Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1: Dirk Kuyt torpedoes Gunners' title hopes with dramatic injury time penalty

Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt celebrates after scoring his team's opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium
Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt celebrates scoring his team's opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal's Robin van Persie (centre) scores his team's opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal saw their Barclays Premier League title hopes all but extinguished after Dirk Kuyt secured a point for Liverpool with a last-gasp penalty just moments after Robin van Persie's own spot-kick had looked enough for victory.

The Gunners - now six point points behind leaders Manchester United having played the same games - had plenty of possession and hit the bar in the first half through Laurent Koscielny, but were unable to make their dominance count until deep into stoppage time when Van Persie crashed home a spot-kick.

However, Liverpool - who had earlier seen captain Jamie Carragher carried off with concussion - snatched a point with the final kick of the match after Emmanuel Eboue had pushed Lucas.

Arsenal made a double change when Jack Wilshere and Walcott were replaced by Nicklas Bendtner and Andrey Arshavin, the Russian making his 100th appearance for the Gunners.

Szczesny got down well to beat away an angled shot from Suarez as Liverpool looked to snatch all three points.

With 10 minutes left, Arsenal made a third substitution as Abou Diaby made way for Song.

Reina to made a decent block when Van Persie was played into the left side of the Liverpool area.

Suarez then spooned his shot high and wide in space at the near post.

Because of the injury to Carragher, there were eight minutes of stoppage time, and just when time seemed to be running out, Fabregas went tumbling over Spearing's leg and this time, the referee pointed to the spot.

Van Persie stepped up to send Reina the wrong way and seemingly keep Arsenal in the title hunt.

There was more late drama after Song tripped Lucas right on the edge of the area. Suarez's free-kick went into the wall, but Eboue then pushed over Lucas to concede another stoppage-time spot-kick which Kuyt dispatched.

It proved the last action of an amazing end to the game, which leaves Arsenal all but out of the title race and left a dejected Arsene Wenger confronting the officials as they walked off.

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