A christmas cracker!
Liverpool fended off three goals in five minutes from Arsenal to salvage a 3-3 Premier League draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Roberto Firmino’s strike looped home off Petr Cech’s attempted save, to ensure the Reds left London with a share of the spoils despite having earlier squandered a 2-0 lead.
Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil found the net in a stunning second-half triple salvo, to put Arsenal 3-2 ahead having trailed to goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah.
Jurgen Klopp’s visitors thought they had the game won at 2-0, then quickly feared leaving empty-handed after Ozil’s neat finish – only to wind up clawing back for the draw.
Liverpool lost Jordan Henderson to a hamstring injury that clearly tempered their relief at holding onto fourth place in the league table.
The Reds will doubtless emerge from this thriller the more aggrieved party, having failed to grind out the win from a position of serious strength.
Arsenal could hardly have envisaged sneaking out of this clash with anything at all when trailing by two goals to a wholly-dominant Reds – but all that was before this gripping battle caught fire.
Liverpool pounced on Arsenal’s malaise to dominate the first-half and leave the Gunners supporters booing their troops resoundingly at the break.
Firmino headed just wide after Coutinho’s cross, but Arsenal failed to heed that warning.
Salah’s lofted chip let Coutinho open the scoring, the Brazilian heading home to punish the wayward hosts.
Firmino almost doubled the lead when curling just over the bar, and then Cech denied Salah with a fine save from a one-on-one.
Mane conjured a scissor kick in an attempt to bury the rebound, only to fire over the bar.
Salah then fly-hacked at fresh air from Salah’s low cut-back, as Liverpool wasted another gilt-edged chance.
Arsenal’s paltry attacking return was limited to the half’s final meaningful effort, as the unmarked Lacazette failed to connect with a header.
Normal service resumed after the break, Arsenal conceding possession cheaply and Liverpool breaking at pace.
Salah could not muster any power when played in by Mane – but made no mistake when sent through the middle by Firmino.
The Egypt hitman fired home via a minor deflection off Shkodran Mustafi, as Liverpool eyed full control.
But just when the Reds expected to tighten their grip, Arsenal turned the encounter on its head.
Sanchez headed in at the far post to halve the deficit, refusing to celebrate in rushing back to halfway.
And when Mignolet flapped and missed Xhaka’s facile long-range effort, the Gunners were level at 2-2.
Far from finished there though, the hosts stole the lead, Ozil trading passes with Lacazette, whose backheel allowed the German to apply a cool finish.
Arsenal’s shambling defence proved their Achilles heel again however, as Firmino blasted Liverpool level again at 3-3, with the ball looping into the net despite Cech’s parried attempt at a save.
Amid all the madness, Salah still had time to blaze wide and Mignolet to palm an aimless ball onto his crossbar.