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Joe Allen gets the point for Liverpool with last-minute leveller against Arsenal

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Published 13/01/2016

Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen (2L) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR 'LIVE' SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 75 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS.PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen (2L) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR 'LIVE' SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 75 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS.PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen (L) celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's English midfielder Jordon Ibe (L) vies with Arsenal's Spanish defender Nacho Monreal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's English defender Nathaniel Clyne (top) is tackled by Arsenal's Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (C) applauds the fans after winning the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Liverpool's Ivorian defender Kolo Toure celebrate after winning the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen (2L) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen (2L) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's Joel Campbell (right) holds off Liverpool's Alberto Moreno during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud scores his side's third goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger exchange words during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp complains to the fourth official during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammates during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp looks down during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with Jordan Henderson during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 13, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Liverpool's English defender Nathaniel Clyne kicks the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's English midfielder James Milner (C) is substituted during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's German midfielder Emre Can looks for a pass during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil (L) holds off Liverpool's English midfielder Jordon Ibe during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud (2L) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring his second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's German midfielder Emre Can (R) watches Arsenal's French defender Laurent Koscielny try to head the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson (C) passes the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's English defender Steven Caulker warms up before the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's new signing Serbian Marko Grujic (L) talks during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's German midfielder Emre Can (L) holds off Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (L) chips the ball over the top of Liverpool's Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil gestures during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger react during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (R) vies with Liverpool's German midfielder Emre Can during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud (L) vies with Liverpool's Ivorian defender Kolo Toure during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud (L) vies with Liverpool's Ivorian defender Kolo Toure during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud (R) vies with Liverpool's French defender Mamadou Sakho during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016.
Liverpool's Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet (R) collects the ball by Arsenal's English midfielder Theo Walcott during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil (L) passes the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Olivier Giroud (C) of Arsenal scores his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool argues with the fourth official during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool argues with the fourth official during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Olivier Giroud (R) of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13:Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool argues with the fourth official during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Olivier Giroud (1st L) of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Arsene Wenger Manager of Arsenal gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino (L) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mate Jordan Henderson (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino (L) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mate Jordan Henderson (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino (L) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mate Jordan Henderson (C) and Jordon Ibe (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino (L) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mate Jordan Henderson (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool and Arsene Wenger Manager of Arsenal look on during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino (L) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mate Jordan Henderson (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino (L) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mate Jordan Henderson (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates Per Mertesacker (1st R) and Mathieu Flamini (3rd L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mate Mathieu Flamini during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Aaron Ramsey (2nd L) of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates Theo Walcott (1st L), Joel Campbell (2nd R) and Hector Bellerin (1st R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Aaron Ramsey (2nd L) of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates Theo Walcott (1st L), Joel Campbell (2nd R) and Hector Bellerin (1st R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Substitute Joe Allen was Liverpool's unexpected saviour with an added-time equaliser - just when Arsenal appeared to have sent a significant message in the title race.

With Manchester City held to a goalless draw at home to Everton, Arsene Wenger's side seemed to be underlining their title credentials having twice come from behind to lead 3-2.

But Allen, on the pitch for just eight minutes, denied them victory by volleying home at the far post.

Olivier Giroud looked to have won it for the visitors with two goals to take his tally to 12 in the league with two goals - after Ramsey had scored their first equaliser - to match a brace from Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool's starting line-up had managed just four league goals between them and that was synonymous with their difficulties this season with just 22 in their opening 20 league matches - so there was no suggestion this would be a goal-fest.

But Jurgen Klopp's preference of Firmino over Christian Benteke, his side's top goalscorer with seven, was justified as the Brazil international revelled in his false nine role.

His 10th-minute opener, turning to fire home a rebound after Petr Cech parried Emre Can's shot, for his first Anfield goal since arriving from Hoffenheim in the summer, was the signal for a manic 16 minutes in which four goals of varying quality were scored.

Liverpool's lead lasted just four minutes as Joel Campbell's through-ball allowed Ramsey to beat Simon Mignolet at his near post after Mamadou Sakho had lost his position after a clash of heads with Giroud.

The Belgium goalkeeper is on the verge of signing a new five-year contract, but h is near-post fallibility - allied to a weakness at set-pieces - was his undoing again for Arsenal's second equaliser. Giroud deflected in Ramsey's corner, conceded by Sakho heading out from under his own crossbar after Ramsey's lob had beaten Mignolet.

That was after Firmino had put the hosts ahead again with a brilliant strike, shifting the ball onto his right foot from a pass from Jordan Henderson - making his first appearance of 2016 having been sidelined with a recurrence of his chronic heel problem - before curling it into the top corner.

Both sides could have scored more before the interval - Mignolet redeemed himself slightly with a bizarre scorpion-type kick while laid on the floor to deny Giroud's bungled effort when faced with an open goal, before Ramsey failed to connect with a far-post corner and Firmino clipped the bar with a volley.

Giroud's second, in the 55th minute, came after more flat-footed defending allowed the France international the time to spin and fire inside the far post.

Per Mertesacker blocked one dangerous Adam Lallana shot but Benteke's introduction did not give Arsenal too many problems - to the extent Klopp sent on newly-signed centre-back Steven Caulker for a debut up front alongside the Belgian for the final five minutes.

However, if the intention was to go long ball it escaped Allen, one of the smallest men in Liverpool's side, as he popped up at the far post to convert Henderson's cross.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Cracking game of football that. Seems nobody wants to take the PL title by the scruff of the neck. #LFCvAFC" - Joey Barton wonders what's going to happen in the title race after Arsenal throw away a late lead to draw at Anfield.

PLAYER RATINGS

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet: 4

Nathaniel Clyne: 5

Kolo Toure: 6

Mamadou Sakho: 5

Alberto Moreno: 5

Jordan Henderson: 6

Emre Can: 5

James Milner: 7

Jordon Ibe: 6

Roberto Firmino: 7

Adam Lallana: 7

Substitutes

Christian Benteke (on for Milner, 66): 4

Steven Caulker (on for Lallana, 88): 5

Joe Allen (on for Can, 82): 7

Arsenal

Petr Cech: 7

Hector Bellerin: 7

Laurent Koscielny: 7

Per Mertesacker: 7

Nacho Monreal: 7

Aaron Ramsey: 7

Mathieu Flamini: 6

Joel Campbell: 7

Mesut Ozil: 6

Theo Walcott: 6

Olivier Giroud: 7

Substitutes

Kieran Gibbs (on for Walcott, 76): 6

Mikel Arteta (on for Ozil, 87): 5

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Campbell, 75): 5

STAR MAN

Olivier Giroud - Took both his goals well, could have had more had he not fluffed one in front of the Kop and gave Liverpool's defence a continual problem.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Joe Allen's stoppage-time equaliser, producing a timely run to meet Jordan Henderson's cross at the far post when it appeared the game was lost.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Jurgen Klopp altered his tactics to chase the game late on, throwing centre-back Steven Caulker on for his debut as a centre-forward and while that plan did not pay off his bold ploy did bring some reward. Arsene Wenger will have disappointed not to have closed out the game having fought so hard to turn it around.

MOAN OF THE MATCH

Liverpool's defending at crosses in general, Simon Mignolet's propensity to be beaten at his near-post specifically.

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Liverpool v Manchester United (Premier League, Sunday January 17)

Stoke v Arsenal (Premier League, Sunday January 17)

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