Belfast Telegraph

Van Persie bags brace at Liverpool

Liverpool paid for missing a penalty and hitting the post twice as Arsenal's Robin van Persie scored twice to snatch a late 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Anfield.

Dirk Kuyt squandered the Reds' sixth spot-kick this season just before Laurent Koscielny put through his own net, but Van Persie equalised with a close-range header from a rare Gunners' chance.

The home side dominated the second half but failed to capitalise and were punished by the Holland international's second in added time.

The visitors appeared in danger of being swamped early on and Luis Suarez won a penalty when he was tripped by Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Unfortunately for Liverpool, Kuyt's effort was saved by Szczesny, who also denied the Dutchman's shot from the rebound.

The Arsenal goalkeeper was powerless to prevent the opening goal, however, when Koscielny, under little pressure, turned Jordan Henderson's cross into his own net.

Liverpool should have made it 2-0 moments later when Henderson's shot was parried by Szczesny to Suarez, who drilled the rebound against the post. However, on the half-hour Bacary Sagna's right-wing cross perfectly picked out Van Persie who had got in front of Jamie Carragher and the striker made no mistake with his header.

Suarez saw his low shot brilliantly turned behind by Szczesny before Kuyt hit the post in added time.

Early in the second half there was a lengthy stoppage when Henderson collided with former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta, who eventually left the field heavily concussed on a stretcher to be replaced by Abou Diaby.

Liverpool continued to enjoy the upper hand without really threatening after the interval although Stewart Downing wasted a chance to square the ball to Suarez, hitting his cross too close to Szczesny, before screwing a volley well wide.

And the Reds were made to pay for their profligacy as in the second of eight minutes of added time Van Persie snatched victory for the Gunners by expertly volleying home Alex Song's cross from a narrow angle.

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