Liverpool 3 - 3 Arsenal

Joe Allen came off the bench to score a 90th-minute equaliser and earn Liverpool a 3-3 draw in a thrilling contest with Arsenal at Anfield this evening.

A frantic match saw four goals scored in the opening 25 minutes before further strikes from Olivier Giroud and Allen after the break capped off a memorable meeting.

The hosts made a flying start to the match and took the lead inside 10 minutes when Petr Cech could only palm Emre Can's effort to Roberto Firmino, who took a touch before firing it past the Arsenal keeper.

That lead lasted only four minutes, however, as the Gunners levelled things up with their first attack of the match when Joel Campbell slid a pass through for Aaron Ramsey to drill past Simon Mignolet at the near post.

Liverpool didn't let that equaliser halt their momentum, and just five more minutes passed before they regained their advantage as James Milner slid the ball to Firmino, who doubled his personal tally with a stunning curling strike into the top corner.

The visitors came back again, though, and after Mamadou Sakho had cleared the ball from underneath his own crossbar, Giroud got a touch to the resulting corner to take it past Mignolet and restore parity once again.

The first half continued in a frenetic manner and Giroud should have had his second just three minutes later when Campbell and Theo Walcott put the ball on a plate for the French striker, but he failed to tap it into a gaping net at the back post when it looked easier to score.

Can had a couple of long-range efforts that failed to really trouble Cech either side of a more important interception from the keeper as he got down well to cut out Firmino's low cross, denying Adam Lallana a tap-in.

This fixture has seen more hat-tricks than any other in Premier League history, and Firmino almost added his name to the list right at the end of the first half when his shot on the turn skimmed the crossbar on its way over the top.

The second half began in a similar vein as Campbell and Alberto Moreno both had chances at either end in the opening minutes, before Walcott embarked on a lung-bursting solo run forward that ended with his low shot rolling narrowly past the post.

Arsenal took the lead for the first time in the match 10 minutes into the second half as Giroud made up for his earlier miss with a clinical finish, turning Kolo Toure in the box before burying the ball into the bottom corner.

Liverpool cranked up the pressure over the final 20 minutes in search of an equaliser, with Firmino, Moreno, Lallana and Christian Benteke all having sights of goal to no avail as the Gunners continued to keep their hosts at bay.

That pressure finally told in the last minute of normal time, though, and it was two subs who combined as Benteke knocked the ball into the path of Allen, who volleyed it home to send Anfield wild.

Despite the last-gasp point, Liverpool drop to ninth in the table due to results elsewhere, while Arsenal remain top but only on goal difference as Leicester City closed the gap with victory over Tottenham Hotspur. 

14/01/16

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