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Liverpool rescue late draw against Arsenal

Martin Skrtel’s equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time gave Liverpool a fully deserved point against Arsenal at Anfield.

Referee Michael Oliver had added nine minutes on after a lengthy second-half delay when Skrtel required treatment for a head wound sustained in an accidental clash with Olivier Giroud.

Giroud looked to have sent Arsenal on the way to avenging their 5-1 thrashing at Anfield last season when he put them ahead, Mathieu Debuchy having equalised seconds after Philippe Coutinho gave Liverpool the lead on the stroke of half-time.

SMASH-AND-GRAB

But Skrtel, heavily bandaged and with Liverpool reduced to 10 men after substitute Fabio Borini was sent off late on, rose to meet Adam Lallana’s corner in the 97th minute and power a header past Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny in front of the Kop.

Arsenal were desolate but it would have been a real smash-and-grab had they hung on for three points after Liverpool showed most of the ambition and moments of quality in a game high on drama but short on class.

Liverpool supporters rose to acclaim their team’s resilience at the final whistle, but they may actually feel disappointed not to claim all three points against an Arsenal side that were desperately poor for long periods.

Brendan Rodgers’s team moved into the top 10 in the Premier League table, but they are nine points adrift of West Ham in fourth place, while Arsenal are sixth.