has made five changes to that side, but Campbell in for Oxlade-Chamberlain is the only switch from their last Premier League outing.

The main danger for the Gunners tonight will be Mesut Ozil, who has been in outstanding form this season. He has finally started to show the type of form that made him such a star at Real Madrid, and it looked to be only a matter of time before he breaks Thierry Henry's assist record for a single season in the Premier League. That landmark stands at 20, which means that Ozil needs only five more in the final 18 games of the campaign to beat it. Considering he has 16 in 19 league appearances so far this season, I'd say it was a pretty safe bet. The World Cup winner has been directly involved in 16 of Arsenal last 24 league goals, scoring three of them and setting up 13 more.

Giroud has also been on form this season and will pose another threat to the Liverpool defence, while Walcott may fancy his chances if he can get up against either Toure of Sakho in a foot race. Ramsey will pose an attacking threat with his late runs into the box for a deeper position too, just as he did to score against Sunderland at the weekend, so there is plenty for Liverpool's defenders to keep an eye on here tonight. At the back, Mertesacker and Monreal return to the side from the weekend match in what is considered their strongest back four at the moment.

LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL MEMORIES: Enough of that, it's time for another memory, and this just so happens to be one of my personal favourites. His career at Liverpool may not go down alongside a line of great strikers that includes the likes of Ian St John, Roger Hunt, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and...erm...Iago Aspas, but Liverpool fans will be forever indebted to this man for two actions. One was the header back to Steven Gerrard for that goal against Olympiacos, and the other was this last-gasp winner against Arsenal. I give you the Liverpool legend that is Neil Mellor...


There is no doubt who is the form team heading into this match, with Arsenal having won seven of their last eight games since their November wobble, and only losing once in their last 10 outings in all competitions. It has been a profitable run of form too, with the Gunners not only climbing to the top of the Premier League tree, but also progressing against all the odds in their Champions League group. Those odds will be stacked against them again when they take on Barcelona in the last 16, but at least they are in the knockout stages - something that looked highly unlikely at one point.

In the Premier League alone, Arsenal have won five of their last six games, which has helped them to move two points clear of Leicester at the top of the table. The exception in that run was a shock 4-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton on Boxing Day - a result that really came from nowhere considering Arsenal were in good form and the Saints were struggling at the time. It should also be noted that Arsenal have not endured the toughest run of fixtures during the festive period, with four of those five wins coming against teams in the bottom five, although the other was a win over Man City.

They have won all three of their matches since that aberration against Southampton, the most recent of which came on Saturday as they progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup. It was not all straightforward for the Gunners, however, as they were forced to come from behind in order to get past struggling Sunderland, although ultimately they deserved their 3-1 win - the same scoreline by which they had beaten the Black Cats a little over a month before in the Premier League, with the same three players (Campbell, Ramsey, Giroud) on the scoresheet. It kept alive the possibility of Arsenal becoming the first team since the 1880s to win the FA Cup three years in a row.

Their most recent league outing also came against North-East opposition, with Newcastle travelling to the Emirates for their opening game of 2016. Many might have been expecting a comfortable win for the Gunners against another side threatened by relegation this season, but it was a rather low-key 1-0 win for the hosts in the end courtesy of a Laurent Koscielny goal in the 72nd minute.

LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL MEMORIES: Liverpool fans, I'm afraid it's impossible to look back at this fixture without recounting the most famous incident in it's history, and the only moment that can really rival Sergio Aguero's title-winning goal at the end of the 2011-12 season. In a match rescheduled following the Hillsborough tragedy earlier in the year, Arsenal arrived at Anfield on the final day of the 1988-89 season in a straight shootout for the title. The Gunners needed to win by two goals to win the title, while anything else would leave Liverpool as champions once again. Enter Michael Thomas, who would later join Liverpool. It's up for grabs now...


Such drama is not possible at Anfield this evening, but Arsenal will at least be hopeful of another win. Only Leicester City have picked more points, and indeed scored more goals, than Arsenal on the road this season, but it is their away form that will be causing Wenger the most problems at the moment. They have only won one of their last four away outings since October, and that came at Aston Villa who, until last night, could not buy a win.

In the same way that Liverpool are playing at home for the first time since Boxing Day, Arsenal are playing away for the first time since then too, which means that their last away trip ended in that drubbing at the hands of Southampton. They have only won two of their last six away games in all competitions which, when compared to nine wins and no defeats from their last 10 home outings, shows just why that form on the road may be of concern to Wenger.

Their away record could be seen as a little misleading too as they have only actually played three top-half teams away from home so far this season, and none of those have been the big boys (discounting Chelsea, who Arsenal lost to). They have faced Palace, Leicester and Watford on the road from the current top 10 and, while they have won each of those games, you'd think that bigger tests are to come over the second half of the season. Indeed, they face a tricky run of fixtures in the immediate future. After this one against Liverpool they play Stoke away, where they have a notoriously bad record, a revitalised Chelsea at home and then host Southampton, who just a couple of weeks ago thrashed them 4-0.

LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL MEMORIES: After Michael Thomas, another Michael wrote his name in the history books of this fixture in 2001. Arsene Wenger has six FA Cup winners' medals to his name, but he may still be scratching his head over how it isn't seven. The Boy Wonder Michael Owen saw to that in the first Millennium Stadium FA Cup final back in 2001.


PREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes from kickoff at Anfield now, which means that it is time for a prediction! The form book, and indeed the injury lists, points to an Arsenal win here, but Liverpool have generally raised their game against the bigger teams this season and Arsenal's recent away form is not too great. I can see this one being another entertaining contest, and I'm going for a 2-2 draw.

Arsenal actually have a very good record in this fixture in recent years, losing only two of the last 17 Premier League meetings between the two sides, although the majority of those have ended as draws. They are, however, winless at Anfield since 2012 and lost 16 times to Liverpool in the Premier League era - only Manchester United have beaten them more often.

In all competitions, Liverpool have won only one of the last nine meetings, although that was a memorable one as the Reds dismantled Arsenal here in 2014, racing into a 4-0 lead inside 20 minutes and going on to win 5-1 as they began to close in on a title that would just elude at the end of the campaign. That contributed in no small part to the 35 goals that this fixture has seen in the last nine league meetings at Anfield - an average of 3.9 per game.

However, there were no goals in the reverse fixture at the Emirates, although both sides did hit the woodwork in an entertaining Monday night contest, with Liverpool doing so twice during a dominant first half. There was drama in the corresponding fixture last season too as Arsenal looked on course for a 2-1 victory, leading in stoppage time and seeing Borini sent off for Liverpool. However, Skrtel popped up with a 97th-minute header to rescue a point for the Reds.

It has been goals galore between these two here in recent years, but as mentioned earlier Liverpool have won five games 1-0 this season, while Arsenal's victory by that scoreline over Newcastle last time out was their 100th in the Premier League. 1-0 to the Arsenal indeed.

KICKOFF: Liverpool get us underway on a rainy night on Merseyside as they look to maintain their good record against top-four teams this season.

As expected, Liverpool are looking to press Arsenal quickly when the Gunners have the ball in their own half. Arsenal may allow Liverpool to play a little more than other teams would, and that could suit Klopp's side.

Liverpool have seen plenty of the ball in the opening five minutes, despite Klopp saying before the game that his side would not be able to match Arsenal in a possession game.

Penalty shout for Liverpool as they get forward at pace, with Can sliding a pass in to Lallana. He then cuts past Mertesacker, and there is a slight touch on the midfielder. He goes down, but it would have been a soft penalty and Michael Jones says no.

Another shout from the Anfield crowd for a penalty as they continue their bright start. This time it is Ibe who goes to ground inside the box following a tussle with Koscielny, but once again the referee is right to shake his head.

GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Arsenal (Roberto Firmino)

What a start this has been for Liverpool, and they make the most of it by taking the lead inside 10 minutes. It is all too easy for the Reds as Milner picks the ball up in space on the left before playing a quick pass inside for Can. He drives one towards goal from the edge of the box that Cech can only parry to Firmino, who takes a touch before drilling the ball past the keeper.

YELLOW CARD! Firmino picked up a yellow card for taking his shirt off during that celebration. Not the smartest move so early in the game.

Liverpool fans, despite their patchy form of late, may have almost been expecting this. Liverpool have played like this against Chelsea and Manchester City, and now they are doing it to Arsenal too. It has been a brilliant start to the match from the home side.

GOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal (Aaron Ramsey)

Just as I say that, Arsenal equalise! It comes completely against the run of play with Arsenal's first attack of the game as Campbell takes the ball down well before sliding a lovely reverse pass into the area for Ramsey, who has burst in from deep. He takes the shot early and it is a good finish low past Mignolet, although the Liverpool keeper really shouldn't be getting beaten at his near post.

There was a clash of heads in the build-up to that goal, and Sakho still seemed to be suffering the ill effects as the ball was slipped past him to Ramsey. Giroud came off even worse and needs a bit of patching up, but he should be fine to continue.

Liverpool don't appear to have let that equaliser halt their momentum. They are straight back on the attack and have another penalty shout when a corner strikes Walcott in the box, but it was the fans, rather than the players, appealing for it.

Giroud does indeed trot back on, although he still looks a little dazed after that head clash with his international teammate Sakho.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal (Roberto Firmino)

We could be in for a classic here! Liverpool regain the lead, and it is a stunner from Firmino, who doubles his personal tally. It is Liverpool's high pressing that causes problems again, with Milner taking a ricochet in his path before finding Firmino, who curls a beauty into the top corner from 20 yards. Nothing Cech could do about that one!

Liverpool win the ball back inside the Arsenal half again and play their way through the Gunners again. The ball is played through to Moreno, who smashes his shot against the bar, but the flag was up so it wouldn't have counted anyway.

Why can't Liverpool play like this most weeks. As mentioned earlier, they have raised their game against big teams this season, and they are doing exactly that today, but there will be a bit of frustration that they can play so well against the league leaders but then lose a game they'd expect to win.

Liverpool almost pounce on a Mertesacker mistake for a third, but they are unable to make the most of it this time. There is great intensity about the hosts, though.

OFF THE LINE! Almost two attacks and two goals for Arsenal, and again it is Ramsey doing the damage. He plays an aerial one-two on his way into the box before lifting the ball over Mignolet, but Sakho nods it over from underneath his own crossbar.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal (Olivier Giroud)

Wow! Arsenal equalise again from the resulting corner! It is swung in towards the front post and, on first viewing, looks as though it may have gone straight in. Giroud claims that he got a touch, though, and it will go down as his goal for now. Liverpool's defending was poor there, though. They simply had to clear the danger before it reached Mignolet.

WHAT A MISS! Oh my word, after being outplayed for much of this match, Arsenal should be in front! This is an absolute sitter for Giroud, but he can't turn it home. It is lovely football from Arsenal on their way into the box and the ball is played in low across the face of the goal by Walcott, seemingly for a tap-in at the back post. However, the Frenchman can't turn it in and Liverpool survive.

CHANCE! Chance at the other end now! Milner makes his way to the edge of the box and combines with Firmino, who in turn back-heels it into the path of Can. He looks to curl one into the top corner, but it is high and wide of the target.

This has been a frenetic opening half an hour and more to this match. The momentum has swung a bit towards Arsenal now, but both sides look dangerous every time they come forward and both are playing some lovely football. I don't think I have witnessed a better 32 minutes of attacking football for a long time.

Poor from Liverpool, who haven't done themselves any favours defensively so far. Lallana and Moreno both give the ball straight back to Arsenal in dangerous positions, and it ends with an Arsenal corner that Mignolet completely misses. He is fortunate to see it go behind for a goal kick.

MATCH PIC! We finally have a moment to draw breath, so here is a shot of Firmino firing Liverpool into the lead for the first time:

Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores his team's first goal against Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016© Getty Images


There are so many willing runners forward for both sides here. This time it is Liverpool coming forward, with Moreno right up there with the attack. He floats a cross in towards the surging Henderson, but Cech comes out to claim it.

The tempo has just slowed a little here, but not much. The opening 40 minutes of this game as absolutely flown by.

CHANCE! Good goalkeeping from Cech as he gets down to make a crucial interception. Lallana is released in the Arsenal half but is all alone to start with. He fights his corner against the Arsenal defenders, however, before getting support from Milner. Milner then finds Firmino, who tries to play a low pass back in to Lallana, but Cech is there to prevent a tap-in.

It's Arsenal's turn to come forward at the other end now as Walcott picks the ball up just outside the box but sees his shot blocked by Sakho.

There will be a minimum of three minutes added time at the end of this breathless first half.

SAVE! Can has had a few effort from range tonight and he goes for goal again here, but this is a simple one for Cech to collect. It was a decent strike from the midfielder, but Cech catches it with minimum fuss.

OFF THE BAR! Hat-tricks were a theme of the build-up, and Firmino almost adds his name to the list here. Ibe is the creator, coming forward down the right before playing a ball into the box. Koscielny can't get enough on it and Firmino brings it under his spell instantly before firing a half-volley on the turn that skims the crossbar on its way over.

HALF TIME: Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal

Wow. What a first half of football that was - the best I have seen this season. Both sides have played some thrilling football almost every time they go forward and it could quite easily be more than 2-2 at the halfway stage. It could still go either way in the coming 45 minutes and, if things carry on the way they were in that first half, we have certainly not seen the last of the goals here.

It was Liverpool who were on the front foot in the opening exchanges, and they took a deserved lead after just 10 minutes when Can curled an effort towards goal that Cech could only palm to Firmino. The Brazilian picked it up before firing it past Cech, who was unsighted by Koscielny. It was perhaps avoidable from Arsenal as Walcott was caught in possession and Cech should have parried it further away, but it was created by Liverpool's pressing.

Arsenal levelled things up less than four minutes later, however, as Ramsey made a late surge into the box to collect a reverse pass from Campbell before drilling the ball past Mignolet, who really should have done better at his near post.

Liverpool hit back straight away, though, and it was another for Firmino as he picked up Milner's pass before curling a stunning effort past the despairing dive of Cech. There was an element of luck in the build-up as the ball bounced to Milner, but once again it was Liverpool's constant pressing that led to that, while the finish was pure class from Firmino. The Brazilian is now on a hat-trick and almost got it at the end of the half when he volley on the turn skimmed the crossbar.

Arsenal levelled things up for the second time in the 25th minute, and again it was avoidable from Liverpool's point of view. A corner was sung in low towards the near post and Lallana didn't do his job there, allowing it to get through, Giroud got the slightest touch on it to help it past Mignolet for a soft equaliser. Giroud really should have given the Gunners the lead for the first time moments later when Walcott drilled a low ball into the box, and all the striker had to do was tap it in at the back post. It looked harder to miss, but Giroud managed it as Liverpool survived.

Arsenal have also had one cleared off the line by Sakho, while Cech has made an important interception to deny Lallana a tap-in. Can has had a few cracks from range that haven't really troubled Cech since his parry for the opening goal too. The first half really had a bit of everything, and we still have 45 minutes of this thriller to come!

KICKOFF: Arsenal get us back underway for the second half - more of the same please lads!

CHANCE! They've certainly started where they left off! Ozil swings a cross towards the back post where Campbell is charging in, but it is a difficult one for the winger and he can't trouble Mignolet.

CHANCE! Chance at the other end now as Milner digs a cross out to the back post, with Firmino helping it on the way. Again, it isn't the easiest chance, but Moreno perhaps should have done better than blazing it off target on the half-volley.

The tempo has not slowed at all here. Both sides have come flying out for the start of the second half, and we look set for another entertaining 45 minutes!

CLOSE! Brilliant from Walcott as he picks the ball up just inside his own half and takes the attack to Liverpool all on his own. He carries the ball a long way, eventually reaching the edge of the box before sending a low strike narrowly past the post.

YELLOW CARD! Clyne becomes the second name in the book, and it is one of the most blatant ones you will see as he pushes the ball out of the way with his hand to halt Monreal's progress.

The resulting free kick is delivered in by Ozil and met by Giroud, but he sends his header well off target.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-3 Arsenal (Olivier Giroud)

Arsenal have the lead for the first time this evening! Bellerin wins the ball back well before slipping a pass inside for Campbell, who in turns slides it to Giroud inside the box. From there, it is all about the French striker as he turns Toure before burying a brilliant finish into the bottom corner. Superb play from Giroud.

Arsenal can smell a bit of blood here! They are enjoying a good spell now and win a free kick in a very promising position...

Ozil hits the free kick, but the wall does its job as Milner makes the block.

Liverpool come forward again and it is now the hosts who seem to be in the ascendency in this topsy-turvy, end-to-end clash. Ibe sees his volley at the back post blocked, though, and Arsenal survive.

Giroud has scored twice, but his link-up play has arguably been even more impressive. He has had a really good game, aside from that sitter he missed in the first half.

There are just a few signs that Liverpool are beginning to tire at the moment, and it is not surprising at all. Both sets of players must be running near empty as this match has been played at 100mph for the very first whistle.

Firmino chips the ball into the box and it is awkward for Arsenal to deal with. They are only able to clear it as far as Can, who nods it into the path of Henderson. The Liverpool skipper looks to channel his predecessor with the armband Steven Gerrard, but his half-volley is sliced off target.

LIVERPOOL SUB: Klopp makes his first change of the afternoon as Christian Benteke comes on to replace Milner.

Half a chance for Liverpool as they work the ball out to the left before packing the box with red shirts. It is Firmino who climbs highest, but his header hits Monreal last and goes behind for a corner.

CHANCE! The resulting corner is only cleared as far as Moreno, whose strike from the edge of the box takes a deflection and goes just past the post for another corner. That one is played straight to Moreno, who puts a cross into the box which Firmino glances wide with his header.

Liverpool are putting Arsenal under lots of pressure right now, but the visitors are holding firm so far. Firmino and Moreno again threaten, but Arsenal are there with bodies in the way.

CHANCE! More good football from Liverpool as Ibe slips the ball to Firmino before receiving the return pass in space inside the box. He tries to cut it across goal for Lallana, who is waiting for a tap-in, but Koscielny is there to make a crucial clearance.

SAVE! Snow is beginning to fall at Anfield now as Liverpool continue to apply the pressure. Cech is called into action here as Benteke tries to feed an effort into the bottom corner, but it is a fairly routine stop from the keeper.

Waste from Moreno as he picks up the ball on the edge of the box, only to lash his effort some way off target.

ARSENAL SUBS: Time for a double change from the visitors as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs replace Campbell and Walcott.

Vital piece of defending from Mertesacker as some more lovely football sees Lallana in down the left side of the box. The German is quickly across and makes a crucial sliding tackle to thwart the midfielder.

CHANCE! Yet another chance for Liverpool as Ibe does brilliantly down the right before finding Clyne, who clips a cross in towards Lallana. The midfielder is in space, but can't get enough on his shot and Koscielny has to make another vital clearance.

Brilliant goalkeeper from Mignolet as he comes off his line and flies like Superman to punch the ball away from Ramsey. It was a delicious cross from Ozil towards his midfield partner, but Mignolet was there to deal with the danger.

LIVERPOOL SUB: Another change from the hosts as Can is replaced by Joe Allen for the closing stages of this match.

Time is running out for Liverpool now. Neither side deserve to lose this game as they have both played their part in a thriller, but Liverpool need to come up with something soon if they are to avoid that fate.

The hosts certainly haven't given up on this one yet, though. Ibe picks the ball up on the right and cuts inside, but his effort is deflected behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.

ARSENAL SUB: Wenger makes his third and final change, and it is a defensive one as Mikel Arteta replaces Ozil.

LIVERPOOL SUB: Klopp responds with his third and final change, and it is a debut for Steven Caulker - although perhaps not as he would have expected. He is thrown on up front in place of Lallana. It's kitchen sink time for Liverpool.

GOAL! Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal (Joe Allen)

Liverpool have the equaliser! The ball is hoisted up to Benteke, who climbs highest in the air to knock it back down into the box. Allen is storming into the box late and takes it on the volley first time, firing it past Cech. What a game!

Unfortunately, we only have three minutes of added time remaining in this match.

FULL TIME: Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal

Phew! What a game that was! You will struggle to see a better one all season, and it was only right that there was one last twist at the end. Four of the six goals were scored in the opening 25 minutes here as Firmino saw his two goals cancelled out by Ramsey and Giroud respectively, before Giroud gave his side the lead for the first time in the second half with a brilliant turn and finish. However, Joe Allen would get a last-gasp equaliser for the hosts to rescue the most dramatic of points in a thrilling clash.

That is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for this cracker of a match as Liverpool and Arsenal once again lived up to the billing with a six-goal thriller. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction, analysis and player ratings. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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Joel Campbell of Arsenal in action during the Capital One Cup Third Round match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on January 23, 2015 in London, England.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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