Liverpool make wasteful Arsenal pay in FA Cup

Klopp's team hand Gunners their third straight defeat across competitions

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates with Luis Diaz after the FA Cup win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Reuters
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Liverpool survived an Arsenal barrage to seal a place in the FA Cup fourth round as two late goals secured a dramatic 2-0 win on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's side rode their luck for long spells as Arsenal wasted a series of chances at the Emirates Stadium.

An own goal by Jakub Kiwior and a late strike by Luis Diaz sealed a result for the Reds.

Arsenal wasted many chances in the first half and were made to pay as Liverpool skipper Trent Alexander-Arnold's free kick glanced off the head of Kiwior in the 80th minute.

Diaz then made sure of eight-time winners Liverpool's place in the fourth round draw as he lashed home in stoppage time.

Liverpool had been second-best in the opening period with Arsenal unable to make the most of their early chances – captain Martin Odegaard coming closest as he rattled the crossbar with a powerful drive.

Liverpool improved after the break though and their travelling fans were rewarded with late goals.

Arsenal have now lost their last three games in all competitions. Manager Mikel Arteta is now saddled with problems to solve ahead of their short mid-season break.

The two Premier League title rivals – choosing not to wear red in support of Arsenal's anti-knife crime initiative – played out a 1-1 draw at Anfield a fortnight ago and while both managers picked strong teams, a handful of changes were made with Aaron Ramsdale given the nod.

“We changed things around at halftime internally, and we came out and played football and created chances,” Alexander-Arnold said.

“There were times in the first half that we were a little bit naive … We hit the woodwork a couple of times, so we've had our chances, and towards the end, we put them away. ”

Liverpool's first FA Cup win over Arsenal since the 2001 final was a significant moment as the Premier League leaders inflicted a psychological blow on one of their main title rivals.

Arsenal have now won only once in their last six games in all competitions, an unexpected stumble that leaves them out of the FA Cup and League Cup and five points behind Liverpool in the title race.

No wonder Klopp celebrated with such gusto at the final whistle, pumping his fists in acknowledgement of a victory that could springboard Liverpool's bid to win four trophies.

The Reds, who drew 1-1 with Arsenal in the Premier League in December, face Fulham in the League Cup semi-final first leg in midweek and are also through to the Europa League last 16.

Updated: January 08, 2024, 6:13 AM