Arsenal denied huge win as Liverpool hit back to draw
Arsenal's grip on the Premier League title race was loosened as Liverpool produced a storming comeback to snatch a 2-2 draw in super-charged clash at a raucous Anfield on Sunday.
The north Londoners were heading for a first league win at Liverpool since 2012, an eighth successive league win and a massive three points in their quest to win the league as they powered into a 2-0 lead.
But Liverpool woke from their slumber and with the crowd cranking up the volume, they surged back and Roberto Firmino headed an 87th-minute equaliser that sparked delirium in the stands and would have been heartily cheered by fans of Manchester City too.
It could have got even worse for Mikel Arteta's side too as Mo Salah, who scored Liverpool's first goal and then missed a second-half penalty, blazed a late chance over and was then denied brilliantly by Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Ramsdale then made an even more miraculous save from Ibrahima Konate in a breathless period of stoppage time.
When the dust settled on a rambunctious contest that had everything, Arsenal, bidding for a first title since 2004, lead Manchester City by six points but the reigning champions have a game in hand and also face Arsenal at home later this month.
Arsenal have 73 points from 30 games, while Liverpool are eighth with 44 points.
A game which began in sombre mood as the 34th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster was marked by a moment of silence, exploded into life and even included an alleged elbow by an assistant referee on Liverpool's Andy Robertson.
"Wow! Very intense game. The game was under control but after that we concede a really sloppy goal and the game shifted momentum," Arsenal manager Arteta said.
"It became a very transitional game, very chaotic. Liverpool could score three or four. It is true we could have scored two or three so maybe at the end the score is fair."
Arsenal had taken an early lead when forward Gabriel Martinelli wriggled through in the eighth minute after a flowing move involving Bukayo Saka and managed to squeeze in a shot under pressure past Liverpool keeper Alisson.
With Liverpool in disarray, Martinelli then crossed for Gabriel Jesus to head home in the 28th minute.
Arsenal were cruising but everything changed when Gunners midfielder Granit Xhaka and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold got involved in an ugly scuffle.
Suddenly the decibel level went up and Salah pulled one back in the 42nd minute when Diogo Jota ran on to a pass from Curtis Jones and sent in a cross that Jordan Henderson stretched to poke forward and the Egypt striker finished off.
"When the Anfield crowd is sleeping, don't wake them up. Leave them be. Xhaka woke the crowd up," former Manchester United defender and Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville said.
Liverpool took charge after the break and were awarded a penalty in the 58th minute after Rob Holding fouled Jota. But Salah missed his second successive penalty as he fired wide.
His blushes were partially spared though as Firmino, on as a substitute, rose to head in Alexander-Arnold's cross.
Asked what the result did for their title hopes, Arteta said: "We move on. Convince them to keep playing like we did in the first 30 minutes."
Five-star Palace thrash Leeds as Hodgson revival gathers steam
Crystal Palace fought back from a goal down to secure a crushing 5-1 win at Leeds United on Sunday and claim a second successive Premier League win under new manager Roy Hodgson.
Despite the absence of injured top scorer Wilfried Zaha, four second-half goals moved Palace up to 12th in the standings while Leeds are 16th -- two points above the relegation zone.
Hodgson had been brought back to ensure Palace's top-flight survival, taking over a team struggling to score, and his side have now netted seven goals in two games -- as many as their previous 15 matches combined.
"It is a credit to everyone that has been putting in the work. It has been a long time since we have been playing like this," Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze told Sky Sports.
Leeds dominated the early stages and tested goalkeeper Sam Johnstone several times before Patrick Bamford broke the deadlock after 21 minutes with a well-directed header from a corner, his 50th goal for the club.
But Johnstone kept Palace in the game with a string of saves and the visitors made them pay, equalising on the stroke of halftime from a set-piece when Marc Guehi scored from close range.
Jordan Ayew gave Palace the lead eight minutes after the restart after fine work from 21-year-old Michael Olise, who floated in a cross that was headed home by the Ghanaian forward.
Leeds were not allowed to recover and less than three minutes later, Palace pinched the ball back near the halfway line and Olise turned provider again when he spotted Eze's run, slipping the ball through for a neat finish.
Palace then silenced a stunned Elland Road crowd with a devastating counter-attack and Odsonne Edouard fired low into the bottom corner for his first league goal since October as Olise grabbed his third assist in 16 minutes.
Ayew scored his second when a blocked shot fell kindly to the unmarked forward who fired the ball home with no one but the keeper to beat as Palace moved six points clear of the drop zone.