The Reds took to north London on the back of a 12-game unbeaten run, seeking another three points as their end-of-year revival continued in earnest.
And it proved to be a dramatic top-four clash, with a hit-and-miss display leading to a share of the points.
Speaking after the game Klopp reflected on his side’s unbalanced showing in a “strange game.”
“We deserved a point at the end. [It is] good to learn from but we need to react differently,” be told reporters.
“We opened the door for them in those five minutes. [It was] a strange game.”
Premier League, Emirates Stadium
December 22, 2017
Goals: Sanchez 53′, Xhaka 56′, Ozil 58′; Coutinho 26′, Salah 52′, Firmino 71′Mignolet’s Mistake
Just when the side needed their shot-stopper to step up and, well, stop a shot, the Belgian waved his arm at the ball as if he’d just spotted someone he knew in the crowd.
The strike from Granit Xhaka was powerful, and swirled and swerved in the air, but if Simon Mignolet had simply put both of his hands up to parry the ball down, or even catch it, it would have been considered a routine save.
It’s been an ongoing problem for Liverpool, and even Gary Neville commented after the game that he thinks the club would have won a Premier League title in recent years had they had centre-backs and a goalkeeper of the required standard.
“Everyone makes a mistake,” he said. “But we’ve been talking about this for three years and we’re still talking about it.”
Mignolet’s failed attempt to save the second goal may overshadow another poor attempt to stop the third.
It was another poor display from the ‘keeper, who will be lucky to retain his place. Again.Out of Control
Sometimes certain stats can tell the story of a game, and here barely any Liverpool players registered a pass success rate of over 80 percent.
Emre Can managed to find the target with 86.8 percent of his passes, but the rest of the side were lacking in this area.
The biggest culprits were the defence, and though it’s often said that racking up a passing accuracy of over 90 percent is easy for a central defender, who merely has to lay it off to a midfielder or full-back, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan showed that this isn’t always as easy as it looks.
The pair registered numbers of 72.1 and 77.3 percent respectively, and seeing as a team’s buildup play starts in this area, this goes some way to explaining the lack of control the side then had in midfield areas.
James Milner joined Can on a reasonably respectable number (84.3%), but once the ball found its way forward sloppiness set in yet again.
The side should have had more goals in the first half but they lacked the control in attacking areas. They should also have been able to see the game out when 2-0 up but they lacked control in defensive areas.
Their opponents were just as bad, but that will provide no solace for Jurgen Klopp or the fans who have seen their side throw away two vital points against a potential top-four rival.Midfield Muddle
Klopp set his side up in a similar shape to the team which he sent out to win 4-0 at Bournemouth.
It didn’t take him long to get into the game, however, cutting inside onto his left foot to get one shot away, before scoring a header following a great run into the box down his attacking channel.
Behind him the deeper midfield players were hit and miss, and were disrupted by an early injury to Jordan Henderson.
The captain had himself looked out of sorts, and struggled under the pressure from the Arsenal press in the couple of moments he had on the ball.
This 4-2-3-1 shape which then turns into 4-2-4 as the players drop into their roles rather than their positions looked like the right one to beat Arsenal on the night.
But unfortunately, despite decent displays from Coutinho and Can, the system didn’t seem to match the players on this occasion.Firmino the Leading Light Leading the Line
Finally a positive. With his compatriot Coutinho dropping into the midfield, the creative responsibility on the front line fell on the No. 9’s shoulders.
There are a lot of hot-takes doing the rounds as to which player in Liverpool’s exciting attacking quartet is the most important to the club, but few of them choose Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian is a fairly unique centre-forward, which sometimes leads to calls for the club to sign a more traditional striker, but the current incumbent’s all-round ability is producing goals for himself and for others.
His excellent holdup play and perfect timing when it comes to releasing the ball produced the space for Mohamed Salah to score.
Then it was his well-hit shot with his weaker foot which rescued a point for his side after their defensive collapse.
Ask the other three players who the most important player in Liverpool’s fearsome foursome is, and they’d probably say Firmino.Quick Turnaround – Changes Needed?
Liverpool face Swansea City on Tuesday, giving them a chance to claim a win straight after this disappointing draw.
The changes Klopp makes for this game could be excused as rotation, but realistically he might need to add different personnel for performance reasons too.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player who should come back into the side, and can’t be tired as he’s played fewer minutes than the majority of his team-mates.
Mane could be kept in the side to regain a confidence which has been lacking recently, but on performances alone he would probably be dropped.
The big shout could be in the goalkeeper position, and with the FA Cup approaching in January this would be a good time for Klopp to bring Loris Karius in as his No. 1 and use Mignolet (or Danny Ward) elsewhere.
The quick turnaround can be both good and bad, and the manager needs to make sure it works to his side’s advantage as they look to add another win, rather than a draw, to this unbeaten run.
The Reds were 2-0 up through goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah before three quickfire strikes in the second half from Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil put the home side ahead only for Roberto Firmino to earn the visitors a draw.
Milner told Sky Sports Premier League: “When you are in a position like that at this level you’ve got to see the game out. We have got to become more boring.
“There are times in the game when you’ve got to tighten up and not make those mistakes for five minutes. All the goals were our fault really and that’s something we have to learn from.
“We play such good football going forward and maybe sometimes we need to switch that off for five or 10 minutes.
“We need to play it a bit tighter and keep the ball a bit longer rather than trying to break all the time.”
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere said his side had been too cautious in the first half.
He said: “We didn’t do ourselves justice in the first half. We were scared to play our game. We allowed them to take the game to us.
“[In the second half] we were much better, we were on the front foot. We will be disappointed not to win the game.”
Liverpool and Arsenal fought out a breathless pre-Christmas draw, with the Reds taking a point from London in a 3-3 draw which swung back and forth.
Premier League, Emirates Stadium
December 22, 2017
Goals: Sanchez 52′, Xhaka 55′, Ozil 57′; Coutinho 25′, Salah 51′, Firmino 71′.
Simon Mignolet – 3 (out of 10)
Had absolutely nothing to do in the first half other than collect a few back-passes, overhit crosses and deflections.
Beaten with Arsenal‘s first shot on target, Alexis Sanchez’s header which he could do nothing about, but the second was all down to Mignolet.
Granit Xhaka’s long-range strike was fierce, but central and utterly straightforward to stop.
Mignolet had no need to jump, absolutely should not have gone with a single hand, and paid the price conceding a cheap equaliser.
Worse still, he did nowhere near enough to deter Mesut Ozil moments later—three goals conceded in five minutes for the Belgian, from three shots.
Joe Gomez – 6
Made a good early block on Sanchez to set the defensive tempo for the half.
Supremely confident in possession and never fazed when closed down, even if he has to turn onto his left foot or back toward goal.
Guilty of one poor moment in the second half as he switched off from a cross, and it resulted in Sanchez heading home from close range.
That moment sparked a shambolic turnaround in the scoreline and underlines the importance of being switched on for the entirety of 90 minutes, even for young players.
Dejan Lovren – 6
Clearly and comfortably better on the right of centre. Did the basics well in the first half-hour, but should have had an assist with an easy pass across goal.
He missed his connection though, and the chance to double the Reds’ lead before the break was gone.
Two more big defensive interventions were required by Lovren before half-time though to keep the Reds ahead at the break.
While he wasn’t directly at fault for any of the three goals, Lovren also didn’t have himself in key positions to deflect the danger: the cross for the opener, the passing move for the third.
Ragnar Klavan – 5
Neat and tidy, not too heavily involved in the early stages. Kept it straightforward when in possession.
That changed after the break; Klavan was drawn out of position, gave the ball away trying to pass too quickly and failed to make a meaningful challenge as Arsenal turned the screw.
Did well to hold up Alexandre Lacazette in the closing moments as danger loomed.
Andrew Robertson – 6
Quick on the cover defensively when called upon in the opening stages.
His early deliveries from the left were intelligent in intent, but lacking in execution—notable when he floats crosses rather than whipping them in low.
Whether it was his lack of game time this term, the culmination of recent minutes with his run in the team or just being asked to play in such a big game, he was on the periphery throughout the second half.
Beaten on the overlap and couldn’t stop the cross more than once.
Jordan Henderson – 6
A hamstring injury ended his participation just 10 minutes in.
Operated from the right of the midfield three rather than the left, linking neatly with Mohamed Salah.
Found space between the Arsenal lines to free passes into the right and left channel when making darting runs toward the centre of the pitch to receive possession.
A rare headed goal opened the scoring but the really impressive aspect of it was his enduring speed and determination to stay ahead of Arsenal‘s back-tracking central midfield duo.
Always the one to look firstly to the forwards and try to search out a dangerous run into space.
Emre Can – 7
A busy and industrious performance; Liverpool needed someone to be something of a disciplined rock in midfield in this fixture and Emre Can gave it to them.
Not every intervention resulted in a successful tackle or pass, but he continually forced Arsenal back or wide, or at least held up the attack in the first half.
After the break though he was involved, or not involved when he should have been more to the point, on two of the goals: not closing down Xhaka, and not tracking the run of Ozil.
Still, it was a good all-round display from Can, one of the more consistent on the pitch throughout
Mohamed Salah – 7
Off the boil in the opening stages, unable to beat his man or really find telling runs in behind a deep Arsenal back line.
Even so, the first time he was able to race in behind and isolate a defender, Salah conjured a goal, teasing Koscielny and passing in to Coutinho via a deflection.
The league’s top scorer passed up a couple of great chances before the break, denied one-on-one by Petr Cech and then mis-kicking moments later.
Five minutes after the restart he rectified those errors with his 15th league goal of the campaign with a curled, slightly deflected, finish on the run.
Sadio Mane – 6
Lively and keen to get involved in the first half, even if he wasn’t picking up the ball in incredibly dangerous areas.
His first touch was good and he turned opponents well in one-on-one situations, though Mane again missed an enormous chance to score just before the break.
A rebound falling to him with no goalkeeper should have been controlled and finished, but Mane opted for a spectacular overhead kick—and missed the target.
In the second half he missed a good volleyed chance at the far post and spurned two great counter-attacking opportunities.
A frustrating time for Mane and he perhaps needs to get his decision-making and execution right before trying his flicks and outrageous turns and shots.
Roberto Firmino – 8 (Man of the Match)
A few early attempted passes failed to open up Arsenal‘s defence or find a team-mate—then he was within a combined 20 centimetres of scoring two headers, one saved at the near post and one just wide of the far.
Another curled effort went close—just over the bar—as Firmino’s movement began to really cause Arsenal problems as the game wore on.
His influence as a creator is near-unstoppable and his movement, dragging two defenders away, then his pass through the centre set away Salah for the second goal.
Firmino got his rewards when a fierce struck wasn’t dealt with by Cech, bouncing in to equalise at 3-3.Starting XI Average Rating: 6.18 Substitutes
James Milner (on for Henderson, 10′) – 7
Called upon earlier than expected and went straight into central midfield.
His short-range passing was neat and one direct pass down the channel set away Salah for the opening goal, the first time any Red had really freed the Egyptian on the counter.
Worked hard as expected and kept closing down and making challenges throughout the second half.
Gini Wijnaldum (on for Mane, 79′) – N/A
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Coutinho, 83′) – N/A
Subs not used: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lallana, SolankeManager
Jurgen Klopp – 7
A tough game for Klopp to watch no doubt, because he got it absolutely spot-on in terms of starting tactics.
Liverpool dominated, created chances and should have been about three or four goals up by half-time, and when the Reds went two clear that should have been the end of it.
But, the Reds have a self-destruction tendency, and Klopp has to acknowledge that when it’s painfully obvious that an incoming implosion is imminent, he does very little to stem the tide.
He showed strong reactions in changing his system, however, particularly to a back three following the introduction of Wijnaldum late on, but the damage was unfortunately done.
It’s a combination of not enough leaders on the pitch and Klopp perhaps not yet having convinced his players that they are as good as he believes they are.Make Your Ratings
Last Updated: 23/12/17 10:20amArsenal 3-3 Liverpool Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool
Roberto Firmino's late equaliser earned Liverpool a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Arsenal, after the hosts had come from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 at the Emirates on Friday Night Football.
The three points looked to be heading Liverpool's way with 52 minutes gone when Mohamed Salah doubled their lead - following Philippe Coutinho's opener - but Arsenal scored three goals in five crazy minutes during a spell where Liverpool's defence crumbled in spectacular fashion.
Strikes from Alexis Sanchez (53), Granit Xhaka (56) and Mesut Ozil (58) in that frenetic period swung the game in their favour but Roberto Firmino (71) salvaged a point for Liverpool.
The result means the gap between Liverpool, who remain in fourth, and Arsenal remains at just one point as Arsene Wenger is still without a win over Jurgen Klopp in a Premier League fixture.Player Ratings
Arsenal: Cech (6), Bellerin (6), Koscielny (6), Monreal (6), Maitland-Niles (6), Xhaka (6), Wilshere (7), Iwobi (6), Ozil (7), Sanchez (7), Lacazette (7).
Subs: Mustafi (6), Welbeck (6)
Liverpool: Mignolet (5), Gomez (5), Lovren (6), Klavan (6), Robertson (6), Henderson (6), Can (7), Mane (7), Firmino (8), Coutinho (8), Salah (7).
Subs: Milner (7), Wijnaldum (6), Oxlade Chamberlain (6)
Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Liverpool were forced into an early change when Jordan Henderson limped off, but his replacement James Milner slotted in perfectly, playing a part in the opening goal.Mesut Ozil celebrates after giving Arsenal the lead
Firmino already had headed wide from close range when Milner's clever ball down the channel found Salah and his deflected cross was skilfully lobbed into the net via Coutinho's head. The 25-year-old Brazilian has now been involved in 15 goals in his last 10 away games in all competitions.
The visitors remained positive with Firmino curling inches over on 32 minutes and Sadio Mane somehow spurning a glorious opportunity eight minutes later, volleying over from 12 yards with Petr Cech stranded.
Arsenal left to a chorus of boos at half-time and the atmosphere descended further on 52 minutes when Salah doubled the lead.
After leading a counter-attack from inside his own half, Salah played a neat one-two with Firmino and curled home from the edge of the box.
With the way Liverpool were controlling things, Arsenal's quick-fire comeback was hard to fathom.
Just five minutes later they had not only clawed back the deficit but found themselves in front.
Having made 11 changes in the midweek Carabao Cup victory over West Ham, Arsenal reverted back to their strongest XI – the same side which edged past Newcastle in the league last weekend. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain had to make do with a place on the bench on his first return to Arsenal as Jurgen Klopp made two changes to the Liverpool side which romped to victory at Bournemouth. Emre Can and Sadio Mane both started, meaning all members of the ‘fab four’ were in the starting line-up for the Reds.
First, Joe Gomez was caught napping at the back post and Sanchez headed home. That triggered a change in momentum as Liverpool wilted.
Two minutes later, Xhaka took aim from 30 yards and the ball found its way past a weak one-handed attempt by Simon Mignolet. Arsenal were not done there, though, as they took the lead two minutes later.
Liverpool's defending could be questioned for the first two, but there was little they could do to stop Alexandre Lacazette's clever back-heel and Ozil's mesmeric chipped finish over Mignolet.
That was not the end of the drama as Liverpool maintained their fluidity going forward and grabbed an equaliser on 71 minutes when Firmino's effort was too hot for Cech to handle.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was thrown on against his former employers, eyeing a Hollywood finish to a quite breathless game, but it ended all-square.Opta stats
This award could have gone to five or six of the attacking players on show but the Brazilian gets the nod for his crucial equalising goal that got his team out of a sticky situation. Firmino has now been involved in more Premier League goals than any other Liverpool player since he joined at the start of the 2015/16 season, scoring 28 goals and proving 18 assists. His all-round game during a hectic match was of the highest quality.What's next?
Arsenal have six days rest before travelling to south London to play Crystal Palace in front of the Sky Sports cameras while Liverpool play hosts to Swansea, also live on Sky Sports Premier League.Fantasy Head to Head
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Last Updated: 22/12/17 7:27pm
The first episode of our brand new Transfer Talk podcast is officially here!
Host Pete Graves was joined in studio by Sky Sports News reporters Dharmesh Sheth and Kaveh Solhekol to preview the upcoming January transfer window.
High on the agenda were the futures of Arsenal stars Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere, who will all be out of contract this summer.LISTEN: Transfer Talk podcast
Click here to listen to the latest Transfer Talk podcast where the futures of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Virgil Van Dijk, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho were discussed.
Our panel discussed which of the three is most likely to sign a contract extension with the Gunners and which clubs they might join, should they decide to leave.
Manchester City's interest in Southampton centre-half Virgil Van Dijk was also talked about.
Sky Sports News reporter Alan Myers joined the show to discuss another star with six months left on his contract - Everton's Ross Barkley.
Myers revealed where he believes Barkley's future lies and also mentioned a big-name striker Everton are interested in buying in January.
Jose Mourinho has big decisions to make at Manchester United with eight first-team players out of contract this summer, and our panel broke down the different factors he will be considering as he decides who to keep and who to let go.
A Germany international who is a target for United was also discussed.
Six Premier League clubs have sacked their managers already this season and our panel looked ahead to what each of those will be doing in January.
Sky Sports Midlands reporter Rob Dorsett joined the podcast to talk about potential incomings and outgoings at Leicester City, Stoke City and West Brom.
Guillem Balague, who will be a regular contributor to the podcast, also called in to talk about the futures of Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho and Thibaut Courtois.
If all that was not enough, comedian and Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness also joined the podcast to tell the tale of the time his friend convinced him Rivaldo almost joined his beloved Bolton Wanderers.Super 6 £1m jackpot
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Last Updated: 22/12/17 7:00pmSky Sports has confirmed its latest batch of live Premier League games for February
Sky Sports has confirmed its latest batch of live Premier League games for February, with more big clashes at the top of the table on the schedule.
Twelve games have been added to the Sky Sports fixture list for the second month of 2018, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham all in front of the cameras as the title race and battle for the top four continues apace.
Liverpool take on Spurs in a Super Sunday showdown at the start of February, while Jose Mourinho welcomes old club Chelsea back to Manchester United and leaders Manchester City travel to Arsenal at the end of the month.Sky Sports' live PL games in FebruarySat 3Burnley v Man City12.30pmSun 4C Palace v Newcastle2.15pmSun 4Liverpool v Tottenham4.30pmMon 5Watford v Chelsea8pm*Sat 10Man City v Leicester5.30pmSun 11Newcastle v Man Utd2.15pmSun 11Southampton v Liverpool4.30pmMon 12Chelsea v West Brom8pmSat 24Leicester v Stoke12.30pmSun 25Man Utd v Chelsea2.05pm**Sun 25Arsenal v Man City2.05pm**Mon 26C Palace v Tottenham8pm***Confirmed Sky Sports PL fixtures so far
Fri 22: Arsenal v Liverpool (7.45pm)
Sat 23: Everton v Chelsea (12.30pm)
Sat 23: Leicester v Manchester United (7.45pm)
Tue 26: Tottenham v Southampton (12.30pm)
Tue 26: Liverpool v Swansea (5.30pm)
Wed 27: Newcastle v Manchester City (7.45pm)
Thu 28: Crystal Palace v Arsenal (8pm)
Sun 31: West Brom v Arsenal (4.30pm)
Mon 1: Brighton v Bournemouth (12.30pm)
Mon 1: Everton v Manchester United (5.30pm)
Tue 2: Swansea v Tottenham (7.45pm)
Wed 3: Arsenal v Chelsea (7.45pm)
Thu 4: Tottenham v West Ham (8pm)
Sun 14: Bournemouth v Arsenal (1.30pm)
Sun 14: Liverpool v Manchester City (4pm)
Mon 15: Manchester United v Stoke City (8pm)
Sat 20: Brighton v Chelsea (12.30pm)
Sun 21: Southampton v Tottenham (4pm)
Mon 22: Swansea v Liverpool (8pm)
Sat 3: Burnley v Manchester City (12.30pm)
Sun 4: Crystal Palace v Newcastle United (2.15pm)
Sun 4: Liverpool v Tottenham (4.30pm)
Mon 5: Watford v Chelsea (8pm)*
Sat 10: Manchester City v Leicester City (5.30pm)
Sun 11: Newcastle United v Manchester United (2.15pm)
Sun 11: Southampton v Liverpool (4.30pm)
Mon 12: Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion (8pm)
Sat 24: Leicester City v Stoke City (12.30pm)
Sun 25: Manchester United v Chelsea (2.05pm)**
Sun 25: Arsenal v Manchester City (2.05pm)**
Mon 26: Crystal Palace v Tottenham (8pm)***
* moves to midday on Sunday, February 4 if either side involved in an FA Cup R4 replay
** subject to Carabao Cup final - only one of these games can take place (or neither if the Carabao Cup final is Manchester City v Chelsea)
*** moves to midday on Sunday, February 25 if either team involved in an FA Cup R5 replaySuper 6 £1m jackpot
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