Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

Two stunning strikes from Robin Van Persie saw Arsenal ease past a robust Liverpool at Anfield, after the Gunners had gone a goal behind to Laurent Koscielny’s 23rd minute own goal. Van Persie headed in the leveller just past the half hour mark from Bacary Sagna’s precision cross, and then went on to net a spectacular volleyed winner in the 93rd minute, from Alex Song’s excellent floated pass. The win however was soured with Mikel Arteta stretchered off after being caught on an off the ball clash with Jordan Henderson, and the returning Abou Diaby lasted a mere 27 minutes to make way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Harsh

The win takes the Gunners to within four points of third place Spurs and three ahead of fifth placed Chelsea. Once again, the excellent goal keeping of Wojciech Szczesny was to show the drive and determination in Arsene Wenger’s side. The Poland keeper saved Dirk Kuyt’s 19 minute penalty and recovered to save the follow up too. However, the spot kick was a very harsh award as replays showed Luis Suarez to appear to dive as Szczesny came out, but withdrew his legs in contact that did not actually take place, yet the Suarez’s theatrics had Mike Halsey pointing to the spot. Five minutes later however, the Reds eventually took the lead.

Leveller

A swift break saw Henderson galloping away on the right. With Kieran Gibbs stranded upfield, Koscielny came to his left, but his attempt to clear Henderson’s cross was inadvertently driven past Szczesny at his near post. Szczesny had to then be alert to deny Henderson on 25 minutes, as Suarez hit the post on the follow up. Arsenal soaked up the pressure and with their next attack, got the equaliser. Arteta fed Sagna advancing on the right, and his cross was headed past Pepe Reina by Van Persie who had the strength to hold off the robust attentions of Jamie Carragher.

Five minutes before the break, and Suarez saw his weaving run and shot produce another fine save low down from Szczesny. Kuyt also saw his effort trickle onto the post and cleared as Liverpool went in search of the lead.

Missed

Shortly after the re-start, Henderson appeared to catch Arteta powerfully using his shoulder. After lengthy treatment, Arteta was stretchered off on oxygen and in clear discomfort. On came Diaby and once again his stride and poise was a welcome sight for the massed travelling Arsenal support. Just past the hour mark, Szczesny was alert to Skrtel’s downwards header, and Tomas Rosicky in another performance of skill and pace was unlucky to see his cross elude his team mates. When Stepehen Kelly missed an open goal from Kuyt’s cross, the signs for Arsenal looked positive, and especially after Theo Walcott almost saw his shot creep in, but for Reina to save late.

Memorable winner

When Diaby was replaced on 80 minutes going off with a hamstring injury, Wenger and his player cut frustrated figures. Oxlade-Chamberlain entered play and had time to flash a drive just wide of the targer. Eight minutes of time added on were shown by the fourth official. In the 93rd minute, Song saw Van Persie. With his eyes firmly on the trajectory of the ball,the Holland striker let fly with a superb left foot volley to beat Reina at his near post for the most memorable of winners. The ranked Arsenal masses went wild in celebration, and now the Gunners have the Premiership’s third place well and truly in their sights.