Mohamed Salah, the talented Egyptian forward for Liverpool, emerged as the match’s star player, rejoicing after successfully scoring his team’s initial goal against Arsenal at Anfield. Despite Salah’s outstanding equalizer, Arsenal successfully retained their top spot in the Premier League standings for the second consecutive season by securing a 1-1 draw.
The game commenced on an auspicious note for Arsenal, with Gabriel expertly heading in a goal from a Martin Odegaard free-kick merely four minutes into the match. On the 29th minute, Liverpool unexpectedly equalized after Salah successfully evaded Oleksandr Zinchenko and struck an impressive shot into the net following a fantastic long pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
In the second half, Liverpool appeared to have a better chance of securing a victory in the thrilling match. Alexander-Arnold came closest to scoring when his shot hit the crossbar after a counter-attack pass from Salah. As a result of the draw, Arsenal remains at the top of the Premier League standings with 40 points from 18 matches, while Liverpool trails behind by just one point, having played the same number of games. On Boxing Day, Liverpool will go up against Burnley, while Arsenal will face West Ham on Thursday evening, marking the midway point of the Premier League season.
A topic of discussion during the match was whether Liverpool deserved a penalty. The use of VAR once again contributed to the subjective nature of crucial decisions, as Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard clearly touched the ball with his hand inside his own penalty area. Despite objections from Liverpool players and supporters, VAR determined that it was not deliberate due to Odegaard’s unexpected fall. Nevertheless, after reviewing the replays, it became evident that Odegaard unlawfully obstructed the ball by enlarging his body, leading to Arsenal’s fortunate escape from conceding a penalty.
The performance ratings for each player in the game were as follows:
Liverpool: Alisson 7, Alexander-Arnold 7, Konate 8, Van Dijk 7, Tsimikas 6, Szoboszlai 6, Endo 6, Jones 6, Salah 8, Gakpo 6, Diaz 6 In the match, Arsenal witnessed Gabriel scoring an early goal, Liverpool getting an equalizer through Salah, Klopp falling on the touchline, Tsimikas’ injury leading to a necessary substitution for Liverpool, and Liverpool being unfortunate as their attempt for a winning goal hit the crossbar.