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Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool: Gunners come from behind to end champions' record hopes

Alexandre Lacazette rounds Alisson to score
Alexandre Lacazette became the first Arsenal player to score and assist against the side starting at the top of the league since Thierry Henry against Manchester United in January 2007

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his side "have to learn" after the champions' hopes of setting a new Premier League points record ended as they suffered only their third defeat of a stellar campaign at Arsenal.

Jurgen Klopp's side - who will receive the trophy after the game with Chelsea at Anfield next week - needed to win all of their remaining games to eclipse the tally of 100 points set by then champions Manchester City two seasons ago.

And they looked on course when Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a fully deserved lead after 20 minutes as he slid home Andrew Robertson's cross.

Arsenal were then allowed back into the game before the interval after uncharacteristic errors by two of Liverpool's most reliable performers, Alexandre Lacazette taking advantage of a dreadful back-pass by Virgil van Dijk to equalise before goalkeeper Alisson's poor clearance gave Reiss Nelson the opportunity to score with a composed finish.

The second half was almost an exercise in attack against defence as Liverpool laid siege to Arsenal's goal but Mikel Arteta's side showed real resilience and determination to close out the win and receive a real morale boost before this weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley.

"We have to learn from it, 100 per cent. We've had sloppy moments before and not been punished for it but this is good because we have to learn from it. Credit to Arsenal for being there and using it," Klopp said.

"I can't make something negative from something so positive, we get the points we deserve and we will see how many that will be. These boys played an exceptional season, nobody can take that away from them.

"I'm disappointed and angry about a few things but the game was good, the attitude was good, but we took a break and that is why we lost the game. That is football, someone is surprised these boys are human beings - I am not. From time to time they are not perfect."

Arsenal show true grit to defy champions

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Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool: Mikel Arteta happy with reaction of players after going a goal down

Arsenal's defensive frailties have continued to plague their latest manager, Arteta, and they were demonstrated again in the north London derby defeat at Tottenham on Sunday.

Here, however, Arsenal dug deep to survive a second-half siege from Liverpool in which they existed almost entirely in their own half.

Liverpool had almost all the possession but Arsenal's much-criticised rearguard remained organised and put their bodies on the line in desperation to preserve the lead given to them by the generosity of the champions.

When Liverpool did get through they found Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in commanding form once more. He has been a real revelation since stepping in for the injured Bernd Leno and was excellent again here, dominating his area and also producing a fine save from Mohamed Salah in the second half.

This was not an artistic Arsenal performance but Arteta will have been delighted with the sheer industry and resilience on show, especially as they face another team who will want to dominate possession as they prepare to confront Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday to battle for a place in the FA Cup final.

Liverpool lack their usual edge

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Liverpool deserved defeat - Klopp

Liverpool will be disappointed to miss out on that Premier League points record but it is almost inevitable a crucial edge would be taken off their game after securing the club's first title in 30 years with seven games still to play.

And it showed here in those awful errors by Van Dijk, so careless when he is normally so precise, and goalkeeper Alisson, who was sloppy with a clearance to allow Nelson to score.

There was no shortage of effort or determination from Jurgen Klopp's side but even up front they did not possess the ruthless streak that has been such a part of their success, with Salah heading tamely at Martinez when free at the far post and other good positions escaping them.

Liverpool have now lost three league games in winning the title when they only lost one in finishing second to Manchester City last term, that sole defeat coming against the eventual champions at Etihad Stadium - and while one piece of history will not be theirs they can still look forward to receiving the trophy on a special podium erected on the Kop when they play Chelsea next Wednesday.

What records can champions Liverpool still catch?
Liverpool's tally after 36 gamesRecord total
Biggest title-winning margin18 points19 - Manchester City 2017-18
Most wins in a season30 wins32 - Manchester City 2017-18
Most home points52 points55
Most home wins17 wins18

Man of the match - Emiliano Martinez (Arsenal)

Emiliano Martínez
Emiliano Martinez produced eight saves, including a great stop from Mohamed Salah, as Arsenal held out for their victory

Klopp suffers first league defeat by Gunners - the stats

  • Arsenal defeated Liverpool in the Premier League for the first time since April 2015, while it is the first time Jurgen Klopp has lost against the Gunners in the competition after winning five and drawing three previously.
  • Liverpool suffered their first league defeat in a game in which they opened the scoring since April 2017, ending a run of 83 consecutive league games without losing after scoring first.
  • This was Arsenal's first Premier League win against the team starting at the top of the table since February 2016, losing each of their previous five.
  • Liverpool have conceded 10 goals in their last five Premier League away games - as many as in their previous 19 league games on the road.
  • Sadio Mane has scored six goals against Arsenal in the Premier League, only scoring more against Crystal Palace (nine).
  • Arsenal's equaliser came from the first error made by Virgil van Dijk that has led to a goal in the Premier League since March 2019.
  • Alexandre Lacazette has been directly involved in four goals in three Premier League appearances against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, scoring twice.
  • Reiss Nelson netted his first Premier League goal for Arsenal, becoming the fifth different player aged 20 or under to score for the Gunners in the competition this season along with Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli and Willock.

What's next?

Arsenal face Manchester City in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday (19:45 BST), before their penultimate Premier League game of the season against Aston Villa on Tuesday (20:15).

Liverpool have a week to recover before their next league match, against Chelsea on Wednesday (20:15).

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 26Martínez
  • 16Holding
  • 23David Luiz
  • 3Tierney
  • 17Cédric SoaresSubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 76'minutes
  • 11TorreiraBooked at 46minsSubstituted forCeballosat 57'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 34XhakaBooked at 81mins
  • 77SakaSubstituted forKolasinacat 85'minutes
  • 24NelsonSubstituted forAubameyangat 58'minutes
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forWillockat 57'minutes
  • 19Pépé

Substitutes

  • 2Bellerín
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 8Ceballos
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 20Mustafi
  • 28Willock
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 33Macey

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-ArnoldBooked at 48mins
  • 12Gomez
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forKeitaat 61'minutes
  • 3Fabinho
  • 5WijnaldumSubstituted forShaqiriat 83'minutes
  • 11SalahSubstituted forOrigiat 83'minutes
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forMinaminoat 61'minutes
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 6Lovren
  • 8Keita
  • 13Adrián
  • 18Minamino
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 27Origi
  • 48Jones
  • 67Elliott
  • 76Williams
Referee:
Paul Tierney

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home3
Away24
Shots on Target
Home2
Away8
Corners
Home2
Away13
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

  4. Post update

    Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Emiliano Martínez.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Andrew Robertson.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Granit Xhaka.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Joseph Willock tries a through ball, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is caught offside.

  10. Booking

    Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Takumi Minamino (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Dani Ceballos (Arsenal).

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joseph Willock (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Naby Keita (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andrew Robertson.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Kieran Tierney (Arsenal).

  18. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Andrew Robertson.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Sead Kolasinac replaces Bukayo Saka.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool36303377294893
2Man City36243993355875
3Chelsea361961164491563
4Leicester351781065362959
5Man Utd351611861352659
6Wolves361414849381156
7Tottenham3615101157461155
8Sheff Utd35141293833554
9Arsenal36131495345853
10Burnley36149134048-851
11Everton35129144152-1145
12Southampton35136164558-1345
13Newcastle361110153755-1843
14Crystal Palace35119153045-1542
15Brighton35812153652-1636
16West Ham3597194459-1534
17Watford35810173354-2134
18Bournemouth3687213762-2531
19Aston Villa3586213865-2730
20Norwich3656252668-4221
View full Premier League table

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