Arsenal 2 Liverpool 2

Even the most ardent of Arsenal supporters will feel there to be a hollow ring over the Arsene Wenger’s latest assertions after the Gunners had to recover from a 2-0 first half deficit, only to then battle back for the cause in dramatic fashion which saw them salvage a point against Liverpool at the Emirates. Luis Suarez capitalised on another defensive nightmare for the Gunners to put the Reds in the lead after only five minutes. Jordan Henderson was then afforded the freedom of the Arsenal rearguard to double Liverpool’s lead. Olivier Giroud got his side’s recovery in motion with a well timed header, only to see Theo Walcott , score with an angled shot full of power that got the better of Pepe Reina for a 2-2 scoreline after 67 minutes.

Try as they might, the Gunners just couldn’t get what would have been an incredible winner, but that fact and this fight back would have continued to mask the Emirates’ side’s ongoing frailties which all but appear to have been unresolved in this January’s transfer window.

“I think first of all, we were caught on the counter attack and we didn’t adjust very well. Liverpool are good going forward as well. We didn’t give out big security tonight defensively but on the other hand, when you see what the spirit is in the team, and what the quality (is) going forward, you smell that something can always happen at any moment when you combine like we do,” said Wenger.

” In the second half, we have put a fantastic effort in. We know what we can improve, and we want to keep the positives that we have shown tonight in the game,” he continued.

Going two goal behind seems to have been a worrying trend that the Gunners cannot shake off. However unlike the loss to Manchester City earlier in the month, Arsenal had Giroud and Walcott to call up with a positive response that could have actually garnered a winner for Wenger’s men. The Arsenal manager had called on his players to show that they will fight in all games. That said and despite the salvaging of a point, Arsenal fans will privately accept that this performance was simply not good enough, a fact not lost on Wenger.

” I believe that recent history has an impact on the way we started the game tonight. We have to get that out of our minds and just focus on what we do well – playing football, and focus on what you want to do in your position. I believe that the quality is there, so we have to trust our quality and just forget what happened in the past because you could see that what happened in the past played in our heads at the start of the game.”

Adding to his woes, Wenger saw Kieran Gibbs go off with a thigh strain, and his three month absence will be a miss conceded Wenger. Giroud’s goal gave Wenger hope, and Walcott’s 14th goal of the season promised to turn things around after Suarez and Henderson threatened a Reds’ riot.

” He’s absolutely moving forward. You can see he’s a man now when he plays football,” noted Wenger on Walcott. He takes responsibility, always creates danger and he played against a top full back today and that’s where you see the quality in the big games like that,” Walcott takes his tally to 14 goals for the season.

The marquee signing Arsenal fans crave may not arrive this month after David Villa’s request to move from Barcelona was denied by his club, although Wenger could re-visit the deal in the summer.

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