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Published: 08:53 | 14/1/16

Allen rescues a point for Liverpool

A 90th-minute volley from Joe Allen helped Liverpool rescue a deserved point against Arsenal after a thrilling 3-3 draw at Anfield.

In a sensational opening 45 minutes, Liverpool twice took the lead through Roberto Firmino before Arsenal hit back and the sides went in level at 2-2 at the break.

The Gunners were the better side at the beginning of the second period and they went ahead when Oliver Giroud scored his second of the game, but Allen pounced in the last minute to seal a point for his side.

Liverpool started with a real purpose as they hounded Arsenal in possession and they were ahead after 10 minutes.

Emre Can collected the ball on the corner of the box and hit a thumping strike that was parried by Petr Cech.

Roberto Firmino reacted quickest, controlled and fired home a fine finish to make it 1-0.

However, this lead didn’t last long as Arsenal equalised just four minutes later.

A long ball forward was flicked into the path of Joel Campbell and he slipped a pin-point pass into the path of Aaron Ramsey who slotted past Simon Mignolet at the near post.

Arsenal weren’t level for long, though, as Liverpool retook the lead after 19 minutes.

James Milner found Firmino on the edge of the box and the Brazilian produced a fantastic curling strike that flew into the top corner to make it 2-1.

The game was wide open as both sides threw men forward at every opportunity and it was 2-2 after just 25 minutes.

From a corner, Oliver Giroud got the slightest of nicks at the near post on an in-swinging ball that rolled under the legs of Simon Mignolet as Liverpool again failed to defend a simple set-piece.

This goal seemed to hand the initiative to Arsenal and they really should have taken the lead for the first time three minutes later.

Theo Walcott crossed to a sliding Giroud, but the Frenchman managed to somehow connect with his heel as he missed an open goal.

And the Gunners were almost punished for this miss on the stroke of half time when Jordan Ibe’s cross wasn’t dealt with.

The ball fell to Firmino who swivelled and hit a first time strike that flew just inches past the posts as the sides went in level at the break.

The second half started much like the first finished with both sides looking to attack and it was Arsenal who wrestled the ascendency and took the lead for the first time after 55 minutes.

Hector Bellerin raced down the right and found Campbell who crossed for Giroud and the striker controlled superbly and curled a fine finish into the bottom corner to make it 2-3.

The game quietened slightly after this as Arsenal took control of possession and seemed to take the sting out of Liverpool.

However, the hosts rallied in the final 15 minutes and they went close to an equaliser when Can slipped a brilliant pass into the path of Adam Lallana, but his strike was brilliantly blocked by Per Mertesacker.

Jurgen Klopp’s men started to get up a real head of steam as they introduced Christian Benteke and Steven Caulker as a make-shift striker and they finally grabbed an equaliser with almost the last kick of the game.

A long ball forward was nodded down by Benteke into the path of Joe Allen who showed great determination as he burst into the box and volleyed home from eight yards to rescue a point for his side.

By Nick Royle

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