By Carl Markham, PA
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted the draw at Liverpool felt like two points dropped after they squandered a 2-1 first-half lead.
Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus put the Gunners into a comfortable lead inside the opening half-hour, but Mohamed Salah’s goal brought Liverpool back into it and after the Egypt international missed an early second-half penalty, Roberto Firmino grabbed a late equaliser.
The Premier League leaders’ advantage over Manchester City is now just six points having played a game more.
“When you concede at the end it’s always two points dropped because you have it and you’re suffering in certain moments,” said Arteta.
“The feeling is ‘Ah we should have done it’. But being fair to ourselves, they had four big chances that they could score and the penalty.
“We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and we should have done better in the second half.”
Arsenal were in complete control until Granit Xhaka intensified the atmosphere with an off-the-ball clash with Trent Alexander-Arnold late in the first half and from that point the momentum appeared to be with the hosts.
Jurgen Klopp’s side applied most of the pressure after the break and had three late chances to force the winner.
Arsenal's lead at the top of the league is cut to six points
This is what the result means at the top of the table ⬇ pic.twitter.com/HF7D3JoW0S
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 9, 2023
“We started very well, dominated, scored the first and took the game where we wanted and scored the second and that was the moment to kill the game,” added Arteta.
“Just before half-time we gave them hope. We conceded a goal and they generated belief in this special atmosphere and stadium.
“The second half was a very different story. We gave every ball away, especially in dangerous areas, and allowed dangerous results and big transition moments against the best team in the world in doing that.
“When that happens it’s chaos. It’s a lot of balls in your box, it’s difficult to get out of those situations and then you have to suffer.
“We relied on big defensive moments where (goalkeeper) Aaron (Ramsdale) took a big part of it and they missed the penalty.
“Then we could have nicked the game, because we had three huge chances on the counter where they are overloaded, but we missed that ruthlessness to take the game.
“Looking at the two halves it’s probably a fair result. You have to take it. The big lesson is probably play the way we did in the first half.”
After a defeat at Manchester City and disappointing draw at Chelsea, the week at least ended on a positive for Liverpool.
Boss Klopp said: “It was a great reaction from our team.
“The first goal was kind of unlucky. Robbo (Andy Robertson) slips, they go inside and I think it was Martinelli and that is the 1-0 and the 2-0 happened in a situation which we shouldn’t have too often, that the ball arrives and we don’t have a challenge.
“We had chances before we scored, good moments, didn’t use them but then the goal was the most helpful thing, before half-time it was 2-1 and everyone thought we could turn the game around.
“The question I had after the game was how did we not win the game? We didn’t fall apart and it could have happened. One-nil, 2-0 and the next chance is 3-0 and it didn’t happen.
“We looked better, more ready to fight back and second half we deserved at least a point.”