Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker made a brace of costly errors as the 10-man Reds lost 3-1 at Arsenal to see their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to two points.
But Mikel Arteta’s men would ultimately run out winners as a mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson allowed Gabriel Martinelli to round off a fine individual performance by re-establishing the lead before substitute Leandro Trossard fired straight through the goalkeeper’s legs in stoppage time.
It is just a second league defeat of the season for the Reds, who struggled to get into the game for the majority of the first half at the Emirates Stadium and ended with a numerical disadvantage as Ibrahima Konate was sent off late on.
Martinelli once again shone against Liverpool, hitting his fifth goal against Jurgen Klopp’s side – the departing German no doubt looking forward to seeing the back of a player he once described as “a talent of the century”.
Arsenal were without Gabriel Jesus, injured once more, but took the lead against Liverpool for the fourth Premier League encounter in a row.
They started well here, too, David Raya claiming a routine cross before bowling the ball out to Martinelli, whose pace was enough to see off Konate but Saka could not make telling contact as he met the cross with a diving header.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 4, 2024
Arsenal have made a habit of scoring early against Liverpool, however, and that trend continued as Saka made amends in the 14th minute.
Despite struggling with Arsenal’s high press and failing to register a shot on target in the first half, Liverpool would go in level at the break as the unwitting Gabriel turned the ball into his own goal off his arm after Luis Diaz had outmuscled William Saliba.
The fortuitous equaliser shifted the momentum as Liverpool came out for the second half with a more cutting edge with both Diaz and Curtis Jones getting shots away.
The hosts wanted a penalty when Havertz tangled with Alexis Mac Allister but referee Anthony Taylor was unmoved as VAR sided with the on-field official.
Arsenal would retake the lead soon after, with the Liverpool defence this time left red-faced as Alisson and Van Dijk left a clearance to one another, allowing Martinelli to collect and finish into an empty net.
Mac Allister flashed a shot wide as Liverpool looked to respond a second time having already rescued 19 points from losing positions this season.
The early exertion from Arsenal’s forwards saw them tire as both Martinelli and Saka were replaced by Trossard and Reiss Nelson, respectively, for the closing stages.
But it was another substitute, Poland defender Kiwior, who missed a fine chance to make sure of the points when he headed straight at Alisson.
Instead, Konate was dismissed – booked a second time for blocking Trossard – before Trossard’s low near-post shot flashed between the legs of Alisson to secure the points for Arteta’s men.