|Arsenal’s winning streak was finally bought to an end last weekend as they were held by Crystal Palace, however it is still eight games unbeaten in the Premier League as they prepare for the visit of Liverpool on Saturday.
The Gunners cannot have too many complaints with the fact that they only earned a point last Sunday as Roy Hodgson’s Palace side were equal to just about everything the North London outfit threw at them.
At the same time though there was also an element of fortune in the goal that put Arsenal ahead in the second half. After taking the lead through Granit Xhaka’s sumptuous free kick, they then found themselves in the ascendency through Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
The Gabonese forward needed the help of not just goalline technology but also the flailing arm of strike partner Alexander Lacazette, his suspicious looking flick on certainly draw the ire of the Palace players but it was an infringement that was not spotted by referee Martin Atkinson.
The goal stood and looked it like Arsenal were going to make it 12 wins in a row in all competitions. However, they were foiled by Luka Milivojevic’s second penalty kick of the game late on, as an entertaining London derby ended all square.
Whether Arsenal look at that as two points dropped is something that can be argued, at the same time there were no such issues for Liverpool last weekend as they eventually made light work of Cardiff at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah was once again on the score sheet as he put Liverpool ahead before the break, before Sadio Mane scored the first of his two goals that day to double the advantage for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
There was a period where the game was in the balance as Cardiff halved the deficit with just under 15 minutes remaining, thankfully for the Reds though they found the necessary extra gears to make sure of all three points.
First Xhedran Shaqiri made it 3-1 as he scored his first goal for the club and then Mane put the icing on the cake with a sublime finish to earn his second of the day and the all important three points for Liverpool.
It was a win that temporarily put them top of the Premier League, an advantage that has since been eroded after Manchester City’s win over Tottenham on Monday night put the holders back on the summit.
The trip to the Emirates will not only be a measure of whether Liverpool can go all the way this season, but also whether Arsenal can be considered bona fide title contenders. A win for Gunners and people will have to start talking up their hopes of a first championship since 2004.
Last season saw these two sides play out a pre-xmas six goal thriller on this ground, there is every chance we could see something similar this weekend. Whether we will witness that many goals this time around we will have to wait and see. However, a draw looks like a very likely outcome.