Arsenal 1 v Liverpool 1

There was drama late on at the Emirates as Arsenal blew another chance to put pressure at the Premiership summit. Robin Van Persie had struck from the penalty spot after Cesc Fabregas was fouled by Jay Spearing in the 97th minute and the points seemed to be secure at that very late stage of the game. With a matter of seconds remaining however, referee Andre Marriner ensured that we will be talking more about him than the game when he awarded Liverpool a penalty after Emmanuel Eboue was adjudged to have felled Lucas Leiva. Dirk Kuyt netted from that spot kick and Arsenal were left with a point when only three would have done.


There were a total eight minutes of stoppage time were needed after Jamie Carragher was knocked out unconscious after a collision with John Flanagan, but argued Arsene Wenger, Liverpool scored in the 11th minute of time added on and was furious at the additional time that Marriner added.


The game should have been dead and buried well before the late controversy, but once again we saw an Arsenal performance that promised to deliver so much but failed to deliver. Kind of like the Arsenal season it must be said. Wenger will point to Laurent Koscielny hitting the bar on 16 minutes from Van Persie’s corner, but after that we witnessed another Arsenal performance that promised with possession, but failed to open up a rigid Liverpool rearguard.


Theo Walcott who stung Pepe Reina’s hands on 13 minutes, has been one player that generates fan expectation when Arsenal attack. He was getting in good forward positions, but again there were a lack of Arsenal bodies in the area to ask questions of Liverpool’s defence.


You wondered if the Arsenal players knew that they were in the title hunt, with Samir Nasri continuing to frustrate when once he sparkled. Defensively, Johan Djourou was up for the challenge of Andy Carroll and did well to shepherd the £ 35 million striker until he was forced off on 71 minutes.


Liverpool passed and moved well at times and Luis Suarez had three chances in quick succession that threatened to give the visitors the lead. Wenger sent on Nicklas Bendtner, Andrey Arshavin and later on Alex Song and deep into the game, there seemed to be some form of cohesion. Cesc Fabregas played throughout, but was unable to make that killer pass or shot on target that was required.

Another insipid 0-0 seemed to be on the cards, until the late penalty drama ensued and what Wenger accepted was a “jaded” Arsenal missed a crucuial opportunity to catch Manchester United.