Alexandre Lacazette’s late equaliser hauls back Liverpool
James Milner’s 50th Premier League goal had looked set to put Liverpool clear at the top
Alexandre Lacazette controls the ball ahead of scoring Arsenal’s equaliser during the Premier League match against Liverpool at the Emirates stadium. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1
Alexandre Lacazette struck a late equaliser as Arsenal and Liverpool shared the spoils in an entertaining Premier League clash at the Emirates stadium.
Liverpool looked to be going three points clear at the top of the table after James Milner’s 50th career Premier League goal had set them on course for victory.
But Arsenal rallied and deservedly secured themselves a 1-1 draw as Lacazette wriggled free inside the box before curling home with eight minutes remaining.
Both sides had first-half efforts ruled out for offside, Liverpool’s a more contentious call as Sadio Mane saw his celebrations cut short.
The Gunners have a poor recent record against the league’s main clubs and head coach Unai Emery spoke of his desire to change that after starting his tenure with defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea.
They did compete here and their supporters inside the Emirates stadium stuck with them as Emery’s side played their part in an evenly-matched encounter.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was lively in the opening exchanges and saw two shots deflected behind as Arsenal started brighter than in recent weeks.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan almost took full advantage of some poor decision-making from Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, the Brazilian sprinting from his line and getting nowhere near Aubameyang’s cross, with Mkhitaryan’s header dropping just wide.
Liverpool were also threatening and had the ball in the net moments later, only for Mane’s effort to be controversially ruled out for offside.
The Senegal international tapped home after Roberto Firmino had hit the post but his effort was chalked off even though he was behind the ball, having initially been offside when the move started.
The visitors started to enjoy more of the ball and only a smart save from Bernd Leno kept out Virgil van Dijk, with Shkodran Mustafi alert enough to clear away the loose ball.
Emery has been keen for his side to play out from the back and, in doing so, they set up another chance for Aubameyang, whose shot was blocked behind following a flick into his path from Mkhitaryan.
Lacazette shot wide from an acute angle before turning home Mustafi’s header across goal, only to see the goal correctly ruled out as the Germany defender was clearly offside.
Liverpool almost went in ahead at the interval as Leno followed the earlier example set by his counterpart when he charged from his line and got stuck in no-man’s land, with Van Dijk flicking a header against the foot of the post.
Klopp’s side took the lead on the hour mark, though, as Leno pushed Mane’s cross back in front of his own goal, with Milner on hand to drill in his third of the season.
Alisson was called upon to push away Lucas Torreira’s shot as Arsenal looked to level matters immediately, while Milner’s reward for giving Liverpool the lead was a bloodied nose following a collision with Gomez.
It was Iwobi who would play a part in Lacazette’s leveller, playing a precise ball into his path before the former Lyon man kept possession and bent home a precision strike.
Neither side could find a winner in the closing stages as Arsenal remain four points behind their visitors in the table.